Veterinary assistants in Arizona earn an annual average salary that can compete with most states. The occupation also offers young people in the state the opportunity to gain real-world experience and understand how it feels to work in a veterinary medical establishment.
By doing so, they can decide for themselves whether or not to continue in the field. Those who enjoy the occupation may pursue advanced degrees, ultimately leading to a career as a veterinary technician or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
No matter how far you are willing to go, the journey starts by fulfilling the Arizona requirements for veterinary assistants. We take a look at precisely what this entails below.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Arizona
The following are the steps all aspiring veterinary assistants in Arizona must take to get their careers started.
Graduate from High School
A high school diploma is often essential to start a career as a veterinary assistant in most states. Arizona is no different.
It is also helpful to have a strong biology and animal sciences foundation before enrolling in an actual vet assistant training program.
Graduate from a training program
All aspiring veterinary assistants in Arizona are advised to attend a training program. Even though the state does not mandate it, this single step determines whether you can secure a high-paying job at a prominent veterinary establishment.
Those who attend training programs approved by NAVTA will also enjoy a direct path towards obtaining certification once they graduate.
Obtain and Maintain Certification
Certification makes it easier for veterinary assistant in Arizona to secure employment and advance their careers. This is because a professional certification is a nationally recognized proof of competency that most employers seek.
It also offers the opportunity to network and meet with other credentialed professionals in the veterinary world. Of course, most credentials also require maintaining active continuing education for renewal. Again, this helps you improve your skills and grow on the job.
Later in the article, we’ll look at a few notable certification alternatives for vet assistants in Arizona.
Once you fulfill the above steps, including any optional ones, you can start looking for employment by applying for job positions in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and even research facilities around you.
You may prepare for your job interviews by researching the clinic or vet practices in advance.
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Arizona
Here are a few notable veterinary assistant schools in Arizona for aspiring vet assistants in the state to consider.
One of Arizona’s best destinations to receive veterinary assistant training is Carrington College in Mesa. The program offers students the chance to earn a certificate while acquiring critical veterinary nursing skills such as animal restraint, nursing, surgical procedures, and more.
Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute in Mesa offers a certificate program for aspiring veterinary assistants in Arizona. Tuition is quite affordable, and the program boasts top-quality instructors and a great deal of hands-on training.
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools accredits the school.
Carrington College and Pima Medical Institute have several campuses all over the state to make training comfortable for students in different regions. Those looking for other options may consider Carrington College in Phoenix and Tucson or Pima Medical Institute in Tucson, Phoenix, and East Valley.
State Licensure & Certification Requirements
An aspiring veterinary assistant in Arizona may consider the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) credential offered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and the certification provided by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association (AZVMA).
Neither of these certifications is compulsory. They are only advisable because of the benefits they offer.
To obtain the AVA credential, candidates in Arizona must have graduated from a NAVTA-approved training program. Those not attending such a program can still become certified through years of practical experience in veterinary clinics.
Veterinary assistants in Arizona do not have to worry about licensing, either.
Salary and Career Outlook
The annual average salary for veterinary assistants in Arizona is $38,331 – a figure that is the same as the national average. Veterinary assistants in the state can earn as high as $46,728 or as low as $31,443, depending on where they fall concerning factors such as experience, location, establishment type, etc.
For the best locations in the city, veterinary assistants may consider working in Scottsdale, whose average annual salary of $ 42,068 is the highest for veterinary assistants in Arizona. Other high-paying cities include Gilbert, with an average yearly salary of $40,840; Phoenix, with an average annual wage of $38,534; and Cave Creek, with an average yearly salary of $38,463.