Veterinary assistants are usually needed to ensure that a veterinary establishment runs smoothly. They do this by caring for the veterinary patients, attending to their owners, and performing various clerical and administrative duties.
If you’ve ever considered becoming a veterinary assistant in Oregon, you have come to the right page. Below we discuss everything you need to know to start a successful career as a veterinary assistant in Oregon.
We examine the possible career paths, licensure and certification requirements, potential salary, and job outlook.
Steps To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Oregon
Basic Education Requirements
Oregon doesn’t specify a basic education requirement for veterinary assistants. This means that the prerogative is on the employers to decide whether or not they wish to hire a vet assistant with formal training.
And while most employers prefer going with trained veterinary assistants, it is also possible to acquire training on the job.
This allows employers to pay less than they would for a trained vet assistant, and on the other side, it will enable the vet assistant to acquire hands-on training in an important field while earning considerable income in the process.
While veterinary assistants in Oregon can practice with only a high school diploma/GED, it is still common to find aspiring professionals in the field enrolled in a formal training program.
They do this not just because it allows them a stronger technical foundation to launch their career in the veterinary world but also because it often qualifies them for a better salary and a straightforward path to securing employment.
Accreditation of Veterinary Assistant Programs
As an aspiring veterinary assistant, your aim should be to enroll in a program with comprehensive coursework, beautiful facilities, hands-on training sessions, and a team of experienced instructors.
Another equally important factor that often encompasses all of these is a program’s accreditation status. NAVTA is the major organization in charge of accrediting veterinary technician programs.
There are numerous benefits to enrolling in a NAVTA-approved program, not the least of which is a direct path to becoming certified nationally. That said, just because a program is NAVTA-approved doesn’t mean it is inferior.
Oregon State Licensure and Certification Requirements
Just as there are no basic education requirements for veterinary assistants in Oregon, there aren’t any specific licensure requirements. As for certification, the main credential of interest is the nationally recognized Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification, which, as mentioned earlier, is available to those who graduated from a NAVTA-approved training program.
Those who still need to fulfill this requirement may still become certified but have to go through the externship route or practice at least 20 hours every week in a veterinary establishment under the supervision of a veterinary technician.
The AVA credential must be renewed every other year through continuing education.
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Oregon
1. Carrington College
Carrington College offers a 36-week veterinary assistant training program with a high graduate employment rate. The program also includes an externship so that graduates would become familiar with what it feels like to work in the real world even before securing employment.
2. Abdill Career College
Another notable option for aspiring veterinary assistants in Oregon is Abdill Career College in Medford. The program and its externship requirement can be completed in 35 weeks.
Coursework deals primarily with general veterinary education and the peculiar duties of vet assistants.
3. Benton Community College
Benton Community College has a 17-week training program designed to train new veterinary assistants in the state as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The school also offers the cheapest tuition in the state.
Of the 17-week duration, 13 are spent in the classroom, while four weeks are reserved for hands-on training in a veterinary practice.
4. Penn Foster College
While technically not in Oregon, students nationwide can enroll in Penn Foster College to receive veterinary assistance training from a NAVTA-accredited program.
This entitles them to a straightforward qualification for the AVA certification exam.
Oregon Veterinary Assistant Salary and Job Outlook
Several factors influence how much a veterinary assistant will earn in Oregon. However, the figure to expect is $45,536 - 13% above the national average.
Those just starting as entry-level workers earn an annual average of $35,043, while those with more time on the job earn an average yearly salary of $54,087.
The location also plays a big part. Veterinary assistants in Tualatin earn an annual average salary of $55,245, while those in Lake Oswego earn an average yearly salary of $47,714.
Bend, Portland, and Springfield round up the top five highest-paying locations in the state with annual averages of $46,435, $44,615, and $44,574, respectively.