Vet Assistant in Texas

How to Become an Vet Assistant in Texas

Become a veterinary assistant because you love helping animals!  You can support support veterinarians during examinations, treatments, and surgeries.  And you can pursue other options such as a career in veterinary medicine or related fields.

But first, you need to prepare for certification by completing a formal training program offered by a recognized institution.

Education & Training

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    Pima Medical Institute
    9 month Veterinary Assistant Certificate program in hybrid format (online and classroom). Study clinical and admin skills, animal nursing, surgical procedures, lab testing, diagnostic imaging etc.

    • El Paso, Houston, San Antonio


    Vista College

    • El Paso, Killeen, Beaumont, College Station, Longview, Lubbock


What Are the Benefits of a Training Program?

vet student studying microscope
These programs often cover topics such as animal anatomy, medical terminology, basic veterinary procedures, and administrative tasks.

Online coursework is also a coveted option amongst aspiring vet assistants due to the flexibility and affordability it offers.

Additionally, gaining hands-on experience through internships or externships may be part of the curriculum.

Once the training is completed, candidates should be ready to sit for a certification exam, such as the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) examination, which is recognized by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.

How Long Does it Take?

Many vet assistant training programs offered by community colleges or vocational schools can be completed in as little as 6 to 12 months. These programs typically include a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on practical training.

You might be able to enter the field directly through on-the-job training, which could involve a shorter time commitment, but eventually you will need to get certified.

How Much Does it Cost?

Certificate or diploma programs at community colleges or vocational schools may range from around $500 to $5,000 for the entire duration of the course.

Online courses or self-paced study options might offer more budget-friendly alternatives. For example the programs advertised above cost $2,500.

Salary & Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a veterinary assistant is $34,740 per year, or $16.70 per hour. In Texas, average salaries for vet assistants fall around $34,983 per year, or $14.98 per hour, according to Indeed.com.

Projected salaries for vet assistants in the largest 5 cities in Texas are as follows:

Location Annual Low Annual Median Annual High Hourly Low Hourly Median Hourly High
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metro Area $21,960 $30,290 $44,910 $10.56 $14.56 $21.59
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metro Area $22,190 $31,150 $45,600 $10.67 $14.98 $21.93
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area $22,230 $30,670 $45,570 $10.69 $14.74 $21.91
Austin-Round Rock, TX Metro Area $22,810 $34,540 $42,800 $10.96 $16.60 $20.58
El Paso, TX Metro Area $20,110 $26,450 $35,000 $9.67 $12.72

source: careeronestop.org

The career is expected to grow at a rate of 20% over 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than projected growth for most professions (an average of 3%). 26,800 positions per year are expected to open over the next decade.

Career Overview

 State & National Certifications Requirements

texas board of veterinary medical examiners

Traditionally, individuals interested in pursuing a career as a veterinary technician in Texas are typically required to graduate from an accredited veterinary technology program.

Accredited programs are approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

After completing the program, candidates must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

Additionally, Texas may have its state-specific licensing requirements, such as submitting an application, paying fees, and possibly passing a state exam. It is crucial to check with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for the most up-to-date and accurate information on licensing and certification requirements for veterinary technicians in the state.

What Does an Vet Assistant Do?


Vet assistants play a crucial role in supporting veterinarians in their daily tasks within a veterinary clinic or hospital.

They contribute to the overall efficiency of the clinic by managing administrative tasks, interacting with clients, and maintaining a clean and organized work environment. Their dedication to animal care and their ability to work closely with both veterinary staff and pet owners make them valuable members of the veterinary team.

Job Duties

Examples of duties include

  • assisting with animal examinations
  • handling and restraining animals during procedures
  • taking vital signs
  • administering medications
  • interacting with clients
  • ensuring a clean and organized workspace

Where Can They Work?

Once trained, vet assistants often start their careers by working in veterinary clinics, hospitals, or animal shelters, where they assist veterinarians with various tasks, including animal care, administrative duties, and basic medical procedures.

TX animal hospital

An animal hospital in central TX.

Career Advancement

With experience, some vet assistants may choose to pursue additional certifications, such as the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) designation, to enhance their professional qualifications. Advancement within the field may involve taking on more responsibilities, such as specialized roles in veterinary surgery, dentistry, or laboratory work.

American Veterinary Medical Association

Some individuals may also use their experience as a stepping stone to further education, such as becoming a licensed veterinary technician or pursuing a veterinary degree.

The career path of a veterinary assistant typically begins with obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent. Many aspiring vet assistants then pursue formal training programs or on-the-job training to gain essential knowledge and skills.

Summary

  1. Becoming a vet assistant typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Aspiring vet assistants opt to pursue post-secondary programs or certifications in veterinary assisting.  These programs, often offered by community colleges or vocational schools, provide specialized training in animal care, medical terminology, and clinic procedures.
  3. Gain practical experience through on-the-job training or internships, allowing them to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the role of a vet assistant.
Search Veterinary Assistant Programs

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

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