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If you’re looking for vet tech programs in California, SJVC can help you get the training you need.

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At a Glance

  • Earn a Certificate of Completion in as few as nine months

  • Conveniently available at two locations

  • Affordable tuition varies by location, learn more now

About the Program

What Will I Learn

Students in our Veterinary Assistant program learn:

  • Animal nursing fundamentals
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Veterinary office practices
  • Animal handling and restraint

Students receive hands-on training and participate in an externship. The externship includes various animal care environments to give students real-world experience.

Career Opportunities

Veterinary assistants are qualified to assist veterinarians who treat animals. Graduates are also qualified to work in animal shelters, zoos, and research facilities, and prepared to perform the following job duties:

  • Monitor animals under anesthesia
  • Perform radiology procedures
  • Assist in surgical procedures
  • Bathe, comfort & feed sick animals
  • Perform laboratory tests

And if you are or want to train to become a veterinary assistant in California, check out this stat: California has the highest level of employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers out of all the states in the U.S., coming in at 13,040 employed vet assistants from a May 2020 report2.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, on the Internet at (visited October 05, 2021). Data reflects a national projected percentage change in employment from 2020-2030 and may not reflect local economic conditions.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Veterinary Assistant program is available at:

Cost & Financial Aid

Education is the most important investment you can make in your future. There is a financial plan available for everyone, including a broad range of financial assistance options. Visit SJVC’s Net Price Calculator to get personalized information on college costs and financial aid. Check out SJVC’s academic catalog to learn about the costs of our vet tech programs in California by campus and credential level. You also can talk to an Admissions Representative to discuss the costs of your chosen program, and schedule an appointment with an experienced financial aid officer.  Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

Accreditation and Approvals

Institutional Accreditation

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510)748-9001.

The WSCUC is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

State Approvals


SJVC is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Approval to operate means that SJVC has been found in compliance with the standards set forth in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Title 5, Division 7.5, – Private Postsecondary Education of the California Code of Regulations. As a prospective student, you are encouraged to review this catalog prior to signing an enrollment agreement. You are also encouraged to review the School Performance Fact Sheet, which must be provided to you prior to signing an enrollment agreement.

A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888) 370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the Bureau’s internet website (

View additional State Approvals for SJVC.

Read Our Career Guide On Veterinary Assisting

Veterinary assistants play an important role in ensuring the well-being of animals who visit veterinary offices. Vet assistants provide support to veterinarians and provide preventive, routine, emergency and postoperative care to pets and other nonfarm animals.

Veterinary Assisting FAQ

How do I get a vet assistant certificate?

Obtaining a vet assistant certificate means you will attend a qualified Veterinary Assistant program. Check with an admissions officer for specific admissions requirements. Before earning your certificate, you will likely take courses in:

  • Animal nursing fundamentals
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Veterinary office practices
  • Animal handling and restraint

How long does it take to become a vet assistant?

SJVC’s Veterinary Assistant program can be completed in as few as nine months. 

What does a vet assistant do?

Vet assistants work with animals under the supervision of veterinarians and veterinary technicians. As a veterinary assistant, duties may include:1

  • Administering medication and immunizations
  • Collect samples such as blood, tissues and urine samples
  • Bathing and exercising animals
  • Cleaning and disinfecting veterinary facilities, including cages, examination and kennels
  • Communicating with veterinarians regarding animal progress
  • Sterilizing instruments for surgery
  • Performing Aseptic assistance in surgery, such as passing instruments or opening surgical packs

Is it better to be a vet tech or vet assistant?

There are pros and cons to both careers. A vet assistant2 requires less schooling than a vet technician3, meaning you could begin working sooner. A veterinary technician may earn more than a veterinary assistant. The decision between the two careers depends on your individual goals and priorities. 

Is a vet assistant a good career?

Ultimately, deciding if vet assisting is a good career choice is an individual decision. If you enjoy working with animals, talking with their owners and collaborating with others like veterinarians and vet techs, you may enjoy working as a vet assistant.

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