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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in Lewiston, Maine

Veterinary attendant career and educational opportunities abound in Lewiston, Maine. There are currently 650 working veterinary attendants in Maine; this should grow 3% to 660 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. 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 per hour or $24,620 yearly on average in Maine. Nationally, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,210 per year. Veterinary attendants earn less than people working in the category of Veterinary generally in Maine and less than people in the Veterinary category nationally. Veterinary attendants work in a variety of jobs, including: kennel assistant, animal care taker, and large animal care technician.

There are ten schools of higher education in the Lewiston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Lewiston where you can get a degree to start your career as a veterinary attendant. Given that the most common education level 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

University of Maine at Augusta - Augusta, ME

University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330-9410. University of Maine at Augusta is a small university located in Augusta, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,731 students. University of Maine at Augusta has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated eighteen 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 Medical Technician

Licensing agency: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation
Address: Office of Licensing and Registration, Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator, 35 State House Station, Gardiner Annex-Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04333-0035

Phone: (207) 624-8603
Website: Department of Professional & Financial Regulation Office of Licensing and Registration Attn: Geraldine Betts, Administrator

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lewiston, Maine

Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston, Maine photo by Jonrouellette

Lewiston is located in Androscoggin County, Maine. It has a population of over 35,131, which has shrunk by 1.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lewiston, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Lewiston are valued at $166,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, thirty-two new homes were constructed in Lewiston, up from twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Lewiston are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 12.6% of Lewiston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lewiston is 8.5%, which is greater than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 15.5% of Lewiston's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Lewiston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Holy Cross Catholic Church, Spirit of Fire Evangelistic Church and Amazing Grace Mission are some of the churches located in Lewiston. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the United Methodist Church.

Lewiston is home to the Lewiston City Hall and the Stanton Museum as well as Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary and Elliot Little League Ball Fields. Shopping centers in the area include Shaws Plaza Center Shopping Center, North Wood Park Shopping Center and The Market Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Lewiston can choose from Motel 6, Maine Motel And Cabins and Dudley's for temporary stays in the area.