If you live in Arkansas, you love animals and are in need of a job, you could consider becoming a veterinary assistant!
Here you’ll learn what are the steps to follow as well as the salary you could earn as a vet assistant so read on!
- Requirements for a Veterinary Assistant in Arkansas
- Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties
- Earning the National Certification for Veterinary Assistants
- Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Arkansas
- Additional Information for Veterinary Assistants in Arkansas
Requirements for a Veterinary Assistant in Arkansas
In Arkansas, there aren’t specific requirements related to this occupation.
If you have the following skills you’re a good candidate for the position:
- Good communication
- Able to multitask
- Stress resistant
- Time management
- Anger management
- Team player
Veterinary assistants work not only with animals but also with people.
Candidates for this position should also be fit as they’ll need to handle heavy animals in various ways.
When it comes to education, in Arkansas you usually need just a high school diploma or a GED equivalent for employment as a vet’s assistant.
Depending on where you apply for a job, you might have better chances of getting chosen if you obtain a certification in the field.
In Arkansas, individuals need to be at least 18 years old to get hired.
Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties
Vet assistants have many avenues where they can apply for a job.
These places include:
- Pet clinics,
- Animal rescue facilities,
- Animal shelters
- Educational institutions
Since their job is to help, they need to complete the tasks assigned to them by the veterinarian they assist.
Tasks and duties will vary between facilities and even based on the time of the year.
Most commonly, the vet assistant has to complete these tasks:
- 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, a certification will improve your chances of getting hired.
In Arkansas, most individuals choose to become Approved Veterinary Assistants.
This certification is obtained only after completing a training program and then passing an exam.
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America issues this certification.
To become an AVA, you’ll usually have to complete a training program that lasts up to 1 year.
Not everyone can afford to attend the NAVTA course.
They can still take the exam after they complete one of the following:
- An internship – employment with a veterinarian is a must for this option
- Obtain experiential learning – you must be working part-time in a vet office
- Get certified while employed – you need permission to take the exam if you are already employed
Exam candidates usually have to show proof of completing their training or one of the options and to pay the associated exam fee of $100.
While the AVA certification is the most popular, you can choose other certifications in this field or even a degree.
All credentials are issued after completing a training course.
These are available through:
- High schools
- Training centers
- Community colleges
- Online programs
One of the shortest programs is only 72 credit hours long.
The youngest age at which you can enroll in a program is 16.
Students of these programs are expected to learn:
- How to identify different breeds
- Animal anatomy
- The best ways to administer meds
- How to administer post-operative care
- Handling various breeds of animals
- Medical terminology
- Handling chemicals
If you want to obtain a degree, you need to attend college for at least 2 years.
The following schools can be a starting point.
Top 7 Schools in Arkansas
|ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL||1 Children’s Way, Little Rock, AR 72202|
|ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY||1600 South College StreetMountain Home, AR|
|BAPTIST HEALTH||9601 Baptist Health Drive, Little Rock, AR, 72205|
|BLACK RIVER TECHNICAL COLLEGE||1410 Hwy 304 EastPocahontas, AR|
|REMINGTON COLLEGE-LITTLE ROCK CAMPUS||19 Remington Dr.Little Rock, AR|
|SOUTH ARKANSAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE||300 S West AveEl Dorado, AR|
|UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS FOR MEDICAL SCIENCES||4301 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205|
Admission into these programs can be more strict compared to training centers.
The NAVTA certification is not always ensured through these colleges.
Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Arkansas
In Arkansas, the demand for veterinary assistants is on the rise, as in most other states.
Individuals who are certified AVAs or hold a degree have higher chances of getting hired, as these are the requirements at the employers’ level.
All the credentials in this industry also help you get a higher salary.
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Arkansas
City Name Salary Little Rock $29,451 Fort Smith $27,799 North Little Rock $29,451 Fayetteville $28,961 Jonesboro $29,269 Pine Bluff $28,483 Springdale $28,961 Conway $29,165 Rogers $28,789 Hot Springs $29,165
Regional Salary in Arkansas
Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 390 $35,580 $17.11 $37,630 $27,450 Fort Smith, AR-OK 110 $41,040 $19.73 $42,530 $24,120 Hot Springs, AR 60 $31,550 $15.17 $35,020 $24,030 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 320 $36,280 $17.44 $36,490 $26,980
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Additional Information for Veterinary Assistants in Arkansas
One thing to remember about the certificate issued by NAVTA is that you need to renew it.
The renewal period is 2 years, during which you must continue your education with relevant classes.
There is also a fee associated with the renewal process.