How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Virginia

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If you want to start a new career in Virginia, being a vet assistant will suit you if you like to work with animals.

The first step you need to take is to find out the training and licensing requirements in this state.

So, read on for more info!

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Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Virginia

There are many vet facilities where you can work once you have the proper training.

Some of these are:

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

There will also be several tasks to finish daily, and some of these are:

  • 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 pursue an externship if you want to learn more about handling animals.

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in Virginia

In Virginia, you are not required to be certified as a vet assistant.

But, most employers prefer to hire vet assistants who have a license.

You can easily attend a suitable training program for vet assistants in your region in order to get certified.

After you are done training, you can apply for the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification.

The vet assistant certification Virginia is provided by the NAVTA, as it needs to be approved by this organization.

If you want to get more credentials for a better job, you can get a specialization like:

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

In Virginia, there are many vet assistant programs you can attend either online or in person.

Online programs are a good choice for those who have a job or cannot go to campus for any reason.

The training programs for vet assistants include both theory classes and hands-on practice.

The theory part covers the next subjects:

  • 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

Currently, the training programs for vet assistants in Virginia are offered by the schools listed below.

Top 5 Schools in Virginia

School NameAddress
Blue Ridge Community College1 College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia 24486-0080
Massanutten Technical Center325 Pleasant Valley Road Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Northern Virginia Community College6699 Springfield Center Drive Springfield, VA 22150
Patrick Henry Community College645 Patriot Avenue, Martinsville, Virginia 24112
Tidewater Community College121 College Place Norfolk, VA 23510

If you are hired by a vet place for 20 hours weekly, you first become an experiential learner.

Generally, the training programs for vet assistants in Virginia last between 6 months and 3 years.

If you enroll in a college program, you can be issued a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology when you complete it.

In Virginia, you will have to take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) exam to get certified.

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

To join the exam, you have to submit a certain fee and schedule your exam online.

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

Remember that after 2 years, your certification will expire.

This means that you will need to renew it, which means you have to submit a fee.

Furthermore, you also have to take some additional class hours in order to update your knowledge.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Virginia

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that vet assistants in Virginia earn an annual salary of $31,013.

Of course, if you manage to work for a big employer or you live in a big city, your salary will be higher.

Salaries also get higher for vet assistants with some experience in the field.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Virginia

City NameSalary
Virginia Beach$30,486
Newport News$29,874
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Virginia

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA90$30,580$14.7$36,360$22,880
Charlottesville, VA220$35,240$16.94$46,180$28,090
Harrisonburg, VA60$31,200$15$38,140$23,540
Richmond, VA630$31,860$15.32$38,570$24,210
Roanoke, VA210$28,290$13.6$34,070$22,880
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA90$29,480$14.17$36,810$23,220
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC720$30,550$14.69$37,270$23,440
Winchester, VA-WV30$31,880$15.33$44,480$22,980
* 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 Virginia

Some sources that you might find useful include:

  • Virginia 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
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