Two Veterinary Technician students in blue scrubs using a stethoscope on a golden retriever dog in an animal clinic setting

Train for a career in animal health as a registered vet tech

Veterinary Technician Ontario College Diploma program

100% of grads recommend our program! Get valuable hands-on experience. High-demand field, excellent graduate employment rate.

Program code VETN
Duration 2 Years
Credential Ontario College Diploma
Delivery Full-time

Program information

Program description

This program provides an opportunity for students to acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to be an integral member of a veterinary health care team. Students explore the range of activities carried out in companion and large animal practices, animal shelters, research facilities, zoos or wildlife facilities. Through in-class theory and simulations, combined with clinical experience in our veterinary teaching hospital, students learn to care for and handle animals, understand the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes, and carry out routine laboratory and clinical procedures. Typical activities include obtaining and recording patient histories, collecting and analyzing laboratory samples, preparing patients, instruments and equipment for surgery, induction and monitoring of anesthesia, assisting in medical and surgical procedures, providing specialized nursing care, producing diagnostic radiographs and performing dentistry.

This program is highly competitive. Learn about admission requirements for highly competitive programs.

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2021 Orillia

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a field placement component where you will gain practical, hands-on work experience in a setting relevant to your program.

What are the admission requirements for the Veterinary Technician program?

Veterinary Technician admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Pathways

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:
www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Selection Process

Applicants are required to complete the Health Occupations Aptitude Examination as part of the selection process. This test measures reading comprehension, spelling, natural sciences and verbal/non-verbal reasoning. Scores from this test as well as academic grades are used to determine acceptance. Applicants will be assessed and ranked based on the results of their testing and their academic background.

Admission details

Proof of pre-exposure rabies vaccination is required within four weeks of beginning the program. 

What career paths can I take as a vet tech?

Your Veterinary Technician diploma gives you many career opportunities

Graduates may find a range of occupations as a member of a veterinary health care team, including employment in veterinary hospitals, pharmaceutical sales, diagnostic labs, research facilities, zoos, animal shelters, livestock health management or food animal inspections.

What courses are included in the Veterinary Technician diploma program?

Course overview

22 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses
2 Field Placements

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Veterinary Technician program outline.

  • VETC 1002 – Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology 1
  • VETC 1003 – Introduction to Veterinary Technology
  • VETC 1009 – Animal Husbandry and Handling
  • VETC 1017 – Veterinary Lab Techniques 1
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant?Georgian College Chevron

While both of these professionals are valuable members of the veterinary health-care team, there are notable differences in the responsibilities. A veterinary technician is often referred to as the veterinarian’s “right-hand person”. They are responsible for an assortment of duties including: anesthesia, surgical assisting, taking radiographs and completing diagnostic lab work as well as providing an array of nursing skills, such as intravenous catheterization and taking blood. A veterinary assistant works to support the veterinary team by performing duties such as restraining animals, providing care for the animals (e.g. walking dogs, cleaning kennels), cleaning surgical instruments and the veterinary hospital as well as performing receptionist duties.

Is there an opportunity to become part of a registered organization?Georgian College Chevron

Graduates of the Veterinary Technician program can become registered with the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT). This process includes writing the Veterinary Technician National Examination, as well as completing other requirements as required by the professional association. For more information, visit the OAVT website. While completing this requirement is optional, it is highly recommended as most veterinarians will only hire a registered veterinary technician (RVT) and it will likely one day be mandatory to be an RVT to work in a veterinary clinic.

Do graduates find jobs?Georgian College Chevron

The most recent key performance indicator data (2019) found that 92 per cent of students in the Veterinary Technician program found employment upon graduation. There is currently a shortage of RVTs in Ontario, which is evident in numerous job postings on the OAVT website.

Is the Veterinary Technician program demanding?Georgian College Chevron

Yes! You can expect classes (lectures and labs) any day between Monday to Friday, starting as early as 8 a.m. and extending into the evening. To be successful, you should have strong time management and study skills. Typically, you would be expected to complete chapter readings, review videos, lectures and procedures before lab as well as complete prep work for lab and lecture classes.

In addition to course demands, you will also complete rotations caring for the animals that are housed on campus.

First-year students complete rotations of kennel duty between Monday to Friday. The rotation may be one day a week throughout the semester, or two rotations of five consecutive days. You will work in a group and will be responsible for walking the dogs, feeding and watering the cats and dogs as well as cleaning the kennels and the animal housing area. Kennel duty begins at 6:30 a.m. for 1 ½ hours and also includes a late afternoon shift between 5 and 6 p.m.

Second-year students complete rotations of animal care duty, seven days a week. The rotation may be one day a week throughout the semester, or two rotations of seven consecutive days. You will work in a group to provide veterinary care for the animals including physical exams, performing diagnostic tests, administering medication as well weekend care of the animals. The students are expected to be available three times a day, similar to shifts above for kennel duty.

Are there opportunities for work experience in the program?Georgian College Chevron

Yes. There are two unpaid field placements which are program requirements. They are completed after the winter semester (May/June) in first year and second year of the program. Each placement is 160 hours and completed within a six-week time period. You are required to find your own placements and must complete a list of essential skill competencies while on placement. While most students complete their placement in small animal clinics, there is
opportunity to complete a large animal placement in second year.

In addition to the field placements, our onsite veterinary hospital is designed to give students the feeling of working in a veterinary clinic. In the final semester of the program, you will participate in courses that mimic a surgical, anesthetic and dental rotation. With dogs and cats as patients, you will assist the veterinarian and RVTs in the completion of spays, neuters and dentistry’s.

These experiences will help you become job-ready upon graduation.

Do you have questions about Veterinary Technician? Contact us!

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