How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Oregon

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If you want to work in a field where you can interact both with people and animals, then becoming a veterinary assistant could be your dream job!

Read this guide to find out more about what the process entails in Oregon!

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Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Oregon

It’s normal to want to know where can you find such a position and what your duties might be.

Below you can find the main types of facilities hiring vet assistants:

  • Animal clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Veterinary emergency centers

In Oregon, some of the most reputable employers to work for include:

  • Veterinary Centers of America
    • Their centers in this state are found in Medford, Eugene, Portland, Salem, and West Linn.
  • Banfield Pet Hospital
    • This hospital has only one center in Bend.

As far as duties go, they depend on each animal center because they have different needs.

The same can be said about the requirements for getting hired, that we’ll present later.

As a veterinary assistant, you could be asked to help with:

  • Assisting with surgeries
  • Applying bandages
  • Monitoring anesthesia and vital signs
  • Collecting samples
  • Administering medications
  • Giving subcutaneous fluids
  • Filling prescriptions
  • Communicating with clients
  • Making appointments
  • Inventory control
  • Cleaning vet gear
  • Sanitizing animal cages
  • Operation room cleaning
  • Prepping exam and operating spaces
  • Keeping records updated
  • Pay attention to the dietary needs of pets
  • Make sure the animals get enough exercise

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in Oregon

Oregon didn’t set up any requirements for future vet assistants.

Employers however might expect candidates to meet certain requirements.

These could include:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • Having good communication and organizational skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Holding some related certification

You might be asked for some previous experience in working or handling animals.

Volunteering for the position first is an acceptable way of accumulating the needed experience.

One of the best certifications to earn as a veterinary assistant is the one issued by NAVTA called Approved Veterinary Assistant.

This certificate is recognized nation-wide.

You’ll have to first enroll in a program that NAVTA accredited.

In Oregon, there are no such programs available.

You can still earn this certificate by completing one of the following:

  • Enroll in an online program
  • Enroll in an externship
    • This option is perfect for those with no veterinary experience.
  • Experiential Learner
    • Requires part-time employment in a facility for animals.
  • Veterinary Assistant Program
    • You need to already work at least part-time in the field.

For the certificate you’ll need:

  • To fill out an application
  • The documents proving their eligibility
  • The fee for the application and certificate – $350
  • To pass the exam

Earning Other Credentials

Why stop at the certificate issued by NAVTA when you can earn a degree as a Veterinary Technician instead?

For this, you’ll have to spend at least 2 years in a post-secondary educational program.

Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible for a higher salary and more career options.

Check out the schools below for more details!

Top 4 Schools in Oregon

School NameAddress
Abdill Career College Inc843 E Main Ste 203, Medford, Oregon 97504-7137
Blue Mountain Community College2411 NW Carden Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801
Carrington College2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97232
Linn-Benton Community College6500 Pacific Blvd. SW Albany, Oregon 97321

Future vet assistants will learn about:

  • Animal Life Stages Nutrition and Husbandry
  • Animal Nursing and Diagnostic Imaging
  • Pharmacology and Principles of Anesthesia
  • Aseptic Technique and Surgical Assisting

The veterinary field also has many specialties, just like human medicine has:

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

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Oregon

The more time you spend in an industry, the more you’ll earn.

More certifications also result in a higher salary.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Oregon

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Oregon

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Albany, OR50$37,030$17.8$53,840$31,890
Bend-Redmond, OR150$37,480$18.02$45,950$32,200
Corvallis, OR90$35,970$17.29$38,520$29,240
Eugene, OR190$35,610$17.12$44,730$31,200
Grants Pass, OR40$36,340$17.47$43,520$31,410
Medford, OR90$36,190$17.4$46,560$30,160
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA1,540$38,880$18.69$46,180$34,540
Salem, OR190$36,610$17.6$44,030$30,950
* 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 Oregon

Holders of the AVA certification must remember to renew it every 2 years.

A $250 fee is needed for this.

It’s normal for rules and regulations related to any industry to change.

For this, it’s important to check many well-known organizations to stay updated on these changes.

The ones related to the veterinary field are listed below:

  • VetMedTeam
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • Oregon Veterinary Medical Association
  • Oregon Humane Society
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