If you love animals, then working in the field of veterinary medicine might seem like a natural fit. It is important to realize that working as a veterinarian takes a lot of skill, patience and training. In fact, it can take many years of veterinary school training to become a veterinarian. One alternative is to become an assistant to a veterinarian. You will work with the head vet, but you will still have plenty of opportunities to treat and care for animals. Before you begin to look for jobs, ask yourself the following questions to find out if you are ready to start a career as a veterinary assistant.
Do You Have Your High School Diploma?
It is worth noting that no state allows individuals to become an assistant veterinarian without a high school diploma. In some cases, a general education degree may be accepted as an equivalent. However, it is important to graduate from high school or complete any necessary credits for a diploma before you can seriously think about pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.
Do You Like All Kinds of Animals?
Many people envision working as a veterinarian as a fun job where you spend most of your day treating kittens and puppies. While many veterinarians and their assistants focus on household pets, that is far from the only type of animal that needs medical attention. You may find yourself assisting during a surgery on a bird, or you might have to nurse a reptile back to health. Veterinarians help all types of animals, and you shouldn’t be scared or squeamish around any of them.
Do You Enjoy Science?
The backbone of all veterinarian assisting degrees and certificates is science. The biology and anatomy of animals is important for vets, and this is the information that can help you to understand their illnesses and medical problems. In addition, you will need to be familiar with diagnosing various illnesses. If you don’t enjoy science, then this career is probably not a smart choice for you.
Are You Willing to Pursue a Veterinary Assisting Degree Program?
There is no single degree option for those who would like to become assistant veterinarians. However, many online and traditional colleges recommend a two-year associate degree in veterinary assisting. If you aren’t sure about which courses are the best pick, scout out one that is certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These degrees programs are often available online, and they can give students the flexibility they need to fit education around their other priorities in life.
Can You Pass the Licensing Exam?
The final step in becoming an assistant veterinarian is earning a professional license within your state. The state will issue an exam, and it may consist of verbal answers, written essay questions or even hands-on testing to ensure that you can handle the pressures of working with animals.
There is no question that becoming a veterinarian assistant is challenging, but it can be very enjoyable for those who love science as well as animals. To get a head start on your education in this field, find an accredited online college so that you can begin earning your degree right away.