BTC's campus will be closed Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day, and there will be no daytime classes Tuesday, May 28, for a Faculty In-Service Day.

Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician - Veterinary Assistant

Turn your love of animals into a satisfying career! BTC’s Veterinary Assistant Certificate program is ideal if you have an aptitude for math and science, and are interested in being a valuable part of the veterinary care team. You’ll work with animals and people, in a job that is different every day.

With BTC’s high quality education and hands-on training, you’ll gain the valuable skills needed now by veterinary hospitals, surgery centers, specialty care providers, zoos, and wildlife facilities.

Note: BTC has not made a determination that the Veterinary Technician curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure/certification outside of Washington State. We encourage students who plan to work out-of-state to check relevant local licensure/certification requirements.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

100%1 BTC graduate placement rate (Employment Security Department- WA and OR only)
93%3 BTC graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)
100%3 BTC in-field graduate placement rate (faculty-tracked, national)

$43,930 starting annual wage2
$47,008 average annual wage2
$48,526 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources and Information

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

    3Additional employment rates are provided for programs with faculty who maintain their own employment records of students who graduated between 2017-18 and 2019-20 and who were employed within 9 months of graduation. Both overall and in field of study employment rates are included, respectively. For these programs, the format follows: ESD rate / faculty-tracked overall rate / faculty-tracked in-field rate. These additional, faculty-provided rates are particularly important for programs that tend to have graduates employed outside of WA and OR. Note that due to lack of available data, rates may represent fewer than 3 years of graduates.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Students interested in the Veterinary Technician program should apply to the college and contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with getting started at BTC. A college application and your score on assessment testing and/or previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence.

Admission requirements for Veterinary Assistant are the same for Veterinary Technician

This program typically admits students into first quarter core courses in the fall. Registration for Fall Quarter starts halfway through Spring Quarter. We will be accepting new students in the Fall of 2023.

Program-ready students are invited to register for Veterinary Assistant courses. Students who have completed ALL prerequisite requirements before the start of first quarter core courses will be allowed entry based on the order in which they register. 

There is no separate admission process or application for this program.

Students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. To be considered fully vaccinated, two weeks must have passed since the date of the second dose or first dose for the one-dose vaccine. The program’s clinical partner agencies will not accept any exemption to full COVID-19 vaccination.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) v.6

Applicants must score at the "BASIC" level or higher in each of the four areas on one transcript. See the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills handout for more information about this entrance assessment.

Having trouble scheduling your ATI TEAS assessment? More options are available! Email the Assessment Center: 

Evidence of High School graduation or equivalent submitted to BTC Admissions Department.

Students must be 18 years or older before beginning program core courses.

Early Program Course Requirements

Completion of the following courses with a minimum grade of 2.0 (C) or higher in each course:

  • English Composition 1 (ENGL& 101)
  • Math in Society (MATH& 107) or any MATH course from the AAS-T alternative course list will be accepted.
  • Interpersonal Communications (CMST& 210) or General Psychology (PSYC& 100)
  • General Biology with Lab (BIOL& 160)
  • Introduction to Chemistry (CHEM& 121) preferred, will accept other courses in the following fields: BIOL, CHEM, OCEA, ZOOL
  • Intro to Veterinary Technology (VETT 100)

ONLY for students who are transferring prior credits to BTC: Official transcripts documenting prerequisite course completion must be submitted and evaluated before registration.

Physical Requirements

AFTER admissions acceptance into the program and prior to beginning program classes students must submit proof of all Clinical Placement Requirements.

Veterinary Technician Informed Acknowledgment and Consent to Hazards and Risks

Notice About Marijuana Usage

Students who test positive for THC (marijuana, including prescription marijuana) will not be allowed entrance to Nursing and Allied Health programs with clinical components. Drug screening is a requirement of our clinical partner agencies. Although private recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal in Washington state, our clinical partner agencies are governed by federal laws, and marijuana is a prohibited substance at the federal level. If your final drug test results are positive, you will be ineligible to participate in the program that year and will be allowed to reapply to the program 12 months from the date of the positive test.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 66

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • VETT 101Veterinary Nursing I5 CR
  • VETT 102Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology I6 CR
  • VETT 103Veterinary Medical Terminology3 CR
  • VET 120Medical Dosages and Calculations4 CR
  • VETT 201Mentorship Lab I3 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • VETT 104Veterinary Nutrition I3 CR
  • VETT 105Learning for a Lifetime2 CR
  • VETT 106Microbiology, Virology, & Mycology3 CR
  • VETT 107Small Animal Parasitology4 CR
  • VETT 108Radiology I5 CR
  • VETT 202Mentorship Lab II3 CR
  • Pre-Program

  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • BIOL& 160General Biology with Lab5 CR
  • CHEM& 121Intro to Chemistry5 CR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • Intro to Veterinary Technology2 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing the Veterinary Assisting Certificate, students will be able to:

  • Care for animals in a manner that is safe for both animals and humans;
  • Promote public health;
  • Accept the responsibilities of his/her profession, to provide compassionate, competent, ethical care in a professional, conscientious manner;
  • Pursue lifelong learning to advance his/her knowledge of veterinary care;
  • Understand normal anatomy, physiology and behavior of health for the species studied;
  • Understand and participate in the process of diagnosis, therapy and prevention of animal disease;

Employment Outlook

Veterinary technicians typically conduct clinical work in a private practice under the supervision of a veterinarian, performing various medical tests in a laboratory setting along with treating medical conditions and diseases in animals.

They may work in research facilities, where they may administer medications orally or topically, prepare samples for laboratory examinations, and record information on an animal’s genealogy, diet, weight, medications, food intake, and clinical signs of pain and distress. They may also work with other scientists in medical-related fields such as gene therapy and cloning. Other opportunities exist in biomedical research, wildlife medicine, the military, livestock management, education, or pharmaceutical sales.

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Faculty & Support

Dr. Dzyban is a veterinarian that is board certified in small animal internal medicine. She has fifteen years clinical experience in general and specialty small animal practice and four years experience as an instructor and specialist consultant. As a veterinary internist, she is adept in ultrasound, endoscopy, parenteral nutrition and chemotherapy techniques. Publications include "Peritoneal Dialysis" in Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy, "Peritoneal Dialysis" in the Journal of Emergency & Critical Care, "Cardiac Tamponade in Cavia Porcellus" in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, and "Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis" in the Journal of Veterinary Radiologists. She is a recipient of the Sue Tidball Award for Creative Humanity and an instructor for the American Red Cross. One of her life goals is to inspire excellence in animal care in veterinarians, veterinary technicians and animal owners.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    DACVIM, Small Animal Internal Medicine, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

    DVM, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    BS, Veterinary Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email