Veterinary Assistant

Program Description

Veterinary Assistants care for the well-being of animals by doing routine tasks under the supervision of veterinarians and technicians. This 3-year preparatory program connects classroom theory and laboratory experiences in areas including overall care of small animals, assisting with surgical procedures, proper nutrition and basic grooming techniques, laboratory procedures, animal husbandry, maintenance of medical records, and client relations. Upon graduation, students will be prepared for entry-level employment or post-secondary education.

Related Occupations

Entry Level:
Veterinary Assistant • Veterinary Receptionist • Animal Caretaker • Grooming Assistant • Kennel Assistant


Veterinary Technician • Veterinary Technologist • Veterinarian

Nature of Work

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers typically do the following:

  • Feed, bathe, and exercise animals
  • Clean and disinfect cages, kennels, and examination and operating rooms
  • Restrain animals during examination and laboratory procedures
  • Maintain and sterilize surgical instruments and equipment
  • Monitor and care for animals after surgery
  • Help provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals
  • Give medication or immunizations that veterinarians prescribe
  • Assist in collecting blood, urine, and tissue samples

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers also provide nursing care before surgery and other medical procedures.

They may prepare equipment and pass surgical instruments and materials to veterinarians during surgery. They also move animals during testing and other procedures.


Training and Advancement

Veterinary Assistant students have the option to take the NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification test if they cover the related cost.

All Veterinary Assistant students will take the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry (Health Care) certification course provided by the Fulton County Center for Career and Technology.

Job Outlook

Employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. These workers are expected to be needed to assist veterinarians and other veterinary care staff.

Increases in consumers’ pet-related spending are expected to drive employment in the veterinary services industry, which employs most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers. In clinics and other veterinary service establishments, assistants help veterinarians and veterinary technicians and technologists with various procedures. Demand for veterinary assistants will continue as the demand for these procedures increases.

Program of Study Framework / Class Resources

Class Syllabus—Job Ready Credential Blue Print (link)

Program Information-(None)

Crosswalk Academics- (None)

Task Grid- Link



Aubrey Higgins

Aubrey Higgins

Veterinary Assistant


Phone: (717) 485-3195 Ext: 1107

Fulton County