Online Veterinary Assistant Degree Program Overviews

Jan 02, 2019

Learn about the availability of online veterinary assistant degree programs. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

Associate's degree programs in veterinary technology are available online; these programs train students to assist veterinarians as veterinary technicians. More rare are online bachelor's degree programs that train students to become veterinary technologists. In-person practical experiences at a clinic are often required so that online students can gain hands-on experience working with animals. Professional regulations for both technicians and technologists vary by state, so check for state-specific regulations when choosing a degree program.

Associate's Degree in Veterinary Assisting Overview

Veterinary assisting programs may be somewhat difficult to find in online format, but veterinary technology programs are similar and also prepare students to assist veterinarians in caring for animals. Veterinary technology programs are more intensive in the sciences and prepare students to perform advanced clinical duties in the veterinary office. Considering veterinary technology programs will expand students' options when searching for online degree programs. Students enrolled in these programs learn different aspects of veterinary health care, including laboratory procedures, office administration and clinical care. Veterinary assisting programs aim to equip students with the skills needed to care for animals and effectively communicate with their owners.

Information and Requirements

Associate's degree programs in veterinary assisting or technology generally take between two and three years to complete. Veterinary assisting programs may be offered completely online, while veterinary technology programs typically require students to complete some portions of the curriculum in-person. For example, students may be required to gain clinical experience in a veterinary hospital.

List of Common Veterinary Assisting Courses

A program may require a student to take general education courses that may include English, English composition and animal science. Students may perform on-site practicums (if required) by working or volunteering in a veterinary facility. Students may be required to document experience by videotaping it or by sending in materials produced.

Animal Anatomy

Students learn how to identify the anatomical regions and landmarks of domestic animals. Topographical terms are taught.

Animal Physiology

The physiology of domestic animals is covered, with emphasis placed on different system types, such as ruminant, non-ruminant monogastric and monogastric digestive systems. The way physiology affects certain diseases is also covered.

Veterinary Medical Terminology

Students are introduced to the terminology used in the veterinary and medical fields. The structure of such terms is discussed in order to foster understanding of the terms.

Animal Nursing

Clinical care skills are taught, including administering medications, processing radiographs and preparing surgical instruments. The course covers laboratory and exam room procedures.

Veterinary Office Procedures

This course strengthens students' math skills and teaches how mathematics is applied in managing a veterinary office. Veterinary computer applications are also introduced.

Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Assisting

Online bachelor's degree programs in veterinary assisting or technology are much less common than online associate's degree programs. Most must be completed in-person. However, students interested in managing a veterinary care facility may be interested in completing a veterinary technology management program online. This type of program teaches students who are already veterinary technicians the skills they need to become competent in business management. The curriculum includes many business courses, but tailors them to be specific to the veterinary field.

Information and Requirements

Since the program is designed for students who are already veterinary technicians, completion of a 2-year veterinary technology program with a GPA of at least 2.0 is a prerequisite for enrolling in the program. Because a 2-year degree is usually required, this type of program often takes only two years to complete. Students have the option of completing a veterinary technology management program fully online.

List of Common Veterinary Assisting Courses

Students entering an online B.S. in Veterinary Technology Management may be required to complete introductory courses in marketing, advertising, accounting and economics. Programs may consist of management, business and veterinary courses.

Business Law

An overview of the legal systems in the United States is presented. Students explore the procedures of both state and federal courts. Legal issues relating to business, such as the law of contracts, the law of agency and certain sections of the Uniform Commercial Code, are discussed.

Veterinary Facility Management

Students learn how to manage finances, the physical space of the veterinary facility and business operations. Methods for choosing a facility and coming up with annual plans are covered.


Students learn how to apply advertising to the marketing of services. The course covers ways to design effective advertising campaigns.

Veterinary Human Resources

This course teaches students how to manage human resources, including hiring, training and evaluating employees. Students learn to write job descriptions and manage employee schedules. Techniques for motivating, disciplining and discharging employees are also discussed.

Veterinary Organization

Students learn how to manage equipment, inventory and medical records. Computer systems are presented and students learn how they are applied in veterinary practices.

Career Information for Graduates

Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to manage a veterinary business. Animal resource managers can work in the pharmaceutical industry or in research institutions, academic facilities or private practices. According to, veterinary practice managers earned a median salary of $45,364 as November 2016. Office managers in veterinary care earned a median salary of $37,551.

Online associate degrees that prepare students for careers as veterinary assistants are available online and focus on veterinary office work and basic medical assistance. While less available online, a bachelor's degree in veterinary assisting will include more advanced veterinary-focused business courses.

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