Prepare for an in-demand career by building the foundational skills to become a veterinary assistant through flexible, online classes and a hands-on externship. Our program is nationally accredited by the DEAC and NAVTA-approved.
Complete in as little as 7 months
Savings offers available
NAVTA's AVA Certification exam
115K + new roles
expected by 2030²
While Veterinary Assistants are not required to be a graduate of a NAVTA-approved veterinary assistant school, based on a recent employer survey, 87% of veterinary practices are more likely to hire a graduate of a NAVTA-approved Veterinary Assistant program.¹
Our Veterinary Assistant training program will help you gain the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience that can help you take steps toward a certified Veterinary Assistant job. Aligned with NAVTA standards, your Veterinary Assistant program will cover caring for animals after surgery, helping provide emergency first aid and medication to sick or injured animals, maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment, obtaining animal health histories, and more. See this sample lesson for what to expect!
Important State Requirements: Be sure to check here for the requirements in your state.
Q. What is the average salary of a veterinary assistant?
A. The national average salary for a veterinary assistant in an entry-level position was $27,540 in 2018.² Depending on experience, education, and state of residence, the salary for a vet assistant can vary so it’s important to check the average salary in your area. With sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, you can get an idea of what vet assistants in your area are paid to start.
Q. What are the requirements to become a veterinary assistant?
A. To become a veterinary assistant, the basic requirements often begin with having a high school diploma or higher, though requirements may differ based on state and practice or hospital standards. While earning a degree or career diploma is not necessarily a requirement for being hired, it can help prospective assistants stand out to practice managers. To enroll in the online veterinary assistant training program at Penn Foster, students should have a high school diploma or GED and must be 18 years or older.
Q. What are the regular duties of a veterinary assistant?
A. Though duties and responsibilities can vary based upon the work environment, most veterinary assistants handle routine animal care and assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians with daily tasks. Typically, as a vet assistant, you’ll be responsible for
Q. Can Penn Foster help me study for veterinary certifications?
A. Yes! Penn Foster’s online Veterinary Assistant program is 1 of only 3 online vet assistant programs approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA) and the curriculum is aligned with their standards. Once you graduate, you are eligible to sit for the Approved Veterinary Assistant examination offered through NAVTA. Upon passing the exam, you earn the designation of Approved Veterinary Assistant.
Q. Are veterinary assistants in high demand?
A. The need for skilled veterinary assistants is projected to grow by 19% in the next ten years, much faster than average.² With an estimated 67% of U.S. households claiming at least one pet, practices and clinics will need to hire trained, knowledgeable assistants and technicians to meet client demand.
Q. How long does it take to become a veterinary assistant at Penn Foster?
A. Penn Foster’s flexible, online veterinary assistant classes can be completed in as little as 7 months. With the ability to set your own pace, it’s up to you and your schedule when you finish the coursework. Once you’ve completed your academic work, you’ll participate in an 8-week externship to gain hands-on knowledge.
Q. Can I become a veterinary assistant with no experience?
A. While experience in the field isn’t necessary for some, it can be easier to find a position at a veterinary practice or hospital with previous relevant work on your resume. Through completing your academic and externship requirements in a NAVTA approved training program, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you have learned the knowledge and skills that are useful to working in the field.
Hundreds of leading employers and workforce organizations partner with Penn Foster to attract, develop, and retain talent for today’s in-demand middle skilled occupations.