Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

Median Annual Wage: $23,790

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (34%); Associate's degree (33%); Some college, no degree (14%)

Projected Growth: Average (8% to 14%)

Related Job Titles: Veterinary Assistant (Vet Assistant); Veterinarian Assistant; Animal Caregiver; Animal Care Provider; Avian Keeper; Emergency Veterinary Assistant; Research Animal Attendant; Small Animal Caretaker; Technician Assistant; Veterinary Technician Assistant (Vet Tech Assistant)

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers.

More Healthcare Support Careers

  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.
  • Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Educate or advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, or behavior problems.
  • Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
  • Collect laboratory specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces for testing.
  • Prepare surgical equipment and pass instruments or materials to veterinarians during surgical procedures.
  • Provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals.
  • Prepare feed for animals according to specific instructions, such as diet lists or schedules.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests or diagnostic tests, such as taking or developing x-rays.
  • Exercise animals or provide them with companionship.
  • Prepare examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies.
  • Provide assistance with euthanasia of animals or disposal of corpses.
  • Perform office reception duties, such as scheduling appointments or helping customers.
  • Record information relating to animal genealogy, feeding schedules, appearance, behavior, or breeding.
  • Perform hygiene-related duties, such as clipping animals' claws or cleaning and polishing teeth.
  • Perform accounting duties, such as bookkeeping, billing customers for services, or maintaining inventories.
  • Sell pet food or supplies to customers.
  • Dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers.

  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers.

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