How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Wisconsin

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Working with animals or caring for them is not an easy job but you may not feel this way if you love being surrounded by animals.

Being a veterinary assistant in Wisconsin means you can help all sorts of animals to be in top shape.

If this sounds like something you’d like to do, read this article to find out more!

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Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Wisconsin

You may want to know what type of facilities employ vet assistants.

This is a very short list:

  • Animal clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Wildlife parks
  • Veterinary emergency centers

Of course, things would be even better if you had a few business names to look into as well.

Say no more, as these are only a few of them:

  • VETCO Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics
    • VETCOs can be found inside PETCOs, in these cities: Oshkosh, Plover, Green Bay, Janesville, and Germantown.
  • Veterinary Centers of America
    • They opened facilities in Onalaska, Waukesha, West Allis, and Wausau.

Now that you know where can you find work, you should also know what you’re expected to do daily.

Below is a list of the most common duties of a veterinary 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 Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, individuals who want to be hired as veterinary assistants don’t have to meet any set requirements.

Employes will, however, take a look at and into consideration, the following:

  • 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

Experience in a field is often hard to gain.

Luckily, those who want to become vet assistants have the option to start as volunteers.

For some people, volunteering is not an option, for whatever reason.

Joining a training program though is an alternative.

One of the best courses to enroll in is the one approved by NAVTA.

This organization issues the Approved Veterinary Assistant certification that has national recognition.

The majority of employers seek to hire AVAs over those with no credentials.

Unfortunately, there are no such programs available in Wisconsin, not for in-person classes.

Luckily, there are a few other options you can explore:

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

Once you complete one of the above steps, for the AVA certification you also need:

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

Earning Other Credentials

Earning a degree in Veterinary Technology is a really good alternative to the AVA certificate.

Both the Associate’s and Bachelor’s levels are available to future veterinary assistants.

With such a degree in hand, you can later explore other career paths.

These next schools can offer more details about this option.

Top 3 Schools in Wisconsin

School NameAddress
Gateway Technical College3520 – 30th Avenue Kenosha, WI 53144
Milwaukee Career College3077 N Mayfair Rd Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Moraine Park Technical College235 North National Avenue Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, 54936

The topics include:

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

It can be even more beneficial for your career if you chose a specialization.

These are just some examples:

  • 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 Wisconsin

While accumulating more experience can help you earn more, there are other aspects that can get you a higher salary as well.

They include working in a larger city or earning a certification or degree.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in Wisconsin

City NameSalary
Green Bay$30,591
Eau Claire$29,732
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Wisconsin

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Appleton, WI90$33,280$16$36,980$22,660
Eau Claire, WI60$31,330$15.06$36,450$22,810
Green Bay, WI110$30,610$14.72$37,140$23,210
Janesville-Beloit, WI50$31,130$14.97$36,390$23,660
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN30$32,230$15.49$36,000$23,830
Madison, WI350$33,160$15.94$38,010$23,180
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI630$33,220$15.97$38,280$24,030
Racine, WI40$32,670$15.71$38,520$26,920
Sheboygan, WI40$29,100$13.99$36,740$21,960
Wausau, WI60$31,870$15.32$36,260$23,440
* 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 Wisconsin

The AVA certification has to be renewed after every two years and one of the requirements for this is paying the $250 fee.

The rules in this industry can change at any time and the resources here can help you stay informed at all times:

  • VetMedTeam
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
  • Wisconsin Veterinary Technicians Association
  • Wisconsin Humane Society
  • Wisconsin Veterinary Assistant Jobs
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