How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Utah

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As a veterinary assistant in Utah, you will be called upon to assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians with minor clinical duties that ensure the smooth running of a vet clinic. You will also be expected to carry out administrative tasks such as record-keeping and inventory management.

Ultimately, time spent as a veterinary assistant in Utah is incredibly valuable. It gives candidates a clear picture of what the veterinary world looks like and makes it easier for them to improve themselves and pursue more advanced roles in the industry.

Below, we provide a comprehensive overview of the steps in becoming a veterinary assistant in Utah. We also highlight possible training programs, expected projected salary, and the certification/licensing requirements.

Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Utah

Aspiring veterinary assistants in Utah are expected to follow the steps below to kick-start their careers on the right track.

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

Utah does not set a mandatory educational requirement for veterinary assistants. However, employers and training programs have a few requirements of their own.

For starters, candidates are expected to have a high school diploma. Those who don’t have one may use a GED equivalent in its place.

Additionally, individuals are also expected to have an affinity for animals. Training programs usually teach other technical requirements.

Step 2: Enrolling a Training Program

There are several training programs for veterinary assistants in Utah. These programs teach fundamental topics in the field, mostly in the classroom.

The best options will also incorporate a lot of hands-on training to prepare candidates for what it feels like to handle all kinds of animals.

Some of the topics candidates will learn at training programs include breed identification, chemical handling, medical terminologies, restraining techniques, and medication administration, among others.

Online, Campus & Hybrid Programs

A veterinary assistant training program can take place predominantly online. A lot of approved programs are structured this way.

However, graduates of these programs may have to spend some time acquiring hands-on training through externships. They may also take advantage of “on-the-job” training opportunities that allow candidates to secure employment and train for a while before being considered full-fledged veterinary assistants.

Step 3: Certification & Employment

Lastly, after completing their training programs, candidates may secure employment. To improve their chances of career growth, they may also consider certification.

We discuss more on this topic below.

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Licensure & Certification Requirements

Neither licensing nor certification is mandatory for veterinary assistants in Utah. However, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA) offers an Approved Veterinary Assistant credential for professionals to set themselves apart.

To qualify for this credential, candidates must either participate in an externship at an approved veterinary establishment or secure employment in a veterinary practice with at least 20 hours a week of work time.

From there, they must register for the AVA exam. Those who pass the exam will become full-fledged Approved Veterinary Assistants in Utah.

However, this credential is only valid for 2 years, after which it has to be renewed through continuing education and a $10 renewal fee payment.

Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Utah

The following are some of Utah’s most prominent training programs for aspiring veterinary assistants.

University of Utah

University of Utah’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement department in Salt Lake City offers a veterinary assistant training program that has produced several successful professionals in the state. Topics of focus here include diagnostic imaging, small animal surgical assisting, veterinary dental assisting, personal and professional development, and laboratory procedures.

Jordan Applied Technology Center

Jordan Applied Technology Center in West Jordan offers a strong veterinary assistant training program with state-of-the-art resources and experienced instructors.

Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake Community College in Sandy, UT, offers an online training program for aspiring veterinary assistants in the state. It includes many comprehensive instructional materials and is perfect for candidates seeking great flexibility in their training.

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Salary & Career Outlook

Veterinary assistants in Utah who fall among the average earners will take home an annual average salary of $38,967. Those who fall among the top 10% take home an annual average salary of $48,501, while those who fall among the bottom 10% take home an annual average salary of $31,307.

Layton, Salt Lake City, and Taylorsville are the top three highest-paying cities to be a veterinary assistant in Utah. Professionals in these states earn annual average salaries of $43,332, $41,026, and $40,716, respectively.

Veterinary assistants in Saint George and Draper complete the top five with annual average salaries of $38,783 and $38,683. Some factors other than location that contribute to a vet assistant’s annual earnings in Utah include experience, specialty, credentials, and establishment of employment, among others.