The veterinary assistant is in high demand. A vet assistant performs general receptionist duties, as well as a wide range of simple medical tasks, including kennel cleaning, feedings and bandage changes. Becoming a veterinary assistant can be a challenge, although the rewards are well worth the trouble.
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Complete high school or get your GED. While there are no formal educational requirements for a veterinary assistant, it is important that you have a well-rounded knowledge base in order to get hired.
Spend time familiarising yourself with different animal species and document your experience. A veterinary assistant will encounter numerous types of animals on the job, so learning about them will help broaden your range of skills and make you a more valuable employee.
Contact your local vet's office and inquire about a shadowing or intern position. Accompanying the veterinary staff through daily routines will give you insight as to what the job entails and will allow you to see if a career as a veterinary assistant is right for you. Be sure to let the vet know that you are looking for experience to benefit your employment so that you can document the hours you spend in the clinic.
Call the clinic that you are interested in working for and ask management about the application process. Many vets offices are very informal and will not require an extensive application. Express your interest in the job and let them know you are interested in coming to fill out the paperwork at their earliest convenience.
Fill out any forms as completely as possible. Make sure that you have correct names and contact information for people who can verify your experience in a clinical setting, and attach any transcripts that you feel will benefit you. A cover letter detailing your interest in working as a veterinary assistant and reviewing your skills and abilities can help give you an advantage over someone else who does not include a cover letter.
If you are offered an interview, be sure to dress well. You do not need to dress as if you are applying for a bank job, but clean, wrinkle-free clothes convey an image of pride and self-worth, an indicator that you will care well for animals in the clinic. Take a copy of your resume and cover letter with you so you have a reference if the interviewers have any questions for you. Be open and honest, and take pride knowing that your time, preparation and experience could help you land your dream job as a veterinary assistant.
Tips and warnings
- Try to learn as much about animals as you can before looking for work as a veterinary assistant. You will be spending a large amount of your time in direct contact with animals, so having that time under your belt can be an asset.
- Never falsify any information on your application. Most employers run a thorough background check on potential employees and any discrepancies can eliminate you from consideration.