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Veterinary Assistant

Career Studies Certificate

Veterinary Technician Assistant holding a dog

If you love animals, you’ll love this career

Endorsed by ad hoc committee of local veterinarians and technicians

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A veterinary assistant must love dogs! And cats, and birds, and gerbils and reptiles.

Tidewater Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Veterinary Assistant prepares students to assist and support licensed veterinary technicians and veterinarians in the health and handling of small domestic animals and exotic species.

In addition to office procedures, you’ll learn how to administer common medications, handle animals, assist in filling prescriptions, set up lab work and assist with nursing care and surgical preparation.

The college is one of a select group of schools that has received approval through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to sit for one or more exams administered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

View program curriculum
IMPORTANT Additional admission requirements

Your admission as a TCC student does not guarantee your acceptance into this program.

Admission is competitive, with 15 to 18 students admitted each fall semester.

If you are a new TCC student, begin your journey by applying for admission and financial aid.

You must also:

  • have a high school diploma or GED
  • place into English (ENG) 111 College Composition and Math Essentials (MTE) 4 or higher based on the results of your Virginia Placement Test (VPT)


Download Program Packet

What does this program cost?

TCC’s Career Studies Certificate in Veterinary Assistant consists of 2 semesters of part-time study, with classes held mainly at the Virginia Beach Campus.

Estimated Program Cost*:
17 credits x $185.35 per credit = $3,150.95 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Where can you go?

You can find immediate employment working with a veterinarian in an office or animal hospital following completion of the certificate program.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you: 

  • have excellent communication skills.
  • are comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
  • enjoy animals
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

Fanned-out money

Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

Veterinary assistant positions increased 220 percent from 2008-13

Finish this program in as few as 2 semesters

Hands-on practice in a vet clinic or hospital through multiple internships

Industry Spotlight

“As an employer, the veterinary assistant program at TCC is important to streamline qualified candidates into the workforce.” – Danielle Russ, Hospital Manager at The COVE – Center of Veterinary Expertise 

Program Spotlight

“In this program, we do lots of hands-on work with animals and veterinary hospitals and clinics all over Hampton Roads.” – Megan Taliaferro, TCC Veterinary Assistant Program Director

Alumni Spotlight

“Dr. Taliaferro is amazing. She has really great interactive lab work and gives you actual hands-on experience.” – Ashley Hernandez