If you've always enjoyed being around animals, but don't have the time or inclination to earn a veterinary degree, you might consider a career as an animal hospital assistant. Typically, this position requires no degree and no college classes. Instead, you learn through on-the-job training. A veterinary assistant's duties may include assisting the vets during exams and minor treatments, maintaining patient charts, filling prescriptions, or setting up lab tests. The assistant usually cares for and monitors animals who are being boarded at the office or who are recovering from surgery or illness. He or she may feed, water, bathe, and medicate the animals as needed; clean cages; and wash any bedding or towels used in their care. Attributes such as patience, a kindly manner, attention to detail, ability to remain calm during emergencies, and moderate physical strength may indicate that you're a good candidate for this type of position. Being a veterinary assistant can be a rewarding job and also provides a solid background for those who might later decide to pursue a career as a veterinary technician or veterinarian.