Veterinary Technician

Program: VETN
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 2 Field Placements
Length: 4 Semesters
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2019
Location: Orillia


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 will 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 actual 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.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will find a range of occupations as a member of the Veterinary Health Care Team, including employment in veterinary hospitals, zoos, animal shelters, pharmaceutical sales, diagnostic labs, research facilities, livestock health management or food animal inspections.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

    1. provide humane, ethical medical care for a variety of animal species, within the scope of the regulations, laws and statutes governing animals and the profession;
    2. develop an awareness of the scope of legislation governing the humane and appropriate use of animals in hospitals, shelters, research facilities, food production, and responsible ownership;
    3. understand the role of professional associations and memberships, regarding the advancement of the Veterinary Technician both professionally and personally;
    4. practice correct methods of treatment when handling, medicating, or nursing an animal under care, or while influencing care;
    5. practice professional standards while conducting an array of veterinary procedures independently or under the supervision of a veterinarian in a variety of medical or laboratory settings;
    6. establish and achieve appropriate standards for meeting the housing and nutritional needs of animals under care;
    7. restrain and manage companion animals in clinical situations;
    8. perform basic patient examinations and accurately document data on vital signs;
    9. collect and process samples for diagnostic laboratory work;
    10. perform common veterinary diagnostic tests such as blood chemistries, differentials, sensitivities, fecal and urine analysis and EKGs;
    11. prepare pharmaceuticals as prescribed by a veterinarian;
    12. administer medications or treatments by common drug routes or application techniques;
    13. maintain and prepare anesthetic delivery systems for various species and agents;
    14. induce anesthesia, monitor patients under anesthesia, and document observations;
    15. prepare and maintain the surgical area ensuring adequate cleanliness and asepsis is achieved;
    16. assist during surgical procedures, maintaining aseptic techniques;
    17. perform dental prophylactic procedures on dogs and cats;
    18. take and produce standard diagnostic radiographs;
    19. use veterinary software to document and detail client, inventory, procedure or historical information for future reference;
    20. function effectively as a member of the multi-disciplinary Veterinary Health Care Team, by understanding and respecting the duties, responsibilities, obligations and limitations of each position;
    21. work independently to support the clinic/facility while respecting the range and limitations of activities permitted under current legislation governing auxiliary workers;
    22. establish and supervise the duties and activities commonly carried out by the clinic assistant, receptionist, volunteers and other auxiliary staff as required;
    23. communicate for the purpose of educating, directing, leading and supporting clients, peers, clinicians and the public regarding the veterinary profession and the role of the technician;
    24. practice consistently high standards of professionalism while advising, instructing or informing clients and co-workers;
    25. advocate for the Veterinary Technician as a professional within a health care setting according to Association standards and bylaws;
    26. participate in lifelong learning activities to ensure currency and credibility in the industry;
    27. use computer-mediated opportunities to promote the Veterinary Technician locally and internationally;
    28. communicate clearly and effectively orally, in writing, or through electronic means;
    29. practice competent, responsible problem solving, decision-making and self management skills that will enhance the working environment of all members of the Veterinary Health Care Team;
    30. use systematic, logical problem solving approaches to create appropriate, supportable solutions in a Veterinary Health Care setting;
    31. design, implement and follow up on projects within acceptable time frames, by using foresight and initiative;
    32. seek and generate alternatives for more efficient work activities and routines;
    33. contribute effectively to the Health Care Team by demonstrating awareness of the major duties and responsibilities of the members in order to maximize benefits to clients and patients and the facility;
    34. practice professionalism by presenting positive attitudes and actions at all times;
    35. recognize and stress the importance of using environmentally friendly practices and supplies within the work environment;
    36. apply basic entrepreneurial strategies to identify and respond to new opportunities.

External Recognition

Georgian College is accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians. Georgian College graduates are eligible to write the Veterinary Technician National Exam and apply for Registered Veterinary Technician status in Ontario. Georgian College is accredited by the Canadian Council on Animal Care as a "Good Animal Practice" facility. Georgian College is a charter member of the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technician Educators.

Practical Experience

Students benefit from experience in our on-campus veterinary hospital, as well as unpaid clinical placements in professional veterinary environments. This experience reinforces skills and theory learned during academic semesters, develops professional contacts, job knowledge and career paths, improves human relations and communication skills and promotes personal and professional maturity.

The Program Progression

Fall Intake 

  • Sem 1: Fall 2019
  • Sem 2: Winter 2020
  • Sem 3: Fall 2020
  • Sem 4: Winter 2021


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at

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:

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:

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.

Additional Information

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

Graduation Requirements

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

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
VETC 1002 Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology 1 42
VETC 1003 Introduction to Veterinary Technology 42
VETC 1009 Animal Husbandry and Handling 70
VETC 1017 Veterinary Lab Techniques 1 70
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
VETC 1007 Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology 2 42
VETC 1013 Animal Nursing 1 84
VETC 1014 Veterinary Radiography 1 56
VETC 1016 Veterinary Pharmacology 1 28
VETC 1018 Veterinary Lab Techniques 2 84
VETC 2019 Veterinary Office Practices 28
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Field Placement  
VETC 1019 Field Placement 1 160
Semester 3
VETC 2002 Animal Diseases 42
VETC 2011 Animal Nursing 2 70
VETC 2012 Veterinary Anesthesia 1 56
VETC 2014 Veterinary Radiography 2 42
VETC 2018 Veterinary Surgical Techniques 1 56
VETC 2020 Pharmacology 2 28
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
Semester 4
Program Courses  
VETC 2003 Companion Animal Nutrition 28
VETC 2015 Veterinary Anesthesia 2 84
VETC 2016 Veterinary Surgical Techniques 2 84
VETC 2017 Veterinary Dentistry 70
VETC 2021 Alternatives to Companion Animals 70
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Field Placement  
VETC 2022 Field Placement 2 160
 Total Hours1706

Graduation Window 

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of two years (as stated above) may take a maximum of four years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.  

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