How Much Does a Veterinary Assistant Make per Hour?

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Are you considering a career as a veterinary assistant? One crucial aspect to consider is the salary you can expect to earn per hour. Understanding the factors that influence a veterinary assistant’s hourly rate will help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that affect a veterinary assistant’s salary and provide you with insights to determine how much you can potentially earn in this rewarding profession.

Factors Affecting Veterinary Assistant Hourly Rates

Several factors play a significant role in determining how much a veterinary assistant makes per hour. Let’s delve into each of these factors to gain a better understanding:

Experience and Qualifications

Just like in any profession, experience and qualifications are vital determinants of a veterinary assistant’s earning potential. As you gain more experience and acquire additional certifications or specialized skills, your value as a veterinary assistant increases. Veterinary assistants with several years of experience and advanced qualifications often command higher hourly rates.

Geographic Location

Location is another crucial factor that impacts a veterinary assistant’s hourly wage. The cost of living and demand for veterinary services can vary significantly from one area to another. Urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living generally offer higher salaries to veterinary assistants. On the other hand, rural areas or regions with a lower cost of living may offer lower hourly rates.

Type of Establishment

The type of establishment where you work can also influence your hourly wage as a veterinary assistant. Veterinary assistants employed in private clinics, hospitals, or research facilities may have different earning potentials. Larger establishments or specialized facilities may offer higher wages compared to smaller clinics or general practices. It’s essential to consider the type of establishment you prefer to work in when assessing your potential earnings.

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Additional Certifications or Specialized Skills

Obtaining additional certifications or acquiring specialized skills can significantly impact a veterinary assistant’s hourly rate. Skills such as dental prophylaxis, radiology, or laboratory diagnostics can make you a more valuable asset to your employer. These additional qualifications showcase your expertise and dedication, which can lead to higher wages.

Average Veterinary Assistant Hourly Rates

Now that we’ve discussed the factors influencing hourly rates, let’s explore the average wages for veterinary assistants. While the exact figures may vary, here is an overview of the average hourly rates based on available data:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for veterinary assistants in the United States is around $14.75 per hour[^1^]. However, it’s important to note that this is an average, and the actual rates can vary based on the factors we discussed earlier.

Researching region-specific data can provide a more accurate understanding of the average hourly rates in your area. Websites such as PayScale or Glassdoor can offer insights into the wages reported by veterinary assistants in different locations.

How to Determine Your Hourly Wage as a Veterinary Assistant

To determine your potential hourly wage as a veterinary assistant, follow these steps:

  1. Research Average Rates in Your Area: Look for data specific to your geographic location. Consider factors such as the cost of living and the demand for veterinary services.

  2. Assess Your Experience and Qualifications: Evaluate your level of experience, any certifications you hold, and specialized skills you possess. These factors can contribute to negotiating a higher hourly wage.

  3. Consider Additional Certifications or Skills: If you’re keen on increasing your earning potential, invest in further certifications or develop specialized skills that are in demand within the veterinary industry.

  4. Compare Your Findings: Once you have gathered all the necessary information, compare your findings to industry standards and the rates reported in your area. This will give you a better understanding of your potential hourly wage as a veterinary assistant.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Veterinary Assistant Salaries

What is the national average hourly wage for veterinary assistants?

The national average hourly wage for veterinary assistants in the United States is approximately $14.75 per hour[^1^]. However, it’s important to remember that this is an average, and rates can vary based on various factors.

Can veterinary assistants earn more with specialized certifications?

Yes, veterinary assistants can earn higher wages by obtaining specialized certifications. These certifications showcase your commitment to professional development and can make you a more valuable asset to employers.

Are there opportunities for career advancement and higher wages?

Absolutely! Veterinary assisting can provide a solid foundation for career growth within the veterinary field. By gaining experience, acquiring additional qualifications, or pursuing higher education, you can expand your earning potential and pursue advanced roles such as veterinary technician or veterinary nurse.

How does the salary of a veterinary assistant compare to other similar roles in the industry?

While veterinary assistants play a vital role in veterinary care, their hourly wages may be lower compared to roles that require more advanced education and responsibilities, such as veterinary technicians or veterinarians. However, veterinary assisting can serve as an excellent starting point for those interested in pursuing a career in the veterinary field.


Understanding how much a veterinary assistant can make per hour is crucial when considering this rewarding career path. Factors such as experience, qualifications, geographic location, and additional certifications play a significant role in determining hourly rates. By researching average rates, assessing your qualifications, and considering specialized skills, you can determine your potential earning as a veterinary assistant. Remember, veterinary assisting offers opportunities for career growth and serves as an excellent foundation for those passionate about animal care.

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[^1^]: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers. Retrieved from

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