Veterinary assistants are members of the veterinary team whose duty is to aid veterinarians and veterinary technicians by performing clinical and administrative tasks. Thanks to their multitasking abilities and love for animals, veterinary assistants are usually considered the backbone of veterinary care.
To start as a veterinary assistant in Wisconsin, interested individuals must become familiar with specific requirements, including essential educational prerequisites, prominent training programs, certification alternatives, and more.
Thankfully, these are the things we discussed in detail in the guide below.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Wisconsin
Below are the most critical steps in becoming a veterinary assistant in Wisconsin.
Step 1: Educational Prerequisites
All aspiring veterinary assistants in Wisconsin must have a high school diploma or a GED before beginning their careers. The state and specific training institutions usually set this requirement. Employers also tend to ask for the same credentials.
Step 2: Choose an Educational Path
Veterinary assistants can begin their training by enrolling in an academic training program or acquiring training on the job. Both of these are valid options and have their benefits.
For instance, whereas training programs at academic institutions offer classroom instructions with a little bit of hands-on experience from externships, acquiring training on the job provides predominant hands-on training and real-world experience under the supervision of licensed veterinary technicians and veterinarians.
Step 3: Obtaining Certification (Optional)
Another advantage of obtaining vet assistant training from an academic program is that it may provide a more accessible opportunity to become certified.
For instance, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America offers a certification option for veterinary assistants who attend accredited training programs.
Even though, like academic training, certification is not mandatory for a veterinary assistant in Wisconsin, it can be very proficient to obtain one anyway, simply because of its numerous opportunities.
Step 4: Continuing Education & Career Advancement
After completing the steps above and securing employment, Wisconsin veterinary assistants should continue improving themselves. One way they can achieve this is by participating in continuing education and joining professional organizations to advance their careers and open up more networking opportunities.
Consider exploring careers with similar paths:
Top Veterinary Assistant Schools in Wisconsin
Below are a few prominent veterinary assistant training programs in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee Career College
Milwaukee Career College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is undoubtedly one of the premier destinations for acquiring veterinary assistant training in Wisconsin. The program can be completed in 30 weeks, and graduates can leave with a certificate to boost their employment opportunities.
Gateway Technical College
Gateway Technical College offers another excellent veterinary assistant training program in Wisconsin. Located in Elkhorn, the program can be completed in 48 weeks and includes 36 credit hours. Students may also contribute these credits to pursue a veterinary technician degree.
Penn Foster Career School
It is possible to acquire an approved veterinary assistant credential by studying online from an accredited program. Penn Foster Career College offers one such program.
Even though it is an online school, Penn Foster Career School offers rigorous training and comprehensive training programs. Graduates are known to make quite successful veterinary assistants.
As expected, being a distance-based program, students also enjoy the flexibility of working or getting other things done while studying.
Consider exploring schools in neighboring states:
State Licensure & Certification Requirements
There are no mandatory licensure or certification requirements for veterinary assistants in Wisconsin. Instead, starting professionals are advised to pursue professional certification of their own accord.
As mentioned earlier, the certification offered by NAVTA is the credential that is most advisable to pursue. The credential in question is the Approved Veterinary Assistant credential, which requires a 75% score in an examination containing 80 multiple-choice questions.
Those who have acquired their AVA credential must renew it every 2 years by completing 10 continuing education credits and paying a $10 renewal fee.
Salary and Career Outlook
Veterinary assistants in Wisconsin earn around $36,035 a year on average. This figure is most pertinent to vet assistants at the midpoints of their careers. Those who are just starting may earn closer to $29,335.
At the upper end of the spectrum, veterinary assistants in Wisconsin who earn the most make up to $44,234 annually.
The highest paying cities for veterinary assistants in Wisconsin include Madison, with an annual average salary of $39,384; Pewaukee, with an average yearly salary of $35,917; and Green Bay, with an average annual wage of $35,284.
Menomonee Falls and Milwaukee are fourth and fifth highest, with annual average salaries of $34,769 and $33,954, respectively.