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The Veterinary Assistant program at Pickens Technical College in the Landscaping and Environmental Pathway prepares students for a career working with animals, building skills you’ll need to succeed in this growing industry. Everything from animal management, animal care, health and nutrition, and even office management skills is included in the Pickens’ Veterinary Assistant program, and graduates frequently find jobs in veterinary offices large and small.

One of the largest employers of Veterinary Assistants in the country is Banfield Pet Hospital. If you’ve ever been to a PetSmart, you might notice a Banfield clinic in the store. With this partnership, Banfield has grown throughout the United States, adding new VAs and other veterinary experts all the time to serve a growing demand for skilled veterinarians and staff who can help with animal health problems large and small.

Back in September, Banfield made an announcement that will not only affect VAs already working for them, but could also shake up VA employment opportunities industry-wide. At Banfield’s annual Pet Healthcare Industry Summit in Portland this September, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Aja said Banfield would increase the pay of their veterinary assistants and technicians, and make it easier for these workers to reach the peak of their professional ambitions.

Improving Career Prospects for VAs

Dr. Aja wants VAs at Banfield to have the opportunity to “work at the top of their license,” signaling a change in company policy and allowing for the delegation of certain medical tasks that were handled by veterinary doctors in the past. Other new opportunities Dr. Aja announced included increased corporate support for the continuing education of VAs and a renewed focus on the professional development of VAs in Banfield.

Far-Reaching Changes

The changes are still being felt throughout the veterinary industry. Banfield is the largest veterinary practice brand in the world, operating over 1,000 hospitals employing over 1,500 veterinary technicians in the United States. Moving up the corporate ladder, Banfield is owned by the international conglomerate Mars, Inc., which owns three additional practice brands in the US and two more in Europe. When Banfield makes a change like this, the ripples will be felt throughout the industry. Many VAs find work at Banfield, where they can get the experience they need to one day advance in the industry, improve their training, and generally enjoy more freedom.

Veterinary technicians are rejoicing at the changes to the Banfield system, and with the need for quality VAs in Banfield clinics across the country rising, you’ll find an excellent lead for your job hunt after graduating from PTC’s Veterinary Assistant program.

Banfield has been a reliable and lucrative employer of VAs for years, but with these changes, other, smaller companies will likely soon follow suit. The trend in the industry, in general, is to give more responsibilities to VAs and technicians to build confidence and develop from within. Investing in capable VAs makes good business sense, so when you get your Veterinary Assistant license, you’ll have the opportunity to rise quickly and work at the very top of your profession.