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Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician - AAS-T

Bellingham Technical College Veterinary Technician Program is nationally accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
800.248.2862
https://www.avma.org/

Turn your love of animals into a satisfying career! BTC’s Veterinary Technician 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 Technology 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.

Vet Tech Helpful Links:

Veterinary Technician National Exam VTNE Pass-Rates

IACUC Welfare Concern Report
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee IACUC Whistleblower Policy-Procedures
IACUC Member List

BTC Vet Tech Program YouTube: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7srD-QXqs0ti2HKA39KQvA

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

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 admissions@btc.edu 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.

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 students in the Fall of 2023.

Program-ready students are invited to register for Veterinary Technician 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 your advisor: ldoss@btc.edu 

Evidence of High School graduation or equivalent submitted to BTC Admissions Department with a graduation date (or GED Completion) before the start of the Program (September).

Students must be 18 years or older before beginning second quarter courses (January).

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

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 157

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

  • Quarter 1

  • VETT 101Veterinary Nursing I4 CR
  • VETT 102Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology I5 CR
  • VETT 103Veterinary Medical Terminology3 CR
  • VET 120Medical Dosages and Calculations3 CR
  • VETT 201Mentorship Lab I2 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 I4 CR
  • VETT 202Mentorship Lab II2 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • VETT 109Clinical Laboratory Sciences4 CR
  • VETT 110Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology II3 CR
  • VETT 111Small Animal Medicine I3 CR
  • VETT 112Veterinary Nursing II (Surgical)5 CR
  • VETT 203Mentorship Lab III2 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • VETT 117Veterinary Nursing III (Large Animal)4 CR
  • VETT 118Small Animal Medicine II3 CR
  • VETT 119Advanced Clinical Lab Sciences4 CR
  • VETT 120Anesthesia5 CR
  • VETT 204Mentorship Lab IV2 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • VETT 113Immunology & Pharmacology I3 CR
  • VETT 114Dentistry4 CR
  • VETT 115Radiology II4 CR
  • VETT 116Large Animal Medicine3 CR
  • VETT 125Humanity of Veterinary Medicine3 CR
  • VETT 205Mentorship Lab V2 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • VETT 121Exotic Animal Medicine3 CR
  • VETT 122Veterinary Nutrition II2 CR
  • VETT 123Veterinary Nursing IV (Critical Care)5 CR
  • VETT 124Specialty Medicine3 CR
  • VETT 126Pharmacology II3 CR
  • VETT 206Mentorship Lab VI2 CR
  • Quarter 7

  • VETT 130Veterinary Clinical Work Experience12 CR

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be prepared 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;
  • Take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE);
  • Take the state exam and fulfill requirements for licensure as a veterinary technician;
  • 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;
  • Understand the profession of veterinary technician including: occupational safety, public health, client and colleague communication, ethics of animal welfare, and the human-animal bond;
  • Provide critical thinking skills to reason through clinical situations and take appropriate action;
  • Provide social interactive skills to facilitate excellent communication with clients and colleagues;
  • Provide psychomotor skills to facilitate quality, efficient diagnostic and therapeutic interventions;
  • Provide learning skills and tools to promote learning throughout career and lifetime.

Employment Outlook

Job opportunities in this profession are expected to be excellent. About 85 percent of program graduates are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $37,253, with an earning potential of about $41,766 per year.*

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

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.

Faculty & Support

Laura Doss has been at BTC for 10 years in the roles of Academic & Career Advisor, Student Navigator, Instructor, Completion Coach and now College Navigator for the Allied Health Programs. Laura earned her Bachelor of Science while serving in the US Army and stationed in Germany and her Master of Education while stationed at Fort Sill, OK. Her initial education and training was in the mental health field before moving into education. Outside of work, Laura likes to spend time with her four kids, walking the trails, cuddling with her tiny dog and reading a ton of books!

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

    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul - 2008

    Diplomate in Small Animal Internal Medicine, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - 2008

    B.S., Veterinary Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul - 2008

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2008