Veterinary assistants play such a crucial role in any veterinary establishment that they are often called the silent champions of the animal healthcare world. Without them, it would be virtually impossible for veterinarians and veterinary technicians to carry out their duties without getting bogged down by other inconveniences.
The role of a veterinary assistant is diverse, covering both administrative and clinical areas. For this reason, there are usually a few essential training steps all aspiring veterinary assistants in Georgia must consider.
We look at all of these steps below, along with some notable training programs and certification alternatives.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Georgia
Aspiring veterinary assistants in Georgia may consider the requirements below to get their careers started as conveniently as possible.
The basic requirements for becoming a veterinary assistant in Georgia are simple – have a high school diploma or provide a GED equivalent in its place. Usually, this requirement is not set by the state but by training institutions and potential employers.
Technically, meeting the essential requirements above should be enough to start working as a veterinary assistant in Georgia. Practically, however, it is advisable to go through an additional step to give yourself the best chance of securing Employment and a higher salary.
This step is none other than attending an accredited training program. Thankfully, there are a handful of notable vet assistant training programs in Georgia that are not only accredited but will give you a great chance of securing employment and furthering your career.
However, those who want to start their careers as quickly as possible can do so by simply obtaining training on the job. Firstly, they must find an employer willing to train them without academic qualifications.
Finding such a position may involve starting with a lower salary to get the opportunity to learn under the supervision of licensed veterinary technicians and doctors of veterinary medicine.
Lastly, after meeting the essential requirements and obtaining training at their preferred destination, it is also possible for a veterinary assistant in Georgia to acquire professional certification. Even though this is not mandatory, doing so may help aspiring vet assistants prove their competency and separate themselves from the competition.
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Georgia
Below are some of Georgia’s most prominent training programs for aspiring veterinary assistants.
Athens Technical College
Athens Technical College is one of the most prominent destinations for top-class veterinary assistant training in Georgia, particularly for residents of the Athens-Clarke County area. The school boasts lovely instructors, modern facilities, and rigorous hands-on training.
Institutionally, Athens Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
Central Georgia Technical College
Central Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins offers another variable destination for high-quality veterinary assistant training. The school gives students the opportunity to earn a certificate and extensive training in critical veterinary assistant topics such as animal restraint and surgical procedure assistance.
Ogeechee Technical College
Lastly, aspiring veterinary assistants in Georgia may also consider the certificate program at the Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro. Among the topics of focus here are procedural techniques, equipment and chemical handling, breed identification, and medical terminologies.
State Licensure & Certification Requirements
Firstly, there are no state-enforced licensure requirements for veterinary assistants in Georgia. The state does not ask for any specific certification either. Those who choose to pursue a professional credential only do so because of the advantages it gives them.
For freshly graduated vet assistants in Georgia, the most prominent professional certification to pursue is the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) credential offered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
Attending an NAVTA-approved program should give you a straightforward route to qualifying for the AVA examination and earning your credential.
Salary and Career Outlook
Aspiring veterinary assistants in Georgia should look forward to an annual average salary of $35,640 if they fall in the midpoint of earners in the state. If they fall in the top 10% of vet assistant salary earners, they may take home as much as $46,350.
Their annual average salary will be closer to $27,405 if they fall in the bottom 10%.
Factors determining which salary point a veterinary assistant will fall in Georgia include experience, location, and credentials.
Roswell is the highest paying city to be a veterinary assistant in Georgia, thanks to the city’s annual average salary of $41,348. Lawrenceville, Atlanta, Marietta, and Alpharetta are the second, third, fourth, and fifth highest-paying cities, with average yearly salaries of $40,079, $39,408, $37,311, and $36,548, respectively.