How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Tennessee

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Many people love animals but don’t know they can also work with them daily.

If you feel this is your calling, you can get a job as a vet assistant.

Read the following article to learn more about the vet assistant requirements in Tennessee.

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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 Tennessee

In Tennessee, if you are a vet assistant with certification, you can work in any animal facility.

Some of these are:

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

You will have many and varied daily tasks that will not let you get bored.

Some of the daily assignments include:

  • 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

If you would rather get more real experience first, a good idea is to check out an externship option.

You can also visit the next resources for extra info:

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

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in Tennessee

In Tennessee, by law, you will only need a high school diploma or a GED to get a vet assistant job.

Despite this, it is suggested to get a certification, as most employers ask for one.

To get it, all you need to do is attend a training program for vet assistants.

You can get the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification if you apply after your program ends.

The vet assistant certification in this state is provided by the NAVTA.

Keep in mind that the program should also be approved by this organization.

Some vet assistants choose a specialization like:

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

In this state, there are several programs you can join online but also in person.

Online programs are a good idea for students who don’t have time to attend physical classes.

The training programs for vet assistants include theory courses and lab practice hours.

The theory part will feature topics like:

  • 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 assistants in Tennessee are listed in the table below.

Top 3 Schools in Tennessee

School NameAddress
Lincoln Memorial University6965 Cumberland Gap ParkwayHarrogate, TN 37752
Southwest Tennessee Community College5983 Macon CoveMemphis, TN 38134
Volunteer State Community College1480 Nashville PikeGallatin, TN 37066-3188

If you are already hired by a vet facility for 20 hours a week, you can easily become an experiential learner.

Generally, the training programs can last anything from a few months and up to 2 years.

The two-year programs provide a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

Tennessee requires candidates to take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) exam.

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

You will have to make an online appointment for the exam and pay a fee.

The subjects will cover:

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

The vet assistant certification in Tennessee lasts for around 2 years and requires renewal after.

To do that, you have to attend some additional classes and pay a renewal fee.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Tennessee

As per The Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet assistants in this state earn around

Salaries are higher for vet assistants with years of experience or who live in regions like Memphis, Nashville, and Germantown.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Tennessee

City NameSalary
Johnson City$27,754
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Tennessee

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA280$30,060$14.45$35,380$22,970
Clarksville, TN-KY110$29,290$14.08$35,300$23,040
Cleveland, TN60$28,820$13.86$35,310$22,840
Johnson City, TN90$29,270$14.07$34,990$23,130
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA140$28,590$13.75$35,350$22,880
Knoxville, TN560$29,940$14.39$35,930$22,040
Memphis, TN-MS-AR560$32,570$15.66$40,650$23,900
Morristown, TN60$29,040$13.96$35,040$22,760
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN1,060$33,130$15.93$43,480$24,530
* 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 Tennessee

As the industry grows, more and more jobs open.

The most important part of starting a vet assistant career is to attend a training program.

This will help you find a job as soon as you get certified.

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