How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Texas

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There are many veterinary practices across Texas where vet assistants are needed.

If you love animals and interacting with people, perhaps this job is for you!

Read on to find out more as you could be on your way to a new career!

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Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Texas

The job duties of a vet assistant are not known to everyone.

They depend on the workplace.

Speaking of this, as a veterinary assistant, you could work for:

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

Some of the best employers for vet assistants in Texas are:

  • Veterinary Centers of America
    • Their centers are found in Bedford, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Austin.
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics
    • These centers can be found in Fort Worth, Arlington, and Plano.

The list below shows some of the most common responsibilities of a vet assistant:

  • 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 Texas

In Texas, future veterinary assistants don’t need to earn any license to get hired.

Many of the practices mentioned above usually ask for the following when seeking personnel:

  • To be at least 18 years old
  • To have a high school diploma or GED
  • To have good communication and organizational skills
  • To be detail-oriented
  • To have some related certification
  • To possibly have some previous experience in working or handling animals

Not having any work experience is normal for many people, even in the veterinary field.

You can start out as a volunteer to gain the necessary experience.

If you aren’t accepted as a volunteer, you can enroll in a training program.

One of the best programs to sign up for is one approved by NAVTA.

Once you graduate from this course you can earn the AVA certification that can facilitate you getting hired.

Sometimes these programs are hard to find in a convenient location.

NAVTA offers some programs online as well.

Additionally, you also have the following options:

  • Enroll in an externship
    • This option is perfect for those with no veterinary experience.
  • Experiential Learner
    • Requires you to work 20 hours per week in a facility for animals.
  • Veterinary Assistant Program
    • You need to already work at least part-time in the field.

To earn this certification you have to:

  • An application
  • The documents proving their eligibility
  • The fee for the application and certificate – $350
  • Passing an exam

Earning Other Credentials

While the AVA certification is accepted everywhere across the nation, a degree can make you an even better candidate.

Most veterinary assistants choose to earn an Associate’s degree, though Bachelor’s degrees are also available for them.

Check out these schools below for more.

Top 7 Schools in Texas

School NameAddress
Dallas Community College District3030 N. Dallas Ave. Lancaster, TX 75134
El Paso Campus6926 Gateway Boulevard E. El Paso, TX 79915
Houston Community College3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002
McLennan Community College1400 College Dr, Waco, Texas 76708
Palo Alto College1400 W. Villaret Blvd San Antonio, Texas 78224
Pima Medical Institute-Houston10201 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77024
Weatherford College225 College Park Drive, Weatherford, Texas 76086-5699

Among others, once enrolled you’ll learn more 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 specializations you can choose from:

  • 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 Texas

Everyone wants to earn more from the start of their career.

You can achieve this by seeking employment in a larger city, earning more certifications, or a degree.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Texas

City NameSalary
San Antonio$31,009
El Paso$27,892
Fort Worth$31,073
Corpus Christi$29,931
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Texas

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Abilene, TX50$28,540$13.72$36,970$21,170
Amarillo, TX50$28,460$13.69$37,040$20,170
Austin-Round Rock, TX870$33,020$15.88$42,800$22,810
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX40$26,950$12.96$34,540$17,850
Corpus Christi, TX90$29,440$14.15$39,520$21,940
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX2,280$33,040$15.89$45,570$22,230
El Paso, TX130$27,090$13.03$35,000$20,110
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX1,920$31,980$15.37$44,910$21,960
Midland, TX30$32,110$15.44$45,790$21,440
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX910$31,990$15.38$45,600$22,190
Tyler, TX70$27,730$13.33$39,030$21,390
Waco, TX50$29,920$14.39$45,230$21,250
* 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 Texas

If you got the AVA certificate, don’t forget you have to renew it every 2 years.

For this, you will have to pay the renewal fee of $250.

Here are some organizations that can help you stay updated on the regulations and news related to this occupation:

  • VetMedTeam
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • Texas SPCA
  • Texas State Veterinary Medical Association
  • Texas Animal Health Commission
  • Texas Veterinary Hospital Managers Association
  • Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation
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