How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New Mexico

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There are many opportunities for people who want to work in the veterinary industry in New Mexico.

However, you will first need to know what the certification requirements are in this state.

So, check out our article for more info!

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

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Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in New Mexico

You can start your job search in an animal facility such as:

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

The main job responsibilities you will need to complete daily are the following:

  • Communicating with clients
  • Making appointments
  • Request records requests from other vets
  • Inventory control
  • Cleaning vet gear
  • Sanitizing animal cages
  • Operation room cleaning
  • Help with filling prescriptions
  • Prepping exam and operating spaces
  • Keeping records updated
  • Pay attention to the dietary needs of pets
  • Make sure the animals get enough exercise

You can choose to volunteer first if you feel you need more experience with animals.

You can also view and choose from the resources below:

  • New Mexico Veterinary Technician Association
  • Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life
  • Vetcetera
  • Where Techs Connect

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in New Mexico

In New Mexico, you can find employment as a vet assistant position if you have a high school diploma or a GED.

However, you may also be required to:

  • Pass the COMPASS test
  • Proof you are a resident of the state
  • A meeting up with a mentor

You will also have to improve your skills by attending a training program for vet techs.

In New Mexico, you can find several vet assistant schools offering training programs ending with diplomas or degrees.

Completing the program gives you the chance to get an AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification.

The AVA certification is offered by the NAVTA.

The program of your choice should be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

You can also pursue one of the specializations offered, including:

  • Dental Technician
  • Anesthetist
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Behavior Technician
  • Zoological Medicine
  • Equine
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Practice
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical Pathology

There are several schools that provide online programs, as well as programs in person.

Some of the topics students study in class are:

  • 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

The training programs for vet techs in New Mexico are made of theory and lab hours.

The schools where you can train in New Mexico are listed in the table below.

Top 3 Schools in New Mexico

School NameAddress
Carrington College1001 Menaul Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87107
Central New Mexico Community College525 Buena Vista Drive SE Albuquerque, NM 87106
Pima Medical Institute4400 Cutler Ave N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87110

Remember you also need to submit:

  • Tuberculosis clearance within a year
  • Tetanus vaccine within 10 years
  • A health insurance
  • A recent criminal background check

Some of the training programs for veterinary assistants in New Mexico last for about 2 years.

The longer training programs end in a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

Before getting your license, you also have to pass an exam that will assess your skills.

The required test is the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination).

This exam is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

It lasts for 3 hours and contains 170 multiple-choice questions.

to attend the exam, you need to make an appointment and send a $300 examination fee.

Along with that, you have to send an application processing fee to receive an Authorization-to-Test letter (ATT).

This ATT in New Mexico is issued by the Professional Examination Service (PES).

The exam features the following subjects:

  • Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
  • Dentistry
  • Pain Management/Analgesia
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Anesthesia
  • Animal Care and Nursing

The AVA certification expires after 2 years, so you will have to renew it.

For this to happen, you will have to pay a fee of $250.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in New Mexico

Veterinary assistants in this state have a salary of $28,517 per year.

Top vet techs and those residing in metropolitan areas are usually able to earn more.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in New Mexico

City NameSalary
Las Cruces$27,106
Santa Fe$30,135
Rio Rancho$29,759
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in New Mexico

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM270$31,510$15.15$40,950$26,610
Las Cruces, NM70$28,260$13.59$34,460$24,810
Santa Fe, NM60$32,030$15.4$39,900$28,540
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, OCC Code 31-9096, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in New Mexico

Make sure to choose a training program that fits your unique needs, as this is the most important aspect of becoming a vet assistant.

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