What Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Do
Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers look after animals in laboratories, animal hospitals, and clinics. They care for the animals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technologists and technicians.
Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers work mainly in clinics, animal hospitals, and research laboratories. Their work may be physically and emotionally demanding.
How to Become a Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker
Most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers have a high school diploma and learn the occupation on the job.
Employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. In addition to fast employment growth, high occupational turnover should result in very good job opportunities.
Job Trends for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
This occupation supported 74,600 jobs in 2012 and 73,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 1.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.5% in 2022 to 81,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 76,000, compared with an observed value of 73,400, 3.4% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 8.8% in 2024 to 80,000 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 83,100 jobs for 2024, 3.9% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.