For aspiring veterinary assistants, pursuing a formal training program to enhance their resume and salary prospects can be advisable. Of course, other approaches are available to anyone looking for a successful career.
There are several other things to consider, such as the certification and licensing requirements, potential salary, and growth possibilities on the job.
You don’t have to worry, however, because below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide detailing everything you need to know about becoming a veterinary assistant in Hawaii.
Among other things, we will look at the typical requirements to join this profession, some educational alternatives for hands-on training, and the top programs in the state.
Steps To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Hawaii
Residents of Hawaii who wish to become veterinary assistants may do so directly by obtaining training on the job – if they can secure employment at a veterinary establishment willing to train vet assistants with no prior experience.
Even though such establishments exist, most often set a basic requirement specifying the need for at least a high school diploma or GED.
Formal Training Program
To become more hirable and earn a potentially bigger salary, veterinary assistants in Hawaii often enroll in training programs even though they aren’t mandated by law to do so.
Hawaii has training programs with high-quality vet assistant programs, although NAVTA doesn’t accredit them. NAVTA accreditation is important when obtaining an AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification, but again it is optional for employment and mandated by law.
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Hawaii
Below are some of Hawaii’s most notable veterinary assistant schools, including NAVTA-approved options.
1. Hawaii Community College
Hawaii Community College remains one of the most popular institutions in Hawaii, boasting an awe-inspiring veterinary assistant training program.
Students who wish to obtain training in a wonderful facility with impressive instructors can consider applying for this program. Topics include animal behavior, restraint and handling, surgical preparation, and radiology.
2. University of Hawaii Maui College
Another vet assistant training program in the state with comprehensive coursework and provision for hands-on training and experience, the University of Hawaii Maui College’s vet assistant program is another veritable option for aspiring vet assistants in the state.
Classes include medical terminology, animal care, surgical preparation, and more.
3. Windward Community College
Windward community college offers one of Hawaii’s most impressive programs for veterinary assistants. Located in Kaneohe, the school’s vet assistant program includes 31 credit hours that can all be completed in two semesters.
Even though the program seems fast-tracked, its duration is consistent with other top-quality vet assistant programs nationwide. It offers a great deal of flexibility in its schedule as a week.
Tuition fees, including books and supplies, total around $4,000.
4. Online Options
Students looking for NAVTA-approved online programs for veterinary assistants may also consider the Penn Foster veterinary assistant program along with the one at the Animal Behavior College.
Hawaii State Licensure/Certification Requirements
Hawaii has no licensure or certification requirements for its veterinary assistants. Most still pursue certification anyway, as it can lead to bigger employment opportunities.
Most veterinary assistant students attend NAVTA-accredited schools because it offers the opportunity to become certified immediately after graduation.
AVA certification is still possible for those who still need to attend an accredited school. This can be done by following the externship or experiential learner route.
Once the above conditions are fulfilled, candidates may sit for the AVA examination online and pass with a score of at least 75%.
The AVA credential will be renewed every two years by completing ten continuing education credits through additional classes, online courses, seminars, and conferences.
Hawaii Veterinary Assistant Salary and Job Outlook
As a veterinary assistant in Hawaii, you will earn an annual average salary of $39,928 throughout your career. Naturally, you will have to start lower at around $32,288, the annual average figure for those in the lower 10%.
As you progress, you will earn more and may get as high as $49,376, the annual average figure for those in the state’s top ten percent of earners.
Based solely on experience, vet assistants in Hawaii with less than a year of experience earn an annual average salary of $37,829, while those with 3 to 5 years earn an average of $41,916 per year.
The average salary for vet assistants in Hawaii with more than ten years of experience is $46,927 per year.