How Much Does it Cost to Become a Veterinary Assistant?

Do you love animals or want to take care of animals using medical treatments?

Start your career as a veterinary assistant today with this information on expenses.

The costs of training and getting certified as a licensed veterinary assistant in the US can be overwhelming.

Choose the most applicable training and school for your budget and training goals.

This will save you time and money in the future, so you do not have to transfer or find a new program to learn your desired skills.

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What is the Cost to Become a Veterinary Assistant?

Several key factors must be considered for becoming a veterinary assistant.

Start saving money to afford the training you need to be a veterinary assistant.

This is a field of medical expertise that requires extensive training and board certifications.

You must pay money to sit for the boards after you study using pricey manuals and online practice tests to pass certification board exams.

You must be able to handle many animal injuries, conditions, and illnesses. In addition, your job tasks include providing preventative pet care, such as spaying/neutering and vaccinating cats and dogs.

As you work toward becoming a veterinary assistant in your state, here are the typical costs associated with this career pathway:

  • Tuition and school fees
  • Lab materials and fees
  • Lab jacket and protective wear
  • Fees for board certification exams
  • Licensing costs
  • Coursebooks and school supplies

You will also need to pay for your living expenses while in school as a veterinary assistant.

This includes room and board, food, entertainment, and transportation.

If you can work part-time for a veterinarian while in school, this can save you money on tuition, given they have a reimbursement program.

You can also gain more on the job by applying the information you learn in school.

The more you know and learn, the greater the chances the veterinarian or clinic will hire you full-time upon completing the program–or at least give you a good recommendation.

How Much is the School for Veterinary Assistants?

The average cost of veterinary assistant training depends on several factors, including:

  • School tuition and fees
  • Time spent training
  • Costs associated with internships and clinical experiences
  • Living expenses in the area of the school or your town if studying online

You can save money if you consider an online or hybrid program for veterinary assistants.

Otherwise, a traditional college program for veterinary assistants is generally a two-year program leading to an associate’s degree.

You can also apply for a vocational or technical school program aimed at veterinary assistants.

Two-year programs for veterinary assistants cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.

However, some programs and schools are more expensive, ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

You will also be expected to pay more if the school is private than public.

Look for scholarships, work-study programs, and grants via financial aid.

These are ways to reduce the cost of tuition and expenses associated with becoming a veterinary assistant.

How Much Are Materials and Tools for Veterinary Assistants?

One area that is more affordable for veterinary assistants is tools and materials.

Typically, once you become a trained vet tech or assistant to a veterinarian, you need scrubs or a uniform and safe work shoes.

This should cost approximately $100 to $200 to be paid out of pocket.

Most supplies are provided for animals in the office, hospital, or clinic.

You will be expected to pay for your uniform in most cases.

However, some employers will cover the cost of laundering your uniform to prevent the spread of infectious diseases associated with sick animals.

Cost of Certification and Licensing as a Veterinary Assistant

In most states, the cost of board certification exams and state licensing as a veterinary assistant is less than $1,000.

In Washington, for example, Pierce County requires veterinary assistants to pay $590 in licensing fees, state examinations, and sit for the Veterinary Technical National Examination (VTNE) boards.

Expect your state fees to be on a similar scope.

Average Timeline for Becoming a Veterinary Assistant

As a veterinary assistant training program student, you can expect to spend approximately two years in school.

Some courses, such as online training, can be done within six months.

However, in-person training that includes traditional college courses and an internship takes two years to complete.

You may also be able to complete a course as a veterinary assistant in as few as nine months, such as with the course by San Joaquin Valley College.

Key Takeaways

Almost anyone can train to work as a veterinary assistant; you do not need previous medical school training for humans.

Compared to other trades, veterinary assistants and similar veterinary technicians do not need to spend much money on tools or technology.

Veterinary assistants can learn how to do their jobs through hybrid courses, including remote coursework and in-person labs.

The cost of becoming a veterinary assistant is $5,000 to $30,000, including tuition, materials, and living expenses for up to two years.

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