We previously discussed the job description of a veterinary assistant. Since we offer so much information on the job description, salary information, and future career path of a vet tech, we figured we could offer pertinent information on the career of a vet assistant as well.
Veterinary assistants are known to help and assist veterinarians. Their tasks can be arduous, but these can also vary depending on their workplace and facility type. Common tasks of veterinary assistants can often overlap with tasks of veterinary technicians as we mentioned previously.
In 2005, the veterinary assistant salary was at $14,000 at the low end and $25,000 at the high end. The median pay was about $10 per hour. In 2009, the average veterinary assistant salary increased to $11.25 per hour according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest amount was around $16 per hour while the lowest amount was around $7 per hour. The median hourly wage was $10.43. A lot of veterinary assistants work part-time and are paid by the hour.
The veterinary assistant salary is usually affected by certain factors. Location, for instance, greatly affects the pay of veterinary assistants as it does with veterinary technicians. Click here to see which states have the highest salaries for veterinary technicians. Generally, the higher the cost of living or demand in the area, the higher the salary there is. Also, cities usually pay higher compared to small towns and rural areas. At present, the highest paying state is Washington, DC with an annual mean salary of $38,710. The average pay is $18.61 per hour according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Massachusetts is next with an annual mean salary of $30,080 and California with an annual mean salary of $29,130. Veterinary assistants in Massachusetts are paid $14.46 per hour while those in California are paid $13.10 per hour. Following are Connecticut and Maine with annual mean salaries of $28,160 and $27,260 respectively. The average salary in these places range from around $13 to $14 per hour. Two of the highest paying metropolitan areas are San Diego, California and New Haven, Connecticut with an hourly rate of at least $18.
The national median veterinary assistant salary across the United States is $26,464 with the bottom quarter making less than $21,678 and the top quarter making more than $31,972. Reports say that bonuses bring the upper quartile of the salaries up to $31,972 and the lower quartile up to $21,678. This brings the value of the entire compensation up to $40,106. Also, average salaries usually rise when bonuses are credited and include information regarding the total compensation value.
Aside from the state, the size of the workplace can affect the veterinary assistant salary. Large clinics and hospitals, for instance, are more likely to offer higher pay. However, there is also a good chance that they prefer part-time employees over full-time employees. Nevertheless, these large employers are more stable and offer more job security. Veterinary assistants may apply in animal hospitals, clinics, animal shelters, and laboratories.
Another deciding factor for the veterinary assistant salary is the type of industry. Currently, the top paying industries are medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Veterinary assistants working in these industries can earn as much as $40,510 annually. Those who work for the government also receive a good amount. The average pay is $33,910 for these government workers. Some veterinary assistants may also apply in general hospitals to earn $14.33 per hour, but it should be noted that the number of positions available are limited.
Although majority of the veterinary assistants opt to work in the technical, professional, and scientific industries to earn a mean annual salary of $22,350, they may also choose to work at universities, colleges, and professional schools. The average salary in these places is more than $30,000, and the average pay per hour is $14.87. Those who want to earn more may choose to work in development services and scientific research industries. They can earn as much as $33,980 or $16.29 per hour.
Veterinary assistants can work in whatever industry they like. They can choose these industries because of money or passion. However, they should also consider certain factors such as difficulty of tasks and location. It is wise to choose a location and industry that would be beneficial for the veterinary assistant in the long run.