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If you’re considering a career as a veterinary assistant, there’s no time like the present. The pet care industry is growing, which means that more employees are needed to meet the demand. In fact, veterinary assistant and laboratory animal caretaker careers are expected to grow 9 percent between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Sixty-five percent of American households currently own at least one pet — that’s 79.7 million households. 42 percent own more than one pet. Overall, the United States is home to approximately 163.3 million domestic cats and dogs alone, according to a 2015 survey.
The average amount spent on veterinary care per year, per pet has also increased rapidly, from $158.50 in 2012 to $1,288.50 in 2015.
Basically, people love their animals, and the pet care industry needs trained professionals to meet the needs of today’s pet owners. As the demand for pet care increases, more and more clinics, hospitals and shelters are hiring veterinary assistants and technicians to help carry the load.
The jobs are there, but how do you know if working as a veterinary assistant is for you? Here is some key information to know about working in veterinary assisting:
Role: Veterinary assistants help veterinarians manage day-to-day duties to make sure pet patients get the best possible care. The role often includes administering first aid, recording vital signs, comforting surgical patients, coordinating boarding schedules, administrative work and more.
Work Environment: Depending on the type of clinic, veterinary assistants may work non-traditional hours, including part-time, nights, weekends and holidays. Working in pet care can sometimes be stressful and emotionally draining, as employees routinely work with sick and injured animals.
Training: Many employees prefer to hire veterinary assistants who have experience with animals. Training programs for veterinary assisting can help individuals prepare for their career and stand out among other job applicants.
Of course, the most important thing for a veterinary assistant is compassion. According to a survey, over 63 percent of pet owners consider their animals as family members. It takes the right kind of person to provide loving and quality care to pets in need. Being a veterinary assistant is an important job and a rewarding one, too.
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