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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in Modesto, California

For those living in the Modesto, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for veterinary attendants. Currently, 8,500 people work as veterinary attendants in California. This is expected to grow 22% to 10,400 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for veterinary attendants are expected to grow by about 22.8%. Veterinary attendants generally feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics.

Income for veterinary attendants is about $11 hourly or $24,590 per year on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $10 hourly or $21,210 annually. Incomes for veterinary attendants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Veterinary in California, and not quite as good as the overall Veterinary category nationally. People working as veterinary attendants can fill a number of jobs, such as: groomer, veterinarian assistant, and veterinary surgery technician.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Modesto area, including two within twenty-five miles of Modesto where you can get a degree to start your career as a veterinary attendant. Veterinary attendants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a veterinary attendant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Veterinary Attendant

Veterinary Attendant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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

Western Career College-Stockton - Stockton, CA

Western Career College-Stockton, 1313 W. Robinhood Drive-Ste B, Stockton, CA 95207. Western Career College-Stockton is a small college located in Stockton, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 439 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Stockton has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Modesto Junior College - Modesto, CA

Modesto Junior College, 435 College Ave, Modesto, CA 95350-5800. Modesto Junior College is a large college located in Modesto, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,000 students. Modesto Junior College has a two to four year program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Modesto, California

Modesto, California
Modesto, California photo by Foolishfish

Modesto is located in Stanislaus County, California. It has a population of over 202,967, which has grown by 7.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Modesto, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Modesto cost $208,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were constructed in Modesto, down from two hundred eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Modesto are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 16.5% of Modesto residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Modesto is 14.4%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Modesto residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Livingway Tabernacle, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Bethel Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Modesto. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the Assemblies of God.

Modesto is home to the King-Kennedy Center and the McClure Historical Country House as well as Muncy Park and John Muir Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Shopping Center, Gregory Gardens Shopping Center and Western Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Modesto can choose from Best Western Town House Lodge, Apex Inn and Arrow Inn for temporary stays in the area.