Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+15.8% (much faster than the average)

Most Common Level of Education

High school diploma or equivalent


What Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Do

Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine postoperative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

Other Job Titles Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers May Have

Animal Care Provider, Animal Caregiver, Avian Keeper, Certified Veterinary Assistant, Emergency Veterinary Assistant, Inpatient Technician Assistant, Kennel Vet Assistant (Kennel Veterinary Assistant), Research Animal Attendant, Small Animal Caretaker, Veterinarian Assistant (Vet Assistant)

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Veterinary Technician Student ,


It can vary a lot, but it'll almost always involve restraining animals for blood or urine draws, nail trims, anal gland expressions, taking care of borders, cleaning and disinfecting cages and the treatment area. Sometimes it involves spending the last few minutes with a pet who is being euthanized but the owner doesn't want to be present.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
  • Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.