What do they do?

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 postoperative 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.

Also known as:

Animal Care Provider, Animal Caregiver, Avian Keeper, Certified Veterinary Assistant, Emergency Veterinary Assistant, Inpatient Technician Assistant, Kennel Vet Assistant (Kennel Veterinary Assistant), Research Animal Attendant, Small Animal Caretaker, Veterinarian Assistant (Vet Assistant)

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 13.4%


    Ranks #38 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #11 in net job growth

Best colleges for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Colleges with the most graduates that become Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (1%)
  • Master's degree  (2%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (26%)
  • Associate's degree  (16%)
  • Some college, no degree  (30%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (20%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (4%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

★ There are no majors that have graduates with this degree type

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Administrative - Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Hold patients to ensure proper positioning or safety.
  • Monitor patients to detect health problems.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Give medications or immunizations.
  • Control prescription refills or authorizations.
  • Clean patient rooms or patient treatment rooms.
  • Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Conduct diagnostic tests to determine patient health.
  • Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Clean medical equipment.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
  • Teach medical procedures or medical equipment use to patients.
  • Prepare patient treatment areas for use.
  • Stock medical or patient care supplies.
  • Feed patients.
  • Dispose of biomedical waste in accordance with standards.
  • Prepare medical reports or documents.
  • Assist patients with daily activities.
  • Process medical billing information.
  • Inventory medical supplies or equipment.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Sell products or services.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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