Online Certificate Programs in Veterinary Assistant

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Professional Prerequisites:None, though professional certification through the AALAS requires laboratory animal facility work experience.
  • Average Program Length: 3 months (full time); 6 months (part time)

Veterinary assistants help veterinarians or veterinary technicians set up and maintain veterinary equipment and facilities and handle, monitor, and care for animals. Veterinary assistants may collect blood, urine, or tissue samples for testing, administer veterinary medication or immunizations, and clean cages, kennels, and operating rooms in a veterinary facility. Veterinary assistants work in clinics and animal hospitals. Veterinary assistant certification programs prepare prospective veterinary assistants to work alongside veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Veterinary Assistant

While veterinary assistant positions may provide on-the-job training, a veterinary assistant certificate program may provide an advantage over other veterinary assistant candidates. An accredited traditional or accredited online veterinary assistant certification program teaches prospective veterinary assistants veterinary practice terminology, humane handling practices, veterinary drugs, and recognition of breeds and exotic animal varieties. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) approves veterinary assistant programs and offers national examination for professional veterinary assistant certification.

A veterinary assistant certificate program may require course work in veterinary medical terminology, veterinary office practices, computers skills, ethics and law, billing and collecting, grooming, and job search skills and techniques. Curriculum may also train students for professional licensure or certification. The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) provides professional certification as an assistant laboratory animal technician, laboratory animal technician, and laboratory animal technologist for laboratory animal caretakers employed in a research facility. Professional certification provides job prospects in laboratory animal facilities and represents skills in veterinary facility administration and management, animal husbandry, and other veterinary and laboratory animal caretaking skills. AALAS certification requires laboratory animal facility work experience and the successful completion of the AALAS examination.

What Your Online Certificate in Veterinary Assistant Can Do for You

An accredited veterinary assistant certification program offers advanced job prospects as a veterinary assistant. A veterinary assistant certificate may also provide training to further your education toward a veterinary technologist or veterinarian degree. Veterinary technologists and technicians require an associate degree for entry-level employment. Veterinarians are required to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine through a four-year veterinary medicine program. While veterinary programs are competitive, veterinary experience in addition to veterinary education may provide an advantage toward admission.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that veterinary assistants earned a median annual wage of $22,040 in 2010. Veterinary assistant employment is expected to increase by 14% between 2010 and 2020. A similar field, veterinary technologists and technicians, had a median annual wage of $29,710 in 2010. Veterinarians earned a median annual wage of $82,040 in 2010. Keep in mind that wage and employment figures vary depending on area, employer, experience, and position.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.