Oct 02, 2023  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog


Veterinary Technology, AAS

Location(s): Ankeny

Veterinary technicians provide professional technical support to veterinarians, biomedical researchers and other scientists. As a veterinary technician, you will care for hospitalized animal patients; assist the doctor in surgery; perform physical exams, lab work and technical procedures (blood draws, IV catheter placement); take health histories and X-rays; give and monitor anesthesia; provide client education; and perform reception duties. There will be opportunities to work with a variety of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, birds, lizards, snakes, turtles, amphibians, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, mice and rats.

Most Veterinary Technician graduates find work in small, mixed or large-animal practices. Other opportunities exist in humane societies, animal shelters, zoos, specialty veterinary practices, pet shops, biological research labs, animal control agencies, military, veterinary teaching hospitals, and state and federal agencies.

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree will be awarded to those students who successfully complete the Veterinary Technology curriculum. This program is accredited. Students who have successfully completed the program will have the opportunity to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and the Veterinary Technician State Examination (VTSE).

More information on the Veterinary Technology program

Program Details

Pathway: Agriculture, Animals, & Natural Resources

Students start Fall semester

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Submit high school and, if applicable, any college transcripts. Transcripts must meet the following two requirements: High school transcripts and grades must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and combined college transcripts and grades must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  3. Submit evidence of grade “C” or better in one year of high school biology or equivalent (DMACC Academic Achievement Center Biology I & II or BIO157    )
  4. Submit evidence of grade “C” or better in one year of high school chemistry or equivalent (DMACC Academic Achievement Center Chemistry I & II or CHM 122 ).
  5. Satisfy required assessments with a minimum composite ACT score of 20 or ACCUPLACER Next Gen with a minimum score of 248 Reading and 254 Writing.
  6. Complete the Veterinary Technology Program admissions testing (ATI TEAS Exam).
  7. Attend a Veterinary Technology Program Informational Seminar with Program Chair/ Director.
  8. A minimum of 20 hours practical experience verified by completion of the “Experience Verification Form”.
  9. Applicants satisfying the above requirements will be invited to an Interview as part of the departmental selection process with the DMACC Veterinary Technology admissions committee.
  10. Attend any required orientation meeting.

Due to the large volume of applicants relative to the number of available positions in the program, a point ranking system will be used. Each eligible application will be given a number for anonymity and demographic data will be removed. Applicants will be given points and ranked based on:

  1. GPA
  2. Scores on admissions exams
  3. Interview with Admissions Committee
  4. Bonus points, based on the grade are given for general education requirements completed before admission to the program.
  5. Ties in point value will be ordered based on application date.


Applications are accepted all year. Application for the starting Fall Term will be cut off on March 1 of each year. This deadline may be extended if program seats are still available. Upon acceptance into the Veterinary Technology Program, all students are required to attend a group orientation in June of the year in which they are accepted. Below is some information about the orientation.

  1. The group orientation will take at least 2 hours. Students will be given their fall semester schedule. Students will only be registered for classes after completing the orientation.
  2. Students will learn about the programs expectations, dress code and rabies vaccination recommendations.
  3. Students will learn the program’s Technical Standards

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Veterinary Technology AAS degree, a student must successfully complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average in all Veterinary Technology program courses.

Semester 3

Option 1 - Select 4 credits

Option 3 - Select 2-3 Credits

Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 78

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$185.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5
Books (approximate) 905 500 15 315 675
Clothing (uniform) 120     120  

Approximate total for program: $17,080**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Animal patient physical examination and patient history.
  • Animal restraint and handling.
  • Client education and office management.
  • Nursing and monitoring of hospitalized patients.
  • Administration of medication and vaccines.
  • Clinical laboratory procedures and tests.
  • Dental cleaning and prophylaxis.
  • Pharmacology identification and calculations.
  • Radiology procedures and x-ray film development.
  • Anesthesiology and fluid administration calculations.
  • Anesthesiology administration, patient monitoring.
  • Surgical assisting and monitoring.
  • Biomedical research and data collection.

Career Opportunities?

  • Community practice and specialized practice.
  • Veterinary and veterinary technology teaching institutes.
  • Military service.
  • Humane societies.
  • Herd health managers.
  • Veterinary industry representative and supplies sales.
  • Biomedical research and diagnostic laboratories.
  • Zoo/Wildlife medicine.
  • State and federal regulatory veterinary professional.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

Performance Standards: Performance standards are necessary in a competent veterinary technician.

1. Physical requirements

  • Ability to tolerate walking and standing for sustained periods of time.
  • Capable of lifting and/or carrying up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level frequently.
  • Capable of using hands and arms to handle, install, position and move materials.
  • Capable of handling, positioning and restraining live animals.

2. Sensory abilities

  • Visual ability to see details at a close range and to make observations and assessments necessary in animal care. Be able to use diagnostic equipment, e.g., microscope, thermometer, refractometer, etc.
  • Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Hear ausculatory sounds, monitor alarms, emergency signals and cries for help. Hear warning sounds from animals and humans of impending danger/injury.
  • Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and to perform nursing duties. Perform palpation during physical exams. Administer oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous and intravenous medications. Perform wound care management. Collect organic samples from live animals.

3. Mental

  • Amenable to learning the safe handling, restraining and working with any species of domestic or exotic animals without fear. These animals may be sick, injured, fractious, or aggressive without fear.
  • Willingness to perform a variety of routine medical surgical and diagnostic procedures common to the veterinary setting, including humane euthanasia.
  • Capacities to read, hear, understand, and quickly execute complex verbal and written instructions given in English.
  • Possess emotional stability when performing duties in animal life-and-death situations or other stressful situations.
  • During emergencies, being able to respond promptly and appropriately.

What Else Should I Consider about this Degree program?

  • Requires ability to work with a variety of animal species (exotics, pets and production animals).
  • Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is required to become a registered veterinary technician.
  • Veterinary Technician State Examination (VTSE) is required to become a registered veterinary technician in the state of Iowa.
  • Anticipated average starting salary-$24,520 (2014-2015 Placement Report).

Program Competencies

  1. Educate our students for careers in veterinary technology services.
  2. Prepare our students for the VTNE and VTSE.
  3. Teach students essential hands-on skills for careers in the veterinary industry.
  4. Follow and uphold applicable laws and ethical codes of the veterinary profession.
  5. Adhere to industry and OSHA standards for safety.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at https://www.dmacc.edu/admissions/Pages/checklist.aspx.(2021)