How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Arizona

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Many in Arizona would love working with animals.

If you identify as one of them, becoming a veterinary assistant could be an ideal job for you.

Read on if you want to learn more about this occupation, including the education you need for it!

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Requirements for a Veterinary Assistant in Arizona

Most requirements for this job are related to your abilities.

You should have the following skills:

  • Good communication
  • Able to multitask
  • Stress resistant
  • Time management
  • Anger management

These skills are needed because you’ll have to deal not only with sick animals but upset or angry owners as well.

You’ll also need to be physically fit as you need strength to either handle the animals or lift them up or put them back on the ground.

As far as education and training go, as per Arizona’s laws, you’ll only need a high school diploma or GED.

Most employers however will ask for some certification in the field.

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties

Veterinary assistants can find employment in several places, such as:

  • Pet clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Educational institutions

Vet assistants usually complete the tasks given to them by the veterinarian they assist.

These tasks will also be different based on the workplace.

You can expect to have duties such as the following:

  • Managing client records
  • Keeping inventory count
  • Instrument sterilization and sanitation
  • Cage cleaning and disinfecting
  • Preparing rooms for examining animals
  • Preparing rooms for surgery
  • Maintaining updated medical records
  • Handling animal walking and exercise

Earning the National Certification for Veterinary Assistants

As mentioned already, to have better chances of finding a job, you should earn a certification.

The Approved Veterinary Assistant certificate is one of the best ones to obtain in Arizona.

Certification is obtained only after completing a training program.

Depending on the high school you attend, you might have such training offered through your school.

Otherwise, you’ll have to enroll in a community college or some other training center.

Students shouldn’t worry about not being able to attend classes in person as online courses are also available and accepted for this occupation.

During training, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify different breeds of animals
  • The best ways to administer meds
  • How to administer post-operative care
  • Handling various breeds of animals
  • Medical terminology
  • Handling chemicals

It is not uncommon for many veterinary assistants to attend a college for 2 or 4 years and earn a degree in the field.

If you also want a degree, you can have a look at these institutions.

Top 7 Schools in Arizona

School NameAddress
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY1600 South College StreetMountain Home, AR
BANNER BAYWOOD MEDICAL CENTER6644 E. Baywood Ave., Mesa, AZ 85206
BANNER BEHAVIORAL HEALTH HOSPITAL7575 E. Earll Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
BANNER HEART HOSPITAL6750 E. Baywood Ave., Mesa, AZ 85206
BLACK RIVER TECHNICAL COLLEGE1410 Hwy 304 EastPocahontas, AR
REMINGTON COLLEGE19 Remington Dr.Little Rock, AR
SOUTH ARKANSAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE300 S West AveEl Dorado, AR

The Approved Veterinary Assistant certification is issued by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.

The programs for this certification last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.

At the end of the course, you’ll have to pass an exam.

If enrolling in a training program is not possible for you, you can also get certified if you:

  • Complete an internship – you must find employment with a veterinarian
  • Obtain experiential learning – you must be working part-time
  • Get certified while employed – you need permission to take the exam if you are already employed

To take the exam you’ll need:

  • Proof you completed your training
  • To pay the fee

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Arizona

There are more and more families in Arizona owning pets.

This leads to an increased demand for personnel qualified to work with animals.

Average salaries are higher in larger cities and around them, though certifications, higher education, as well as experience can also increase your income.

Annual Salary Range:

$25K
$31K
$37K

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Arizona

City NameSalary
Phoenix$31,438
Tucson$29,903
Mesa$31,443
Glendale$31,438
Scottsdale$31,443
Chandler$31,443
Tempe$31,443
Gilbert$31,443
Peoria$31,375
Yuma$32,636
* Salary information last updated 2022

Additional Information for Veterinary Assistants in Arizona

The NAVTA certification must be renewed periodically.

In Arizona, as in other states, the renewal period is 2 years.

Between 2 renewal dates, individuals need to continue their education.

They’ll need to show proof of the completed classes as well as to pay the renewal fee.

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