Veterinary assistants are needed to support the activities of veterinary technicians and veterinarians. Thanks to the growing demand for professionals in this field, a career as a vet assistant is a worthy path to consider for animal lovers in Kentucky looking for a vet-related field with a straightforward entry requirement.
For instance, when it comes to becoming a veterinary assistant in Kentucky, no law mandates attending a formal program. But individuals may choose to do so simply because it makes them more attractive to potential employers and may even qualify them for a higher salary.
The question of certification is another issue worth considering. Below we take a look at some of the most advisable alternatives in all of these areas.
Steps To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Kentucky
Kentucky’s educational requirements for becoming a veterinary assistant are the same as in most states. Aspiring vet assistants are expected to have a high school diploma or GED in terms of base requirements.
Everything they’ll need to practice successfully can be acquired on the job.
One of the appeals of becoming a veterinary assistant is that you can learn while you work. Admittedly, employers tend to drift more toward candidates who have prior training, but that is not to say that it is impossible to secure employment without it.
On-the-job training can be perfect for those who wish to test out the field and all it entails before fully committing to it. It is possible to start training on the job and seek certification by accruing enough work hours per work.
It is also possible to simply go back and enroll in a formal training program and climb your way up from being a vet assistant to being a veterinary technician and even a full-blown veterinarian.
Even though they’re technically not mandated by law, training programs for veterinary assistants offer many advantages. For one, they provide a stronger theoretical foundation for acquiring knowledge in key veterinary practice areas such as radiology, animal behavior, and surgical preparation.
Secondly, attending a training program, particularly one approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA), makes it much easier to become certified.
In this case, you must visit the VetMedTeam website after graduation and pass the AVA exam with a score of at least 75 percent.
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Kentucky
1. Locust Trace Agricultural Center
Locust Trace Agricultural Center in Leestown is known for producing numerous talented experts in agricultural and veterinary fields. The school’s vet assistant training program is one of the best in the area, boasting top instructors, beautiful classes, and comprehensive coursework.
2. Louisville Central High Magnet Career Academy
Based in West Chestnut Street in Louisville, the Louisville Central High Magnet Career Academy has produced many talented veterinary assistants. The school’s veterinary assistant training program combines thorough classroom topics with proper hands-on training at approved veterinary clinics.
3. Hopkinsville Community College
Lastly, students in Kentucky looking to pursue a career in veterinary assistance may consider applying for the training program at Hopkinsville Community College. Students here learn everything they need to secure employment, including key topics in surgical preparation, animal behavior, restraint, and proper handling techniques.
Kentucky State Licensure and Certification Requirements
Some states, like Texas and California, have specific requirements for licensing veterinary assistants. In Kentucky, however, an Approved Veterinary Assistant credential is enough to stand out from your peers and make yourself more attractive to potential employers.
As mentioned earlier, attending a NAVTA-approved program can make this more straightforward. Those who need to meet this criterion can still become certified as Approved Veterinary Assistants. Still, they must do so by acquiring a certain amount of work hours weekly or by going through the externship route.
Once certified, Approved Veterinary Assistants are expected to renew their credentials every year through 10 credits of continuing education.
Kentucky Veterinary Assistant Salary and Job Outlook
A veterinary assistant in Kentucky may look forward to an annual average salary of $32,356. This, of course, can be lower or higher depending on several factors.
Those on the higher end of the spectrum may earn as high as $42,774, while those still starting may make an annual average salary of $24,476.
Location is a significant factor in determining the average salaries of vet assistants in Kentucky. Vet assistants in Prospect earn an annual salary of $34,863, while those in Taylorsville earn an average of $34,429 annually. Lexington and Florence round up the highest-paying cities in the state with an average salary of $33,682 and $31,965 yearly.