Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

Veterinary assistants fill an important role in veterinary practices and other animal care facilities. They take care of animals along with assisting veterinarians and veterinary technicians with their jobs. If you enjoy animals and want to pursue a career in the veterinary field, a veterinary assistant job is a great place to start. This entry-level position requires little to no prior training and will expose you to the ins and outs of animal healthcare, so you can decide whether you want to pursue further education as a veterinary technician or a veterinarian.

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Veterinary assistants may work in animal hospitals or veterinary clinics while performing a multitude of different roles. Some of the duties of veterinary assistants include, yet are not limited to:

  • Maintaining cleanliness of the animal healthcare facility
  • Looking after animals
  • Assisting veterinarians and veterinary technicians during surgical procedures
  • Greeting patients
  • Maintaining contact with pet owners on behalf of the facility and explaining how they can treat/care for their pets
  • Feeding, exercising and bathing animals
  • Preparing patients for x-ray imaging
  • Reading and maintaining medical charts
  • Setting up exam rooms

Colorado Veterinary Assistant Education Requirements

In order to become a veterinary assistant in Colorado, you may want to have a high school diploma or GED, although neither is formally required by the state. Colorado also has not set forth any further education requirements or certifications to work as a veterinary assistant. Yet, many assistants do pursue some form of training to add to their capabilities, which can work to their benefit when looking for a job.

Featured School

Penn Foster College – Veterinary Assistant Program

  • NAVTA-Approved Veterinary Assistant Program
  • Support from award-winning Veterinary Academy Team
  • Complete in as little as 7 months
  • Call 1-800-851-1819 today.

If you want to pursue training on campus, Pima Medical Institute in Colorado Springs offers a training program that educates future vet assistants on all they need to know to perform the tasks required of them, including how to assist with small animal nursing, administer medication, assist with surgery, recognize animal behavior norms, understand pharmacology basics, sterilize equipment, provide preventative healthcare along with several other roles that most veterinary assistants are required to fill. With this program, you can graduate in just nine months.

If your schedule does not allow you to attend a program on campus or you prefer to take courses online, Penn Foster Career School also offers an excellent veterinary assistant training program. This educational institution is approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, or NAVTA, which means you can go on to become certified as an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) upon successful completion of the training program.

Working as a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

Colorado is a competitive state to begin a career as a veterinary assistant. Only 480 veterinary assistants are employed in the state as of 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Despite the small number, the number of veterinary assistant jobs is expected to grow by nine percent by 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Veterinary Assistant Salaries in Colorado by Region

AreaTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Boulder, CO**$12.13$25,240
Colorado Springs, CO100$12.17$25,310
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO**$13.33$27,730
Grand Junction, CO50$13.21$27,470

If you are ready to begin your career as a veterinary assistant, private, local practices as well as nationally-recognized animal healthcare hospitals are good places to look, including Banfield Pet Hospital, which has locations in Arvada, Superior and Westminster.

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Get information on Veterinary Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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College and University Listings

Colorado Springs, CO Area

Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology

2766 Janitell Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906-4944
Veterinary Assisting – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology is based at their campus in the city of Colorado Springs, CO. This private, for-profit college has about 75 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 85%. Fees for tuition are about $11,435 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $800, depending on the program chosen.

Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs

3770 Citadel Drive North, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute is offered at their Colorado Springs campus in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This private, for-profit college has approximately 563 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. The cost of tuition for the Vet Tech program is usually about $12,024 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $743. Typically, the program is completed in 8 months.

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Area

Community College of Denver

1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colorado 80204-2026
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program

Community College of Denver’s Certificate-level Veterinary Assistant program is taught at their campus in the city of Denver. This public college has round 10,296 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $3,509 and for out-of-state students approximately $13,179 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,800, although this will depend on the program.

Front Range Community College

3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, Colorado 80031
Veterinary Technician Assistant – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Front Range Community College can be taken at their campus in Westminster in Adams County. Most of the school’s 18,761 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $3,527 and for out-of-state students approximately $13,244 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,800, although this will depend on the program.

Pickens Technical College

500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, Colorado 80011-9307
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pickens Technical College can be taken at their campus in the city of Aurora. Most of the school’s 1,084 students are on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $2,376 and for out-of-state students around $4,656 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $600, depending on the program chosen.

Pima Medical Institute-Aurora

13750 E. Mississippi Avenue, Aurora, Colorado 80012-0000
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program

Pima Medical Institute’s Certificate program is taught at their Aurora campus in the city of Aurora, CO. Most of the school’s 315 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Tuition fees for the Vet Tech program are broadly about $16,443 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $2,117. Usually, the program is completed in 12 months.

Pima Medical Institute-Denver

7475 Dakin St Suite 100, Denver, Colorado 80221
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute is based at their Denver campus in Denver in Adams County, Colorado. Most of the school’s 944 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Tuition fees for the Vet Tech program are broadly about $12,024 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $743. Usually, the program is completed in 8 months.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Other Options

See also the neighbor states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. You can find vet technician programs in Colorado here.