Vet Assistant Schools In Alaska

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Alaska

The veterinary care sector is currently enjoying robust growth in the United States. The American people demand high-quality veterinary care for their beloved animal companions, which has resulted in an increasing demand for skilled veterinary care professionals.

For this reason, becoming a veterinary assistant is an increasingly attractive choice for those individuals who wish to work with pets, livestock and other types of animals in the United States.

Veterinary Assistants in Alaska

vet tech trainingWith a vibrant mixture or urban and rural zones, Alaska’s need for skilled veterinary care professionals has steadily grown. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are over 120 veterinary assistants working in Alaska.

Like the rest of the United States, Alaska’s job openings for vet assistants are predicted to grow by at least 14 percent between 2010 and 2020.

When coupled with normal attrition among current vet assistants, this growth will help to ensure that new vet assistants continue to enjoy excellent employment prospects.

Because of Alaska’s demographic nature, some vet assistants may work with veterinarians that serve a very large region. This may require extensive travel on the part of the veterinary assistant in order to reach his or her clients. In addition, Alaska is prone to inclement weather, so anyone intending to become a vet assistant in Alaska should be certain that he or she can tolerate the state’s harsh weather.

However, Alaskan vet assistants enjoy higher than average wages.

As of May 2012, the BLS determined that the annual median wage for American vet assistants was $24,740. The Alaskan median annual wage for vet assistants currently stands at $29,330, which makes Alaskan vet assistants some of the highest paid vet assistants in the nation.

Becoming a Vet Assistant

Currently, there is no mandated licensure procedure for vet assistants working in Alaska. Although some vet assistants receive on the job training after being hired, a growing number of employers prefer to hire individuals who have received formal training, as this eliminates the need to provide training to a new employee.

Community colleges, adult education programs and vocational training institutions all offer vet assistant programs. These programs are designed to ensure that a graduate understands and can carry out all of the duties he or she will be required to perform in a veterinary clinic.

Among the most common subjects a vet tech program will cover are the following:

  • General examination protocols and procedures for all types of pets.
  • How to assist the veterinarian and other veterinary professionals in safely restraining hostile or frightened pets.
  • The proper procedures for storing, drugs, biological samples and vaccinations.
  • How to assist the veterinarian during surgical procedures.
  • Procedures for keeping tools and living spaces sterile in order to prevent the transmission of disease.
  • How to interact with the public in a professional manner.

In addition, many veterinary assistant programs also train their students in how to fill out and file veterinary reports. This can be especially important for those vet assistants that may find themselves working in a clerical capacity.

Part-Time Students and Vet Assistant Programs

Most full-time students can complete a vet assistant program within a year, depending on the program’s schedule and the student’s course load. However, most schools also offer part-time schedules to those students who are unable to attend class on a full-time basis. This has become an increasingly common choice for those students who are currently working or who have family obligations that make it difficult to attend a full-time veterinary assistant program.

Most part-time programs are designed to be accessible to all students, and usually include a large number of evening or weekend classes. However, a part-time student will usually take longer to complete the program than a full-time student will.

Online and Distance Learning Programs

Online and distance learning programs are becoming increasingly common among veterinary assistant schools. These programs allow the student to make use of the Internet in order to complete the program from their own home. Additionally, online programs can allow the student to work at a pace of his or her own choosing. In Alaska, online and distance learning programs can be very useful for those students who live inconveniently far from a vet assistant program.


No national body currently provides universal accreditation services for vet assistant programs. However, a prospective student can determine the reputation of any vet assistant program by speaking with local veterinarians or professional organizations. Additionally, students should always visit the campus before committing to entering a veterinary assistant program.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has created the designation of Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA). Students who have graduated from a NAVTA approved program can sit for the AVA examination in order to become an AVA. If interested in this process, the student should contact the NAVTA in order to determine if his or her veterinary assistant program is AVA qualified.

Working as a Veterinary Assistant

Becoming a veterinary assistant can be an excellent choice for those individuals who enjoy working with animals. In addition, veterinary assistant programs require a smaller financial investment than the educational process for many other veterinary professions.

This makes this career ideal for those individuals who are entering the job market for the first time. Finally, individuals who are interested in a veterinary career can use this profession as a method to obtain greater practical experience as they prepare to become a vet tech or veterinarian.

An Alaskan veterinary assistant plays a vital role in ensuring that the state’s beloved companion animals will enjoy long and comfortable lives. For this reason, becoming a vet assistant can be both a personally and professionally rewarding decision.

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