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Medical and Dental Programs

Veterinary Technology

SJVC’s Veterinary Technology program prepares students to work alongside a veterinarian to perform medical tests to help diagnose animals’ illnesses and injuries. Earn an Associate Degree in as few as 19 months.

SJVC Veterinary Technology Program


With many classes to guide you, you’re certain to be prepared for your career.


Earn an Associate of Science Degree in as few as 19 months.


Conveniently available at 1 of our campuses.


Affordable tuition varies by program and location.
SJVC Veterinary Technology Program Details

Program Details


At our Fresno location, students will learn how to:

  • Calculate dosages, prepare, and dispense medications in compliance with a veterinarian’s orders
  • Implement anesthetic plans to facilitate diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical procedures
  • Perform pre-, peri-, and post-operative management of surgical patients
  • Perform dental procedures, including a Complete Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT)
  • Perform laboratory tests/procedures and understand the results
  • Apply the concepts of animal care and nursing
  • Produce diagnostic images and/or radiographs following protocols for quality and operator/patient safety
  • Evaluate a patient requiring urgent or emergency care
  • Relate and apply concepts of communication, reasoning, critical analysis, ethical behavior, and appropriate interpersonal interaction to situations in his or her career and personal life
  • Demonstrate the social skills, professional appearance, attitudes, and behavior that employers expect of all SJVC graduates

Upon completion of this program, the successful student from Ontario will be able to:

  • Perform a variety of administrative, clinical, nursing, and surgical assisting procedures in a veterinary medical setting
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and professionalism
  • Receive hands-on training and participate in an externship. Externship rotations include various animal care environments to give students real-world experience


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 program costs by campus and credential level. You also can talk to an Admissions Advisor 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.


The Veterinary Technology program is available at the following campuses:


  • Institutional Accreditation
    San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 1080 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 500, Alameda, CA 94501, Phone: 510-748-9001, Fax: 510-748-9797.

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

    San Joaquin Valley College 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 San Joaquin Valley College 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 San Joaquin Valley College.

What Will I Learn?

Veterinary Nursing

Surgical Assisting Procedures

Perform Laboratory Tests

Veterinary Administrative Operations

Ready to Do This? 

Find your path in Veterinary Technology

Talk to an admissions advisor about your options and earn your associate degree in as few as 19 months.

Discover What It’s Like to Become a Veterinary Technology Student

Discover What It’s Like to Become a Veterinary Technology Student

Career Opportunities

Veterinary technologists and technicians are supervised by licensed veterinarians who perform medical tests to help diagnose animals’ illnesses and injuries. Depending on the work environment, a vet tech’s job description may include care, clinical, and laboratory tasks. Additional vet tech responsibilities consist of:1

  • Checking the condition of an animal and observing its behavior
  • Administering first aid to injured animals
  • Grooming animals such as bathing, brushing, cutting hair, and trimming nails
  • Restraining animals during exams and procedures
  • Prepping animals and equipment for surgery
  • Creating and maintaining animal case histories
  • Performing diagnostic testing like taking X-rays, laboratory tests, blood counts, and more

Technicians who work with small animal practitioners may help care for a variety of animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice. Duties may include administering medications (where permitted), conducting various diagnostic and laboratory tests like heartworm and urinalysis, and recording an animal’s weight, diet, symptoms of illness, and signs of pain.1

SJVC Veterinary Technology Career Opportunities

Check out our guide on Veterinary Technology in California

If you are interested in joining the world of veterinary medicine, it is time you explore this challenging and rewarding career path. Let’s take a closer look at how you can make a difference in the lives of animals and their families by becoming a veterinary technician in California.

SJVC Veterinary Technology Career Guides

Successful Grads

Ask one of our graduates about their SJVC experience and they’ll likely describe it as life-changing.

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Veterinary Technology FAQ

How long does it take to become a vet tech?
According to the BLS, veterinary technicians typically have an associate degree, which can take about 2 years to complete.2 Length of time to complete a program will vary based on course load, costs, and availability. SJVC’s Veterinary Technology program can be completed in as few as 19 months.
Do I need to be certified as a vet tech?
It depends on the state or location in which you work.
Where can I work as a vet tech?
You can work in private clinics, laboratories, animal hospitals, educational institutions, humane societies, zoos, and farms.
How do you become a veterinary technician?
While requirements may vary by state, you can earn an associate degree in veterinary technology to become a veterinary technician. Although each state regulates veterinary technologists and technicians differently, most candidates must pass a credentialing exam. Most states require technologists and technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.2
What degree do you need to be a veterinary technician?
Veterinary technicians usually have an associate degree from a Veterinary Technology program.2
How much is vet tech school?
Cost for Veterinary Technology programs will vary depending on institution and location. For detailed information about Veterinary Technology program costs at SJVC, check the College Catalog.
What is the difference between a vet tech and a vet assistant?
While both vet techs and vet assistants help maintain veterinary practices and work with animals, they have different requirements and responsibilities. Vet assistants perform kennel work, aid in the handling of animals, walk or feed animals, and carry out clerical duties. Vet techs perform those tasks as well as the induction of anesthesia, suturing existing skin wounds, and extracting teeth. Vet techs typically have an associate degree in Veterinary Technology, while vet assistants can enter the workforce with a certificate from a Veterinary Assisting program, which may take less time to complete.
What does a vet tech do?
    Veterinary technicians work with animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. Their job duties may include:1
  • Observing the behavior and condition of animals
  • Providing nursing care or emergency first aid to recovering or injured animals
  • Bathing animals, clipping nails or claws, and brushing or cutting animals’ hair
  • Restraining animals during exams or procedures
  • Administering anesthesia to animals and monitoring their responses
  • Taking X-rays and collecting and performing laboratory tests, such as urinalyses and blood counts
  • Preparing animals and instruments for surgery
  • Administering medications, vaccines, and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Collecting and recording animals’ case histories
  • Talking with pet owners and explaining their pet’s condition or how to administer any treatment or medication prescribed by a veterinarian