Individuals in Michigan with a passion for pets and a drive to provide comfort and care for animals in need would consider a career as a veterinary assistant. Veterinary assistants in the state work to support veterinarians by carrying out a series of administrative and clinical duties.
Perhaps more than anything, the appeal of being a veterinary assistant comes from learning closely under the guidance of experienced veterinary technicians and veterinarians. Through this experience, individuals decide whether to pursue even more advanced fields in the veterinary world.
If you are an aspiring veterinary assistant in Michigan looking for the steps to kick-start a career in the state, you have come to the right place. We take a look at all of the possible requirements below.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Michigan
Below are the general educational requirements for becoming a veterinary assistant in Michigan, including high school education, post-secondary education, and hands-on training.
High School Diploma
Veterinary assistants in Michigan must possess a high school diploma or GED before starting their careers. This is because most veterinary clinics and practices in the state require such a credential before offering employment. Training programs also ask for a high-school diploma or GED before admission can be granted.
In Michigan, academic institutions such as community colleges and veterinary schools organize numerous high-quality training programs. These programs train aspiring veterinary assistants in every key part of the occupation, including clinical and administrative areas.
Individuals looking to become veterinary assistants in Michigan do not have to attend an academic program.
Another alternative is to obtain on-the-job training.
Candidates seeking veterinary assistant employment without prior experience can do so by acquiring hands-on training on the job. Such activity is offered by veterinary hospitals and practices willing to help upcoming veterinary assistants receive pertinent training from veterinary technicians and even doctors of veterinary medicines already employed by the establishment.
Employment for a veterinary assistant in Michigan can be a lot easier and more rewarding in terms of salary if candidates come in with a certificate from a training program.
NAVTA Credential & NAVTA Accreditation
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America offers credential opportunities for veterinary assistants in the state. This credential is recognized nationwide, allowing veterinary assistants to prove their skills through a standardized exam.
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Michigan
Candidates in Michigan looking for a top veterinary assistant school can consider Ross Medical Education Center, which has locations in various parts of Michigan that can serve students practically anywhere in the state.
Ross Medical Education Center
Ross Medical Education Center is Michigan’s predominant destination for high-quality veterinary assistant training. The school has locations in various parts of Michigan, including New Baltimore, Ann Arbor, Taylor, Flint, Midland, Roosevelt Park, Lansing, and Madison Heights.
The institution is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and offers a rigorous veterinary assistant training program that includes many classroom instructions and hands-on training sessions.
The program can be completed in 36 weeks.
Coursework includes veterinary ethics, animal activities, physiology, anatomy, and an introduction to medical technology.
State Licensure & Certification Requirements
The Approved Veterinary Assistant credential is the most prominent certification for veterinary assistants in Michigan and elsewhere in the country. NAVTA offers this credential, which can be obtained after graduating from a training program accredited by the organization.
Graduating from a non-accredited training program can still obtain this credential by meeting the following criteria.
Externship option – veterinary assistants can conduct externships at animal care facilities to obtain NAVTA certification.
Experiential learning - the experiential learning option allows veterinary assistants in Michigan who are currently working and have worked at least five out of the last eight years to become certified by NAVTA.
Salary and Career Outlook
According to data submitted by 291 veterinary assistants in the state, the annual average salary of vet assistants in Michigan is $34,821. Those who fall into the top 10% take home an average yearly salary of $42,664, while those who fall into the bottom 10% have an annual average wage of $28,420.
As one would expect, the annual average salary for vet assistants in Michigan also varies by city. Ann Arbor is Michigan’s highest-paying city for vet assistants, with an average yearly salary of $40,961.
This is followed by Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Saint Clair Shores, with annual average salaries of $37,239, $36,387, and $35,819, respectively.
Veterinary assistants in Detroit earn an annual average salary of $34,148.