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Veterinary Technical Assistant Certificate

Veterinary Technical Assistant

Become a valued member in a veterinary practice with the Veterinary Technical Assistant program.

This four-month program introduces you to the veterinary industry and animal care practices needed for an entry-level position in the animal health field. Working with small animals, you will receive hands-on learning experience with useful principles and procedures of the veterinary industry.

Learning from Registered Veterinary Technologists instructors and veterinary professionals, you will gain skills in patient preparation, animal handling, and veterinary equipment and instrumentation knowledge. You will also learn alongside Animal Health Technology and Veterinary Medical Receptionist students in the animal hospital, providing a real industry environment scenario.


Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive a certificate in Veterinary Technical Assistant.

    • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
    • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 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 enrollment and any available interim/midterm 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.

    Transfer Options: Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has developed agreements with other educational institutions to allow for transition to Olds College, or to another institution to continue your education. Articulations & Agreements

    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.

  • Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for complete details.

    Tuition, Fees & Payments

    Scholarships & Student Awards

    Olds College of Agriculture & Technology offers over 450 awards, valued at $500,000+ in scholarships, bursaries and prizes. Thanks to our industry partners, alumni, and friends of Olds College we are fortunate to offer a generous student awards program to students.

    For additional information on scholarships, bursaries and prizes at Olds College, visit Scholarships & Awards.

    Entrance Awards Available!

    Entrance awards range from $250 - $1,500 for students applying for the upcoming academic year and have paid the tuition deposit by the deadline.

    Awards are selected randomly from those that have applied and qualify based on the criteria. Award will be applied as a tuition credit to the student's account after the add/drop course deadline, confirming full-time attendance. Not all that apply will receive an entrance award.

    Student Funding

    For information on how to apply for government student loans, financial aid or for help with financial planning, visit our Student Funding page.

  • For course descriptions and requisites, view the Academic Calendar.

    Academic Calendar: Veterinary Technical Assistant

    Term 1
    • Completed the following:
      • AHT1050 - Introduction to the Veterinary Profession
      • VTA6010 - Small Animal Behaviour and Handling
      • VTA6020 - Principles of Veterinary Clinical Procedures
      • VTA6030 - Veterinary Equipment and Instrumentation
      • VTA6040 - Veterinary Patient Care
  • Olds College of Agriculture & Technology has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to 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

  • Immunizations

    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.

    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 of Agriculture & Technology 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

    The following items are required to be purchased prior to the start of your program:

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

    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 rotations in teams (including weekends) 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

Take the Next Step

Begin your career in agriculture, brewing, livestock, equestrian, horticulture and related fields with one simple click.

"Olds College of Agriculture & Technology 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

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Program at a Glance

Length: Four Months

Delivery Method: On-Campus Delivery

Program Intake: Fall Intake (September program start)

Applications Open: First Wednesday (9 a.m.) of October for the Fall Intake

Program Status: Open