Most Veterinary Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $11.22 per hour. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geographic location, but experience level and the particular employer are influential factors as well. Most Veterinary Assistants like their work and job satisfaction is high. About two in five enjoy medical while nearly one in four get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a little less than a fifth. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$17,838 - $61,823
(Median)
$18K
$27K
$62K
MEDIAN: $26,609
10%
50%
90%

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$8.89 - $14.89
(Median)
$8
$11
$15
MEDIAN: $11.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$17,838 - $61,823  
   
Bonus
$98.21 - $1,232  
Profit Sharing
$350.00  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,648 - $32,393  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 75
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$8$16$24
Hourly Rate
$8.89 - $14.89  
   
Hourly Tips
$3.41  
Overtime
$13.09 - $22.56  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Bonus
$98.21 - $1,232  
   
Profit Sharing
$350.00  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$18,648 - $32,393  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,408
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Job Description for Veterinary Assistant

The veterinary assistant primarily assists veterinarians in a practice with animal care. Often, it involves working side by side with the veterinarian to administer vaccinations, draw blood for testing, or otherwise generally assist in examinations and care. In certain situations, they are called upon to assist the veterinarian in surgical procedures as well.

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Veterinary Assistant Tasks

  • Maintain animals, including feeding, cleaning, administering drugs and documenting care.
  • Support examinations by obtaining data and ensuring a safe environment.
  • Inventory equipment and medications to determine ordering needs and availability.
  • Interact with animals, staff and owners to determine care plans move animals to designated locations.
  • Train owners in drug administration, preventative maintenance and post-procedure care.

Common Career Paths for Veterinary Assistant


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While Veterinary Assistants do not often become Veterinarians, the job pays $71K per year on average. The most common next step for a Veterinary Assistant is to become a Veterinary Technician or a Registered Veterinary Technician. The former position pays an additional $5K per year on average, and the latter position pays $9K more per year.

Veterinary Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Veterinary Assistant


Banfield, The Pet Hospital offers the best pay with a median salary of $26K, though salaries there don't seem that varied, bottoming out near $21K and maxing out at just $30K.

VCA Antech offers the least pay with a median salary of $23K; furthermore, salaries there max out at only $30K.

Popular Skills for Veterinary Assistant


Survey results imply that Veterinary Assistants deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Training, Surgery, Phlebotomy, and Anesthesia are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 11 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Cleaning, Animal Handling, and Oral / Verbal Communication. Those familiar with Anesthesia also tend to know Phlebotomy.

Pay by Experience Level for Veterinary Assistant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Veterinary Assistants, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $23K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $26K. On average, Veterinary Assistants make $29K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $31K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $23,935

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Veterinary Assistants in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 39 percent above the national average. Veterinary Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+24 percent), San Francisco (+19 percent), Seattle (+14 percent), and Vancouver (+10 percent). With compensation 15 percent below the national average, Milwaukee is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 8 percent less in Houston and 4 percent less in Charlotte, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Veterinary Assistant Reviews

What is it like working as a Veterinary Assistant?

Veterinary Assistant in Wallingford:
"Very labor intensive, long hours but very rewarding."
Pros: Caring for animals, and the people who bring them in.
Cons: Euthanasias are very tough and emotionally draining.

Veterinary Assistant in Wichita Falls:
Pros: Improving the lives of animals. I worked on the other side of the pet industry, selling them. Now I can make it right.
Cons: The office manager has no interest in the welfare of the employees or the animals. Weekly conflicts with the vets, employees & sometimes with clients.

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Experience Affects Veterinary Assistant Salaries




National Average
$24,000


Skills That Affect Veterinary Assistant Salaries

Training
up arrow 11%


Surgery
up arrow 8%





Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Client Interaction
up arrow 1%

Triage
0%

National Average
$24,000

animal restraint
up arrow 2%

Restraint
up arrow 4%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 5%

Animal Handling
up arrow 13%

Cleaning
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 192 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
58%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 41%
dental benefits
Dental: 24%
medical benefits
Vision: 18%
dental benefits
None: 57%
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