Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in Austin, Texas
If you want to be a veterinary attendant, the Austin, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 4,310 people work as veterinary attendants in Texas. This is expected to grow by 22% to about 5,250 people 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.
The income of a veterinary attendant is about $9 per hour or $18,930 annually on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 hourly or $21,210 annually on average. Earnings for veterinary attendants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Veterinary in Texas and not quite as good as general Veterinary category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: veterinarian assistant, research animal attendant, and kennel help.
The Austin area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Austin 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
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
Virginia College-Austin - Austin, TX
Virginia College-Austin, 6301 E Highway 290, Austin, TX 78723. Virginia College-Austin is a small college located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 825 students. Virginia College-Austin has a one to two year program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twelve 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: Austin, Texas
Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, 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 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.