Veterinary Technical Assistant

Length of Program: 4 MonthsProgram Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)September 2020


Veterinary Technical Assistant Certificate

Applications Open: October 1

Length of Program: 4 Months

Program Status: Open

The Veterinary Technical Assistant is a valued member of a veterinary practice team and works alongside veterinary professionals, Animal Health Technicians, and shelter staff in the small animal industry.

Admitted students should be aware of occupational programs where potential for exposure to animals with disease/infection is high. Please read more about program specific Immunization Information.

What will you learn?

In this program, you will learn the principles and procedures of the veterinary industry through a combination of classroom and hands-on work with small animals in our hospital setting. You will learn about veterinary equipment, instrumentation, patient preparation, and animal handling skills.

This is an entry level program that introduces students to the veterinary industry and animal care. In as little as four months you could receive a Veterinary Technical Assistant certificate.

  • Work confidently with small animals to provide care in a hospital setting
  • Understand basic veterinary terminology
  • Understand common medical and surgical procedures in veterinary medicine
  • Identify, care for and maintain veterinary equipment and instruments
  • Provide basic care and husbandry to cats/dogs
  • Work professionally in a veterinary setting

View Program Outline

Program Details

Credential: Certificate

Length of Program: 4 months

Method of Delivery: On-Campus Delivery

Program Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.

Applications Open: October 1 for the Fall Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First qualified, First accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details.

  • Tuition: $2,510 / Fees: $1,255 / Books & Supplies: $400

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Admission Requirements

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2

  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or Math 20-2

  • 50% or better in one of Biology 20, Chemistry 20, or Science 20

  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrolment and any available interim/ mid term marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants

Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

Career Opportunities

Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include assisting a Registered Veterinary Technician in locations such as:

  • Veterinary clinics
  • Animal shelters
  • Boarding facilities

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Students Information

Program Dates

 Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration

You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A mobile device, laptop, or tablet is preferred

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

Required items to be purchased before the start of your program:

  • minimum of two sets of scrubs (can be any colour or pattern)

Required items to be purchased from the Olds College Campus Store:

  • green wrap

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Textbook Order Form

Other Important Information:

This program does not qualify students to become a Registered Veterinary Technician, please refer to the Animal Health Technology Diploma program.

  • Dress Code: You are required to adhere to a dress code that includes wearing scrubs and wraps in the hospital areas and laboratories, coveralls on the farm, and no revealing, torn, or dirty clothes worn during classes.

  • Time Requirements: Students can expect to be in classroom or lab activities 25 hours per week and should plan to spend an additional 15-20 hours per week on studying, assignments, projects etc. The program may include field trips throughout the four month program. As this programs involves learning with animals, you will be actively involved in the animal care throughout the program. This includes one, 9-day rotation in teams (including weekend) caring for our cats and dogs.

  • Physical Program Requirements: The VTA program is physically demanding and students must be in good health and be physically capable of performing the program requirements.

  • Student Clubs: Animal Health Club

  • Immunization Requirements: This program requires specific immunization requirements. Learn More

Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions page for more info or go to Apply Alberta to submit an online application!

  • "Olds College helped to prepare me for work in a veterinary office environment by providing me with the practical knowledge and training in animal handling. The experience as a whole was fun, interactive and personally satisfying."
    • Allison Letkeman, Class of 2016