How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New Mexico

Veterinary assistants in New Mexico can start their careers in several ways. They may acquire training online and complement it with real-world experience or attend one of the top accredited on-campus options.

In the guide below, we explore all the main considerations that candidates must be familiar with regardless of the path they choose to start their careers. We also highlight other important factors that may help them enjoy their time on the job and take advantage of career growth opportunities.

Lastly, interested individuals will also discover the top veterinary assistant programs in the state and the salary/career outlook depending on some unique, determining factors.

Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New Mexico

The following steps are needed to launch a successful vet assistant career in the state of New Mexico.

Have a High School Diploma or GED

Technically, candidates looking to become veterinary assistants in New Mexico are not expected to have a high school diploma or GED. They will, however, have an easier journey if they have one.

Acquire Relevant Skills

In New Mexico, individuals looking to become veterinary assistants are expected to acquire relevant skills by attending a training program, typically offered by a community college or veterinary establishment. Most training programs for veterinary assistants can be completed in 6 to 9 months.

In addition, even though it is possible to attend an accredited training program, doing so is less important than it is in other professions, such as veterinary technician.

Still, attending an accredited program offers some benefits, such as professional credentials and chances for networking with fellow veterinary assistants in the area.

Specialization

Veterinary assistants can specialize either in administrative duties or in laboratory animal care. For those who would like to work as laboratory animal caretakers, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science offers three levels of certification, including the Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT), and Laboratory Animal Technologist credentials (LATG).

Certification & Employment

The above steps allow candidates to begin their veterinary assistant careers in New Mexico. However, candidates may want to pursue certification offered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. We explore the steps involved in doing so below.

Consider Careers with Similar Paths:

Licensure and Certification Requirements

Veterinary assistants in New Mexico who would love to obtain the Approved Veterinary Assistant credential offered by NAVTA (even though it is not mandated by the state) would do well to attend a NAVTA-accredited program. Those who did not go through this route will have to acquire experience on the job first before they can sit for the certification exam.

Candidates wanting to become certified by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science must start working in a laboratory animal facility before applying and passing the relevant examinations.

Approved Veterinary Assistants must also maintain their credentials by meeting the continuing education requirements every 2 years.

Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in New Mexico

Aspiring veterinary assistants in New Mexico may consider any of the entries below for a top-class introduction to the field.

#New Mexico
The University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM Online + Campus

The University of New Mexico offers an online veterinary assistant training program that can be completed self-paced.

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Tuition
$8,076 - $26,411
Contact
  • (505) 277-8900

  • unmlobos@unm.edu

#New Mexico
Northern New Mexico Community College

Española, NM Online + Campus

At Northern New Mexico Community College, candidates can enroll in an online veterinary assistant training program to learn about vaccination for dogs and cats, workplace safety, veterinary hospital economics, medical records, and prescriptions.

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Tuition
$5,064 - $14,329
Contact
  • (505) 747-2111

  • admissions@nnmc.edu

#Arizona
Penn Foster Institute

Scottsdale, AZ Online + Campus

The veterinary assistant training program at Penn Foster Institute has the benefits of being accredited by NAVTA and being a completely online training program.

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Tuition
$8,100 - $8,600 per Semester
Contact
  • (800) 275-4410

  • info@pennfoster.com

Explore nearby states for education and training:

Salary & Career Outlook

As an upcoming veterinary assistant in New Mexico, the annual average salary to look forward to is around $39,033. This is the figure given for the average earners in the state. It is also possible for some professionals to fall below this figure, thereby landing among the lowest-paid in the state with an annual average salary of $30,095.

At the top, those who earn the most fall among the 10% and take home an annual average salary of up to $50,625.

Considering location as the predominant factor, with all else equal, Las Cruces is the highest-paying location for veterinary assistants in New Mexico, with an annual average salary of $60,386. This is followed by Los Lunas and Santa Fe, with annual average salaries of $51,105 and $44,192.

Also among the top five are Grants, with an annual average salary of $41,794, and Algodones, with an annual average salary of $40,276.