Veterinary assistants in Washington are some of the highest paid in the entire United States of America. In Washington State, professionals in this field earn significantly more than the national average and enjoy a demand for expertise that will only increase in the coming years.
All of these are just some reasons why pursuing a career as a veterinary assistant in the state is advisable. To that end, we have provided the article below to give you access to all the critical details you need to get started.
Among other things, we reveal the steps involved in the process, licensure/certification requirements, and the state’s top veterinary assistant training programs to consider.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Washington
Aspiring veterinary assistants in Washington state should follow the steps below to start their careers on the right path.
Step 1 - Prepare for Your Education
The first step in becoming a veterinary assistant in Washington is to prepare for your education by ensuring you meet the basic requirements. Usually, to gain admission into a training school, aspiring veterinary assistants are often expected to have a high school diploma or GED.
Specific training programs also have age requirements, so check out for this.
Step 2 - Choose your Training Path
Veterinary assistants in Washington go through one of two paths to obtain training. The first path is the academic path, which includes applying for a vet assistant program at a college or vet training school.
The second path involves obtaining on-the-job training.
Both options are acceptable, but academic programs – especially those certified by NAVTA – tend to offer more advantages going forward.
Those who opt for training on the job may look forward to obtaining hands-on experience under the supervision of established veterinary technicians and veterinarians.
Step 3 - Become Certified (optional)
Before beginning their job search, aspiring veterinary assistants in Washington may choose to obtain certification to prove their competency to potential employers.
We discuss the certification issue for veterinary assistants in Washington more in the next section.
Step 4 - Prepare your Resume and Begin Job Search
Aspiring veterinary assistants who have completed all of the steps above may proceed to prepare their resumes and begin applying for job positions. Places to consider include veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and research facilities, among others.
Step 5 - Continuing Education
Lastly, even after securing employment, veterinary assistants must keep improving and acquiring new skills. One of the ways to do this is by participating in a continuing education program.
Joining a professional organization also makes improving a vet assistant career and obtaining continuing education easier.
Consider exploring careers with similar paths:
State Licensure & Certification Requirements
The state of Washington does not specify any licensing or certification requirements for veterinary assistants in the area.
This is not to say that veterinary assistants in the state may not consider national certification. Still, those who do so only do this because of the opportunities it offers to secure employment in better veterinary institutions, acquire more training, meet different professionals in the field, and more.
Aspiring veterinary assistants in Washington looking for a nationally recognized professional certification may opt for the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) credential offered by NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America).
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Washington
Below are some of the most notable veterinary assistant schools in Washington.
Northwest Career and Technical Academy
Northwest Career and Technical Academy in Mount Vernon remains one of the premier destinations in Washington state to receive veterinary assistant training. The school offers dual enrollment, meaning that high school students can enroll even while in high school.
Students learn vital topics such as patient care and resume building, among other crucial issues.
Skagit Valley College
Skagit Valley College is another beautiful destination to receive veterinary assistant training in Washington. Also located in Mount Vernon, this program boasts comprehensive coursework and a certificate of completion.
Renton Technical College
Lastly, aspiring veterinary assistants in Washington may look to Renton Technical College in Renton for their education. This 27-credit program can be completed in around 2 years.
To be accepted, candidates must be at least 18 and have a high-school diploma or GED.
Salary and Career Outlook
The annual average salary for veterinary assistants in Washington is $45,343 - a figure that is a whopping 16% higher than the national average. It is possible to earn even higher than this figure by optimizing factors such as experience, location, type of employer, and professional credentials.
Those who do so can earn as high as $56,310.
As for location, the best place to be a veterinary assistant in Washington state is Kirkland - with an annual average salary of $48,276; Renton - with an average yearly salary of $48,261; Seattle - with $48,126, and Olympia, with $45,806.
Veterinary assistants in Tacoma earn an annual average salary of $45,787.
Consider exploring nearby states with comparable salaries: