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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in St. Louis, Missouri

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for veterinary attendants in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Currently, 1,780 people work as veterinary attendants in Missouri. This is expected to grow 7% to 1,900 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%. 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 $9 per hour or $19,240 yearly on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 hourly or $21,210 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Veterinary, people working as veterinary attendants in Missouri earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Veterinary nationally. Jobs in this field include: veterinarian helper, animal care service worker, and animal care taker.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the St. Louis area, including four within twenty-five miles of St. Louis 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 studying 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

Sanford-Brown College - Fenton, MO

Sanford-Brown College, 1345 Smizer Mill Road, Fenton, MO 63026-3400. Sanford-Brown College is a small college located in Fenton, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 885 students. Sanford-Brown College has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated thirty students in 2008.

Jefferson College - Hillsboro, MO

Jefferson College, 1000 Viking Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050-2440. Jefferson College is a medium sized college located in Hillsboro, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,983 students. Jefferson College has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Sanford-Brown College - Saint Peters, MO

Sanford-Brown College, 100 Richmond Center Blvd, Saint Peters, MO 63376. Sanford-Brown College is a small college located in Saint Peters, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 813 students. Sanford-Brown College has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Midwest Institute - Kirkwood, MO

Midwest Institute, 10910 Manchester Rd, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Midwest Institute is a small school located in Kirkwood, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 133 students and an admission rate of 96%. Midwest Institute has a less than one year program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated thirty-six 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.