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How to Write a Veterinary Assistant Job Description Sample

A Veterinary Assistant, or a Veterinarian’s Assistant, helps Veterinarians by treating and caring for animals. Their duties include recording health information about animals, helping to administer treatments, and providing food and water to animals.

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What does a Veterinary Assistant do?

Veterinary Assistants take care of animals by providing food and water, administering treatments, recording their health information, and providing advice to pet owners. Veterinary Assistants perform various tasks to allow Veterinarians to focus on the important tasks of diagnosing illness and choosing the best treatments for animals under their care. Other tasks a Veterinary Assistant performs include cleaning equipment, handling animals, giving medication, and weighing animals.

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Veterinary Assistant Job Description Examples:

Veterinary Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Veterinary Assistant takes on many responsibilities to ensure they give the best support so Veterinarians get their job done efficiently. Specific duties and responsibilities of Veterinary Assistants include:

  • Feeding and providing water to animals at regular intervals throughout the day
  • Grooming and bathing animals
  • Sterilizing equipment and regularly cleaning examination areas
  • Handling and soothing animals during examinations, treatments, and vaccinations
  • Recording relevant information about animals, including weight and types of medication given
  • Advising owners of pets about caring for their animals at home

Veterinary Assistant skills and qualifications

Successful Veterinary Assistants need a variety of soft skills and technical knowledge to excel in their jobs. Some of the most important skills and qualifications include:

  • Expert animal handling skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks depending on needs
  • Good organizational skills
  • Technical know-how in areas such as disinfection, administering medication, and using diagnostic equipment
  • Computer skills to maintain medical records about animals in veterinary software

Veterinary Assistant experience requirements

Veterinary Assistants usually need to demonstrate some experience in working with or caring for animals. The main experience requirement for entry-level Veterinary Assistants is volunteer work at an animal shelter or clinic. Some clinics and animals hospitals offer internships, which aim to give short, practical introductions to the veterinary field.

Veterinary Assistant education and training requirements

The minimum education Veterinary Assistants need is a high school diploma. You may ask candidates for specific certificates or training programs. For Veterinary Assistant roles dependent on specific software, you may ask candidates for a certificate that demonstrates proficiency using that software.

Veterinary Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Veterinary Assistant is $37,000 per year. The salary a Veterinary Assistant earns depends on the company hiring, the job’s location, and the level of experience of candidates.

Job description samples for similar positions

If Veterinary Assistant isn’t the role you’re looking to write a job description for, some sample job descriptions for related roles include:

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Veterinary Assistant job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Veterinary Assistant and a Veterinary Technician?

Both Veterinary Assistants and Veterinary Technicians support Veterinarians in taking care of animals. However, Veterinary Technicians need more qualifications, such as an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, but a Veterinary Assistant may only have a high school diploma or certificate from a special training program. Veterinary Technicians often perform more advanced clinical duties, such as taking X-rays, preparing animals for surgery, drawing blood, and administering anesthesia, whereas Veterinary Assistants may perform basic tasks like bathing, exercising, and feeding animals.

What should you look for in a Veterinary Assistant resume?

Communication is vital for the role of Veterinary Assistant, so it’s important to make sure candidates highlight their communication skills. Previous experience in caring for animals is also important to look for, whether that experience was in the role of Veterinary Assistant or in a volunteer role at a shelter. Look for candidates who describe their love of animals and the pets they keep at home because this is a good sign of genuine passion for the job.

What makes a good Veterinary Assistant?

Good Veterinary Assistants need to bring a combination of compassion for animals and an ability to control their emotions while seeing animals in pain or discomfort. Compassion ensures Veterinary Assistants truly want to provide the best care for animals. Controlling emotions is important because an inevitable part of the job is to see some animals in pain. The most successful Veterinary Assistants control their reactions to these emotions and take the right actions to ensure animals get the best treatment under their care.

Another crucial quality of successful Veterinary Assistants is that they love working with people. Providing veterinary care is always a team effort, and it involves coordinated communication with Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and administrative staff. Furthermore, Veterinary Assistants need to deal with the public, specifically pet owners, regularly. Communicating with pet owners requires honesty, empathy, and the ability to reassure or console distraught pet owners when their pet is ill or dying.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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