Veterinary Assistant
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Veterinary Assistant Program FAQs

Get answers to the most common and important questions about enrolling in the Veterinary Assistant program at Career Step. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your education.

What role do veterinary assistants play?

Veterinary assistants help veterinarians and veterinary technicians and technologists care for animals in clinics and practices nationwide. Your specific responsibilities would vary from location to location, but may include:

  • Feeding, bathing, and exercising animals
  • Cleaning and disinfecting cages, kennels, and examination and operation rooms
  • Restraining animals during examination and laboratory procedures
  • Maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment
  • Monitoring and caring for animals after surgery
  • Helping to provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals

Veterinary assistants work in veterinary practices and clinics nationwide. As many clinics and animal hospitals are open 24/7, night and weekend schedules are often available.

What is the job market for veterinary assistants?

Veterinary assistants are primarily found working for veterinary service providers (such as private clinics and animal hospitals) though they may also work for colleges and universities or research facilities. They are part of the $60 billion a year U.S. pet industry, which is increasing the demand for these professionals. There are opportunities nationwide, and the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the demand for veterinary assistants will grow by 9%, or nearly 7,000 new jobs, before 2024.

How much can I earn as a veterinary assistant?

The U.S. Department of Labor report states that the middle 50% of veterinary assistants nationwide earn between $20,340 and $29,690 annually. You may also qualify for benefits as a veterinary assistant.

Do I need to be certified?

No. Employers do not typically require their veterinary assistants to be certified, and just having formal training will help your resume stand out in the job market.

What are the advantages of training with Career Step?

Career Step has been training quality healthcare professionals for over 20 years and offers a comprehensive training program that prepares students to work as veterinary assistants. With Career Step, you can train affordably without sacrificing quality, learn from comprehensive curriculum developed by industry professionals, take advantage of live student and graduate support, and quickly gain the specialized skills and you need to succeed as a veterinary assistant. We're committed to helping you achieve your goals, and Career Step provides everything you need to succeed!

What kind of skills or experience do I need to enter the Career Step program?

In order to be admitted, you must be at least 18 years of age and either a) have a high school diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED), or b) pass the Career Step Pre-Enrollment Assessment Test. There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the Career Step training program.

Is Career Step accredited?

Career Step is registered under the Utah Post-Secondary Proprietary School Act but is not nationally or regionally accredited. However, our career-focused training programs are approved by a number of industry specific organizations and are designed with employer feedback to ensure students are gaining exactly the skills needed to get a job and succeed in the workforce.

The Career Step training programs prepare students for career fields where employers are looking for skilled applicants. Career Step works closely with employers when developing a training program to ensure students graduate with the skills employers are looking for. We've also developed close ties to industry associations, aligning our programs with their recommendations. Career Step programs boast the following recognitions:

  • Career Step’s Medical Transcription Editor curriculum is approved by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), the leading medical transcription industry association.
  • The Professional Medical Coding and Billing program is approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), one of the largest and most prestigious health information organizations in the country.
  • The Career Step Pharmacy Technician program has been reviewed and approved by the State Boards of Pharmacy in Indiana, Utah, and Virginia. (Many states don't have any regulations on the education of pharmacy technicians, and very few require board approval. For more information on each state's pharmacy technician education regulations, view our State Requirements pdf.) Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy also offer Career Step Pharmacy Technician students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on externship in their stores nationwide.
  • The Medical Administrative Assistant with EHR program is approved by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), a leading organization focused on increasing the quality of health career education.

Career Step programs are also designed to prepare you for certifications that greatly improve your employment opportunities. Employers are often more familiar with various credentials than with the quality of education provided by different schools. To help your resume stand out from other applicants, various Career Step programs help prepare students to earn the following third-party credentials:

  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA) and Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
  • Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)
  • Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
  • CompTIA A+ Certification
  • Microsoft Office Specialist – Master (MOS-Master)

This focus on helping you gain the skills needed to succeed in the workforce has made our students successful in the job market—over 84% of Career Step graduates are employed in their field of study, 90% of employed Medical Transcription graduates work from home in their first job, Medical Coding and Billing graduates report a certification exam pass rate that’s a full 15 percentage points higher than the national average, and Pharmacy Technician students can take advantage of externship opportunities with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy.

Learn more about the value of career-focused education in our quick video.

How is Career Step's Veterinary Assistant program structured?

The Career Step program is offered entirely online, providing 24/7 access to all material and allowing you to progress through the curriculum on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into modules, or course subjects, all of which focus on helping you build the essential knowledge and skills of a veterinary assistant.

See what makes Career Step different in our quick introduction.

What type of student support does Career Step offer?

Career Step student support includes access to:

  • Student Support Advisors who have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the curriculum and the industry. They provide timely answers to questions about the program material and offer a number of personal consultations throughout the training to help students master important concepts.

  • Technical Support Advisors who are knowledgeable, experienced, and available six days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.

  • Graduate Support Advisors who help you transition to the workforce after graduation. Your Graduate Advisors will help prepare the best resume, develop solid interview skills, and teach you valuable job search techniques.

Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's student support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.

See what a few Career Step students had to say about their experiences with Career Step’s student support.

How long does it take to finish the course?

The Career Step Veterinary Assistant training program is 150 completion hours. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other students. Some students are able to complete their training program in as little as 1 or 2 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, students who can devote about 10 hours a week may finish in about 4 months).

Every student who enrolls in the Career Step Veterinary Assistant training program receives an initial 6-month period of enrollment. Though the program is designed to be completed in 3 months of full-time study, you'll have a full 6 months to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial 6-month enrollment, we have 3-month extensions available for purchase.

How do I find work after graduation?

Career Step offers personalized post-graduation resources for your job search, including:

  • Personal consultation with a Graduate Advisor
  • Personalized interview tutorials and training
  • Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
  • ccess to Career Step's help hotline for 6 months after graduation

These resources offer the personalized help you need after graduation to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the majority of our graduates are hired within a few months of graduation.

What materials and computer specifications are required to complete the course?

Your enrollment includes everything you will need to train for a successful career as a veterinary assistant. Your enrollment includes:

Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:

Hardware

  • Active internet connection (High speed/Broadband connection recommended)
  • 800 X 600 minimum resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
  • Sound card and speakers (Earphones recommended)
  • Available USB port

Software

  • Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
  • Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
  • PDF reader

Browser

  • Internet Explorer 9.x/10.x/11.x
  • Firefox 3.x or greater*
  • Safari 3.1 to 8.0 (Mac only)*
  • Javascript and cookies must be enabled

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)
  • Mac OS X (10.4.11 or greater)*

*The Medical Transcription Editor program includes a third party software tool that makes the training only compatible with Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer.

Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.

What payment options does Career Step offer?

We realize that one of the most important questions tied to education is how it will be paid for. Because this is such a big part of the decision of whether or not to go back to school, Career Step has designed several tuition assistance and payment options. Please visit our Tuition Assistance page for more information.

How soon will I receive my materials?

It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on method of payment. Once the payment is processed you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days.

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