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).
For more information about the Veterinary Technology program, please visit our website at www.dmacc.edu/programs/ag/vettech.
Students start Fall semester.
Program Entry Requirements
- Complete an application for admission.
- Satisfy the assessment requirement.
- Students will be expected to have developed word processing skills or may be required to enroll in a keyboarding course prior to taking the Veterinary Office Procedures course.
- Submit evidence of grade “C” or better in one year of high school biology or equivalent (DMACC Academic Achievement Center Biology I & II or BIO 156 ).
- 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 ).
- Biology Competency Exam: All applicants must take this exam and receive a minimum score of 25 out of 50 on the exam to qualify for a seat in the starting Fall class. This score does not guarantee that a seat is available to you. Your biology score and the application date as processed by the College Admissions office will determine the 30 students who will receive an invitation for the program interview, orientation and registration. At the time the College formally processes your admission application, you will receive additional information regarding all required assessments for this program.
- Program Conferences: Applicants as determined by biology scores and admission dates will be invited to a program conference with the Veterinary Technology program chairperson or the chairperson of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.
- Attend any required information/registration session.
To earn a Veterinary Technology AAS degree, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.
Option 1 - Select 1 Course
Option 2 - Select 1 Course
Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 69
Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit
The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.
Approximate total for program: $12,062*
* 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.
• 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
a. Ability to tolerate walking and standing for sustained periods of time.
b. Capable of lifting and/or carrying up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level frequently.
c. Capable of using hands and arms to handle, install, position and move materials.
d. Capable of handling, positioning and restraining live animals.
2. Sensory abilities
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
a. 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.
b. Willingness to perform a variety of routine medical surgical and diagnostic procedures common to the veterinary
setting, including humane euthanasia.
c. Capacities to read, hear, understand, and quickly execute complex verbal and written instructions
given in English.
d. Possess emotional stability when performing duties in animal life-and-death situations or other
e. During emergencies, being able to respond promptly and appropriately.
What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?
• 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-$25,928 (2009-2010 Placement Report).
Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. 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. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.