If you’ve decided to become a veterinary assistant in Delaware, the best thing to do is to start with finding the best program to fit your individual needs. In general, top programs will offer you a complete training course taught by industry professionals. In the right course, you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to begin working as a veterinary assistant in the real world. You’ll learn how to handle equipment and chemicals, how to care for the animals, information regarding breeds, medical terminology, procedural techniques and various administrative duties that you’ll need to know. While Delaware is a small state, there are a variety of training programs available.
Job Criteria and Program Basics
As a veterinary assistant, you will be called upon to do many different tasks. More so, your job description can change from one day to the next based on what your boss or coworkers need you to do. For example, some days might have you performing more administrative duties, while other days will have you taking care of the animals in the office. Thanks to this, you have to be flexible as well as trustworthy and efficient. Since you’ll be working with clients and their pets, you also have to be attentive and personable.
While your duties can vary, in general you’ll be caring for the animals that come into your office. You’ll likely be responsible for grooming them, walking them, feeding and general care while they’re there. You will probably be asked to assist with examinations and procedures too. With this, you’ll also have administrative duties including filing records, maintaining the inventory and helping clients check in and out.
As a veterinary assistant, you might find work in places other than a veterinary office. For example, you can work at zoos, kennels, grooming companies, animal hospitals or rescue shelters. If you’re working in one of those places, it’s possible that your duties will be different than they’d be in an average vet clinic. However, the right course will teach you everything you need to know no matter where you decide to work.
Every program will have its own course structure and guidelines. In general, most programs usually last 100 to 300 hours broken up over several weeks or months. These programs usually consist of a classroom portion and a hands-on portion where you’ll work in a simulated setting or in an actual office.
As far as the fees, veterinary assistant training courses range from approximately $1,000 to $3,000. This usually includes extra costs like books, uniforms and equipment, but some schools can charge separately for those items. Online courses are usually cheaper and can range from $500 to around $2,000.
These prices might seem steep, but the training is worth it since the average veterinary assistant in Delaware makes around $26,400 a year. If you find work in a larger city like Dover or Wilmington, you have an increased earning potential that can allow you to earn over $30,000 a year.
|Area||Total Employed||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
There aren’t a lot of in-person veterinary assistant training programs in Delaware. The one notable exception that offers veterinary assistant training programs is Delaware Technical Community College.
There are also a number of online courses you can take that are properly accredited and will allow you to work in Delaware as a veterinary assistant. Remember to compare each course to find the one that suits your needs the best.
Educational Requirements to Begin Training and Work
There are no state-mandated requirements to become a veterinary assistant in Delaware, so there is no call for a specific license or certification. However, most employers will ask their employees to have at least a high school diploma or the equivalency of one.
While there is no requirement on the books, any training program you take will give you some kind of certificate that shows that you completed the program successfully. This will show potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills to start working immediately.
There are also specific courses that will earn you an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) title. This is a nationally recognized certification offered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). It can only be obtained through specific schools associated with NAVTA. There are no physical schools in Delaware that offer this certification, but there are a few accredited online programs. Again, this certification isn’t necessary, but if you do have it you might be able to ask for a higher salary or find a job at high-profile animal hospitals. You’ll also be able to work in other states without a problem, since the certification is nationally recognized.
After completing the course you’ll need to pay $100 to take the test in order to get certified. Once you pass the test, you’ll be ready to work. All you have to do after that is maintain your title by renewing your certification every two years by taking continuing education courses and paying a $10 renewal fee.
As a veterinary assistant, you can hope to find employment in Delaware in places like:
- Banfield Pet Hospital (multiple locations within the state)
- Vetco Wellness Centers in Petco (multiple locations within the state)
- VCA Veterinary Centers of America (multiple locations within the state)
Of course, you can also find work at local vet offices, shelters, kennels and similar animal facilities.
With this information, you can begin your own journey to become a veterinary assistant in Delaware. Look through your program options and find the one that is right for you.