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Summary Report for:
31-9096.00 - Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

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 post-operative 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Animal Care Provider, Animal Caregiver, Avian Keeper, Emergency Veterinary Assistant, Research Animal Attendant, Small Animal Caretaker, Technician Assistant, Veterinarian Assistant, Veterinary Assistant (Vet Assistant), Veterinary Technician Assistant (Vet Tech Assistant)

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.
  • Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
  • Educate or advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, or behavior problems.
  • Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Collect laboratory specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces for testing.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Animal shearing or clipping equipment — Animal razors; Electric animal clippers
Medical x ray film or cassette — X ray cassettes
Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use — Digital veterinary x ray equipment; Stationary veterinary x ray equipment
Urinalysis analyzers — Urine analysis equipment; Urinometers
Veterinary injection or suction units or accessories — Balling guns; Injection syringes; Veterinary vaccination syringes

Technology used in this occupation:

Label making software — Labeling software
Medical software — IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX Cornerstone; McAllister Software Systems AVImark; Practice management software PMS
Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

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Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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Skills

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Work Activities

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Work Context

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Exposed to Disease or Infections — How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There are 2 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Veterinary and Laboratory Animal Technician; Veterinary/Lab Animal Technician

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
34   High school diploma or equivalent
33   Associate's degree
24   Some college, no degree

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Interests

Interest code: RSI

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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Work Values

Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $11.12 hourly, $23,130 annual
Employment (2012) 75,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 21,300
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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