Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in Bakersfield, California
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for veterinary attendants in the Bakersfield, California area. There are currently 8,500 working veterinary attendants in California; this should grow 22% to about 10,400 working veterinary attendants in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for veterinary attendants, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.8% over the next eight years. In general, veterinary attendants feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics.
A person working as a veterinary attendant can expect to earn about $11 per hour or $24,590 yearly on average in California and about $10 per hour or $21,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for veterinary attendants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Veterinary in California and not quite as good as general Veterinary category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: veterinarian assistant, veterinary technician , and small animal caretaker.
The Bakersfield area is home to eight schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Bakersfield where you can get a degree as a veterinary attendant. The most common level of education for veterinary attendants is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a veterinary attendant if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Veterinary Attendant
In general, veterinary attendants feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. They also clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment.
Veterinary attendants hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures. They also monitor animals' recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms. Equally important, veterinary attendants have to ready examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies. They are often called upon to assist veterinarians in examining animals to establish the nature of illnesses or injuries. They are expected to clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination and operating rooms, and animal loading/unloading facilities to manage the spread of disease. Finally, veterinary attendants dust or bathe animals to manage insect pests.
Every day, veterinary attendants are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for veterinary attendants to administer medication and blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians. They are often called upon to execute office reception duties such as scheduling appointments and helping customers. They also sell pet food and supplies to customers. They are sometimes expected to administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals. Somewhat less frequently, veterinary attendants are also expected to write reports, maintain research data, and execute clerical duties.
Veterinary attendants sometimes are asked to clean and sterilize instruments and apparatus. And finally, they sometimes have to execute accounting duties, including bookkeeping, billing customers for services, and maintaining inventories.
Like many other jobs, veterinary attendants must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Veterinary Attendant Training
Bakersfield College - Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield College, 1801 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93305-1299. Bakersfield College is a large college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,028 students. Bakersfield College has a two to four year program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant.
Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician: The technician certification designations of ALAT, LAT, and LATG are well known and widely used throughout the varied fields of laboratory animal care.
For more information, see the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield is situated in Kern County, California. It has a population of over 321,078, which has grown by 30.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bakersfield, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Bakersfield are valued at $191,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,038 new homes were built in Bakersfield, down from 1,820 the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Bakersfield are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.3% of Bakersfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.4%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Bakersfield is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Bakersfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Cornerstone Community Church, Coronado Gardens Missionary Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in Bakersfield. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.
Bakersfield is home to the Mesa Marin Raceway and the Avenue Oaks Country Club as well as Beale Park and Kern County Fairgrounds. Shopping centers in the area include Sagebrush Shopping Center, White Lane Plaza Shopping Center and Benton Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Bakersfield can choose from Best Western Heritage Inn, Best Western Hill House and America's Best Inn Bakersfield for temporary stays in the area.