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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a veterinary attendant, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 3,290 working veterinary attendants in Illinois; this should grow 14% to 3,750 working veterinary attendants in the state 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%. 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.

The income of a veterinary attendant is about $10 per hour or $21,860 yearly on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,210 per year on average. Veterinary attendants earn less than people working in the category of Veterinary generally in Illinois and less than people in the Veterinary category nationally. Jobs in this field include: groomer, large animal care technician, and veterinarian technician.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a veterinary attendant. The most common level of education for veterinary attendants is a high school diploma or GED. 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

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Fox College Inc - Oak Lawn, IL

Fox College Inc, 4201 W 93rd St, Oak Lawn, IL 60453. Fox College Inc is a small college located in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 344 students and an admission rate of 69%. Fox College Inc has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

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.

LICENSES

ANIMAL HEALTH TECHNICIAN

Licensing agency: Illinois Racing Board
Address: 100 West Randolph, Suite 7-701, Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: (312) 814-2600
Website: Illinois Racing Board

VETERINARIAN ASSISTANT

Licensing agency: Illinois Racing Board
Address: 100 West Randolph, Suite 7-701, Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: (312) 814-2600
Website: Illinois Racing Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.