If you have a love for animals and always seem to have them running around in your house, you’ve probably thought about becoming a veterinarian. Contrary to what you might think, starting a veterinary career doesn’t have to start with being a vet. A veterinary assistant is a great occupation to get your foot in the door in the pet care industry while getting a feel for what the work and environment is like. To be a veterinary assistant, you can take one of the following routes for success in the career of your dreams.

Enroll in CTAE’s Veterinary Assistant Program

A way to stay on track and work steadily toward your goal is to enroll in the veterinary assistant program. Your tendency to care for and play with cats and dogs is a good start, but getting the advanced training to prepare for your job will boost your job options in the future. Of the veterinary assistant programs in Florida, CTAE offers veterinary assisting as a Career in a Year program. Combining education in the classroom, in labs, and hands-on opportunities through externships, you’ll get a rounded skill set and experience handling canine, feline, fowl, and equine. Certification can be attained at the very end of the program through an exam by Animal Care Technologies. After you receive certification, the sky’s the limit: employers highly value a certified veterinary assistant.

Alternate Way be a Veterinary Assistant

Another route to become a veterinary assistant is to gain more hands-on experience with animals and leverage that experience for a job as a vet assistant. That means using your prior experiences as a dog groomer or volunteer at an animal shelter to your advantage, citing it as great, relevant history and what you can do for a clinic. However, most animal clinics and hospitals look for veterinary assistants that are certified, and the more formal education you have the more promising your job outlook might be.

By enrolling in the veterinary assistant program, you’re accessing a network of educators and peers that will help you exponentially on your journey to becoming a veterinary assistant. Your education can continue also: to advance in the pet care field you can become a veterinary technician and eventually a veterinarian if you choose to advance your studies. Investing in formal education means you’re vetted to be good, so why not take the first step to a career you’ll enjoy?

READY TO ENROLL? For CTAE’s VETERINARY ASSISTING PROGRAM July 2016 courses, applications are due by Thursday, April 21. However, applications will be accepted until classes are filled.