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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in San Francisco, California

Veterinary attendants can find many career and educational opportunities in the San Francisco, California area. There are currently 8,500 jobs for veterinary attendants in California and this is projected to grow by 22% to 10,400 jobs 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.

A person working as a veterinary attendant can expect to earn about $11 hourly or $24,590 yearly on average in California and about $10 per hour or $21,210 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Veterinary attendants earn less than people working in the category of Veterinary generally in California and less than people in the Veterinary category nationally. Jobs in this field include: veterinarian assistant, kennel technician, and veterinarian technician.

The San Francisco area is home to eighty-six schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of San Francisco 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

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

Mt Diablo Adult Education - Concord, CA

Mt Diablo Adult Education, 1266 San Carlos, Concord, CA 94518. Mt Diablo Adult Education is a small school located in Concord, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 513 students. Mt Diablo Adult Education has a less than one year program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated five students in 2008.

Western Career College-Pleasant Hill - Pleasant Hill, CA

Western Career College-Pleasant Hill, 380 Civic Dr Ste 300, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Western Career College-Pleasant Hill is a small college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 530 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Pleasant Hill has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.


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: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.