The title of veterinary assistant is an entry-level position in veterinary medicine. As a vet assistant, you will not only work alongside veterinarians and vet technicians but you will also help pet owners. Vet assistants are often the first contact for pet owners at animal clinics or hospitals. Because of this, ideal candidates for the position of vet assistant should be comfortable working with people and able to articulate information to pet owners well, such as how to administer medication and explain which procedures their pets need to undergo.
Other duties of vet assistants may include cleaning and maintaining equipment, exercising and grooming pets, feeding pets, restraining and handling animals, handling pre-and post-surgery care as well as administrative and clerical work.
Veterinary Assistant Programs in North Dakota
Currently, North Dakota has no educational requirements for veterinary assistants to work in the field. Each animal healthcare facility is left to determine its own hiring criteria – most of which prefer candidates who have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalency. However, additional training may prove to be beneficial for your future career as a vet assistant and prospective employers tend to favor candidates who have pursued further education.
North Dakota has several distance learning and campus veterinary assistant programs to choose from, including Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, Dakota College at Bottineau in Bottineau, and Bismarck State College in Bismarck. These training programs may differ from one another but they all focus on providing future vet assistants with the necessary knowledge to help them excel in their careers, including areas such as breed identification, medical terminology, restraint techniques, chemical safety, administering medication, and more.
Veterinary Assistant Certification in North Dakota
Some veterinary assistants wish to add certification to their repertoire, which can be gainful when looking for employment. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has teamed up with VetMed to offer Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification exams. The State of North Dakota does not have any NAVTA-approved programs but you can still receive AVA certification. This form of certification will set you apart from other candidates, proving that you have been trained at the highest industry standards.
Veterinary Assistant Careers in North Dakota
North Dakota is a great state to work as a veterinary assistant as the annual salary for vet assistants exceeds that of vet assistants in many other states. The average annual salary of vet assistants in North Dakota is $29,680, according to the US Department of Labor Statistics. An ongoing demand is anticipated for new North Dakota vet assistants over the next seven years, with an expected 14 percent increase in the number of jobs in the state.
Once you are ready to pursue employment as a North Dakota veterinary assistant, you have several options to apply to. Unlike many other states, North Dakota does not have home veterinary hospitals with national locations such as Banfield Pet Hospitals or Veterinary Centers of America. Rather than looking for work through these organizations, you may want to consider privately owned facilities including: