Skip to Main Content

What Is a Veterinarian Assistant and How to Become One


What Is the Job of a Veterinarian Assistant?

Veterinarian assistants, or vet assistants, help veterinarians and veterinarian technicians in animal care hospitals, animal clinics, or other veterinary facilities. As a veterinarian assistant, you feed, bathe, and exercise animals in your care. Veterinarian assistants also restrain animals when the vet examines or treats them. Other responsibilities may include cleaning and sterilizing exam and surgical rooms and equipment, greeting pet owners when they enter the office, and organizing files. Some veterinarian assistant positions require you to perform lab work, such as drawing blood from animals, collecting urine samples, and administering medication under the supervision of the primary veterinarian or technician.

What Is the Difference Between a Veterinary Assistant and a Veterinary Technician?

The primary differences between a veterinarian assistant and a veterinarian technician are their level of required education and how many responsibilities they are allowed to do. Veterinarian technicians are required to complete a two-year associate degree program at an accredited college or technical school and pass a credentialing exam. They work directly with the patient in the animal hospital and are equipped to sterilize and bandage wounds, administer oral medications, and prep patients for surgery. Additionally, a vet tech is trained in laboratory work, such as blood analysis, urinalysis, and parasite identification. In contrast, veterinary assistants need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the field, but a post-secondary degree is not required. Their duties are less hands-on and more administrative.

What Is the Job Description for Veterinarian Assistants?

Veterinarian assistants, also known as veterinary assistants or vet assistants, perform a wide range of tasks within a veterinary hospital clinic. They often handle many administrative duties, including greeting clients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, overseeing billing and payment, and organizing files. Veterinarian assistants usually help the veterinarian during examinations and treatments by restraining the animal and trying to calm it. Lab work may be performed by some veterinarian assistants, depending on the type and size of the facility. It is also the job of a veterinarian assistant to provide standard care for the animal patients in the clinic, such as grooming, feeding, checking on their condition, and cleaning the kennels.