Vet Practice Manager

Learn the business skills to run a veterinary office. Combine your love for animals with business knowledge to help lead the way in any organization.

Education & Training

Check out the online training options offered by local schools below.

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Most good programs, such as the ones above provide certification to help you acquire a new job or advance in a current one.

Your course will prepare you for the following:

  • QuickBooks Certified User (QBCU) Exam
  • Microsoft MO-201 or MO-211 (Excel)
  • Microsoft MO-101 or MO-111 (Word)
quickbooks logo

What Do You Study?

A curriculum might look something like this:

Veterinary Office Management Skills:

  • Handling medical records and client communication
  • Office etiquette and professional communication skills
  • Efficient use of Microsoft Office Word and Excel
  • Analysis of accounts, financial documents, and reports
  • Essential bookkeeping duties and tasks
  • Basic accounting principles and QuickBooks proficiency

Veterinary Assistant Duties:

  • Anatomy and physiology of major organ systems
  • Restraint techniques, taking vital signs, and bathing animals
  • Nutrition, vaccinations, and administering medication
  • Assisting during surgery and dental procedures
  • Preparation of prescriptions, blood samples, and radiographs
  • Veterinary receptionist duties and responsibilities
  • Veterinary inventory management
  • Pharmacy procedures and hospital safety
  • Small-animal nursing procedures and patient history
  • Diagnostic imaging and laboratory procedures
  • Small-animal vaccines and infectious diseases
  • Physical exam and patient history
  • Hospitalized patient care and emergency assistance
  • Veterinary dental assisting and assisting with exotic and large-animal species
  • The human-animal bond and euthanasia
  • Personal and professional development

Microsoft Word Proficiency:

  • Introduction to Microsoft Word
  • Creating and formatting documents
  • Working with tables, images, and illustrations
  • Reviewing and collaborating on documents
  • Managing mailings and protecting documents
  • Using macros and advanced document features

Microsoft Excel Proficiency:

  • Introduction to Microsoft Excel
  • Creating and editing workbooks
  • Using formulas and common functions
  • Visualizing data and working with tables
  • Using pivot tables and advanced functions
  • Auditing worksheets and recording macros

Professional Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online:

  • Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting basics
  • Getting started with QuickBooks Online
  • Managing bank accounts, expenses, and bills
  • Sales receipts, invoices, and customer credits
  • Managing inventory and payroll
  • Adjusting and reviewing the books
  • Starting a bookkeeping business

Career Preparation:

  • Beginning a career as a vet assistant
  • Job search and future opportunities
  • Communication and organization skills

How Long Does It Take?

Up to 18 months would be required, but online courses allow you to study at a pace that works for you. So you might be able to complete it sooner.

How Much Does It Cost?

The average cost is about $4K.

Salary Range

According to ZipRecruiter salary data, the range for this role is between $60K (Florida) to $100K (Washington).

We looked at some applicable job descriptions in Florida on to help understand what you might earn.

  • Veterinary Hospital Manager in Gulf Breeze, FL: $60,000 – $75,000
  • Veterinary Practice Manager at clinic in Jacksonville: $50,000
  • Veterinary Team Lead in an animal hospital in Miami: $25/hour

With experience, vet practice managers could possibly earn up to $150K at larger organizations or hospitals.

Additional Certifications

VHMA logo

Once you have gained enough experience, you maybe qualified to take the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager exam from the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association.

The examination consists of true-false and multiple-choice questions, including traditional and scenario-based formats, covering Human Resources, Law and Ethics, Marketing, Practice Organization, and Finance, with a maximum of 200 points and a completion time of three and a half hours, and includes an appeals process for contesting results.

The requirements for the certification include 3 years working as a manager, 48 hours of continuing education (which the course above would be eligible for) and recommendations from former employers.

Career Overview

Job Eligibility

This role can lead to many kinds of jobs in different settings. Here are some job titles that could be within reach:

  • kennel manager
  • office manager at large store chains
  • veterinary team lead
  • veterinary hospital manager

Typical Vet Office Manager Job Description

Daily Operations:

  • Oversee daily operations to ensure high standards of care and service.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for efficiency and client satisfaction.
  • Maintain inventory and manage ordering of supplies and medications.
  • Ensure compliance with veterinary regulations and standards.
  • Coordinate marketing and community outreach efforts.
  • Resolve client concerns and ensure a positive experience for pets and owners.

Leadership and Planning:

  • Act as a champion for change, sharing and promoting best practices.
  • Participate in planning and budget maintenance.
  • Establish goals for the practice and staff.
  • Create the hospital schedule and manage labor costs to budget.

Operations Management:

  • Oversee employee benefits program and hospital insurance plans.
  • Develop and implement hospital policies, including DEA/Controlled Substances and OSHA compliance.
  • Perform quality checks and reviews of client files.
  • Monitor computer systems and resolve technical issues.

People Management:

  • Partner with the Managing Veterinarian to address staffing needs, including hiring, training, and disciplining staff.
  • Implement performance-based incentives and recognition programs.
  • Manage staff, including grooming and boarding staff.
  • Track and maintain current licensure for all DVMs.
  • Recruit, develop, discipline, and terminate paraprofessional staff, including annual performance reviews.

Client Service:

  • Demonstrate and reinforce the highest level of client service.
  • Resolve client issues and oversee follow-up communication.
  • Drive client visits through strategic communication and local marketing efforts.

Financial Management:

  • Handle financial management, including budgeting, payroll, and financial reporting.
  • Ensure payroll is accurately completed and submitted.
  • Manage accounts receivable, cash on hand, and perform invoice audit reviews.
  • Manage hospital inventory and control facility and administrative costs.
  • Drive revenue for practice growth and manage expenses, including drug and supply costs, labor, and facility costs.
  • Provide input on the annual budget.

Veterinary Policies and Procedures:

  • Establish internal operating procedures for the administration of the practice.
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory agencies and laws, including OSHA, DEA, EEOC, ADA, and the Department of Labor.
  • Develop and maintain procedures to meet regulatory requirements.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Triage in-house human resource issues and collaborate with the Human Resource team.
  • Establish and execute performance evaluations.
  • Perform other duties essential to the performance of the hospital as assigned.

Career Outlook

So long as there a veterinary practices and hospitals, the need for management will always exist. Good leaders are to find, and businesses need them to thrive. With training and experience in this type of management, you will have the ability to move up into larger positions with big companies or organizations. Or, you will gain the experience to make your own practice successful.