Skip navigation

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers - 31-9096.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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 postoperative 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
  • Certified Veterinary Assistant
  • Emergency Veterinary Assistant
  • Inpatient Technician Assistant
  • Kennel Vet Assistant (Kennel Veterinary Assistant)
  • Research Animal Attendant
  • Small Animal Caretaker
  • Veterinarian Assistant (Vet Assistant)

SOC Occupation Groups

31-0000 Healthcare Support Occupations
31-9000 Other Healthcare Support Occupations
31-9090 Miscellaneous Healthcare Support Occupations
31-9096.00 Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Related Occupations


  • Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.
  • Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.
  • Collect laboratory specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces, for testing.
  • Dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.
  • Educate or advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, or behavior problems.
  • Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
  • Exercise animals or provide them with companionship.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Groom, trim, or clip animals' coats.
  • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
  • Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Perform accounting duties, such as bookkeeping, billing customers for services, or maintaining inventories.
  • Perform enemas, catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Perform hygiene-related duties, such as clipping animals' claws or cleaning and polishing teeth.
  • Perform office reception duties, such as scheduling appointments or helping customers.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests or diagnostic tests, such as taking or developing x-rays.
  • Place orders to restock inventory of hospital or laboratory supplies.
  • Prepare examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies.
  • Prepare feed for animals according to specific instructions, such as diet lists or schedules.
  • Prepare surgical equipment and pass instruments or materials to veterinarians during surgical procedures.
  • Provide assistance with euthanasia of animals or disposal of corpses.
  • Provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals.
  • Record information relating to animal genealogy, feeding schedules, appearance, behavior, or breeding.
  • Sell pet food or supplies to customers.
  • Write reports, maintain research information, or perform clerical duties.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Assist patients with daily activities.
  • Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
  • Clean medical equipment.
  • Clean patient rooms or patient treatment rooms.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Conduct diagnostic tests to determine patient health.
  • Control prescription refills or authorizations.
  • Dispose of biomedical waste in accordance with standards.
  • Feed patients.
  • Give medications or immunizations.
  • Hold patients to ensure proper positioning or safety.
  • Inventory medical supplies or equipment.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Monitor patients to detect health problems.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
  • Prepare medical reports or documents.
  • Prepare patient treatment areas for use.
  • Process medical billing information.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Sell products or services.
  • Stock medical or patient care supplies.
  • Teach medical procedures or medical equipment use to patients.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Animal Care Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Field Veterinary Service (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Food Safety Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Marine Mammal Systems Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Unit Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Veterinary Clinical Medicine (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Veterinary Corps Officer (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Veterinary Laboratory Animal Medicine (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Veterinary Pathology (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Veterinary Preventive Medicine (Army - Commissioned Officer only)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Veterinary/Lab Animal Tech (Alternate Title: Animal Care Specialist)

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Veterinary Technician