Employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is expected to grow 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is concentrated in veterinary services, an industry that is expected to grow very quickly during the projection decade. Fast industry growth will be spurred by a growing pet population and advancements in veterinary medicine. Although veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers will be needed to assist veterinarians and other veterinary care staff, some veterinary practices are expected to increasingly replace veterinary assistants with higher skilled veterinary technicians and technologists, thus slowing the demand for veterinary assistants.
Continued support for public health, food and animal safety, and national disease control programs, as well as biomedical research on human health problems, is expected to contribute to demand for laboratory animal caretakers.
Overall job opportunities for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are expected to be excellent. Although some establishments are replacing veterinary assistant positions with higher skilled veterinary technicians and technologists, growth of the pet care industry means that the number of veterinary assistant positions should continue to increase. Furthermore, veterinary assistants experience a high rate of turnover, so many positions will be available through workers leaving the occupation.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition