Veterinary Assistant Program Description

A virtually fail-proof path to a new career.

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Is it true? Can you become a vet assistant online? You sure can. Our web-based course makes it super doable. The training you’ll receive is current and comprehensive because it’s developed by industry professionals with years of real-world experience. Visually rich course materials include lots of images and videos, learning games, and practical exercises to help you rapidly learn new concepts and gain the knowledge and skills needed to work confidently alongside veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Our online veterinary assistant program is the quickest, simplest way to turn your love of animals into a paycheck and a cuddly new career.

Program Timeline

So how long does it take to become a veterinary assistant? Our program is designed to be easily completed in three months. However, if you briefly commit to full-time study (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) you can complete your training in as little as one month. The cool thing is, our program is totally self-paced, so you have the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows. The length of time it takes to complete your veterinary assistant program is up to you. If you have other stuff to juggle and need a little extra time (like most of us), you’ll have six full months of program access to complete your training. You can also purchase extensions beyond that if needed. Best of all, you don’t have to wait. You can begin today. As soon as your payment is processed, we’ll email your login and password so you can start training immediately.

150 hours of online coursework

1 month of full-time study

6 months of program access

Study Format

Our have-it-your-way training is always on... because it’s online. 24/7 web access gives you the freedom to study however, wherever, and whenever you want. Got a laptop? You’re ready to rock! Pretty empowering when you think about it.

Learn from home (or anywhere)

Study online (anytime)


Don’t think of our veterinary assistant program as e-learning. Think of it as we-learning, because we’re with you every step of the way. Real people—from dedicated trainers and tutors to career advisors and a tech support team—all committed to your success from sign up to post completion.

One-on-one support

Phone, live chat, and email

Veterinary Assistant Program Modules

How do you consume lots of new information quickly? One bite at a time, of course. That’s why our veterinary assistant training program is broken into 15 bite-size modules, each a unique subject. Click the modules below to see exactly what you’ll learn.

Program Orientation (1 Hour)

  • Identify the elements, expectations, and requirements of the program.
  • Navigate the program using the pages, menus, and buttons provided.
  • Use the program tools, including the study planner, grade book, and completion report as well as learn how to connect with CareerStep via phone, email, forums, chat rooms, and social media.
  • Identify and use program resources.

Computer Fundamentals (7 Hours)

  • Identify basic computer hardware and interpret system requirements.
  • Navigate a Windows operating system environment as well as install and operate basic software utilities.
  • Use a web browser to navigate between websites in multiple tabs or windows, send and receive email, and access search engines to find information and troubleshoot basic computer problems.
  • Recognize basic technologies related to an office environment.

Microsoft Office Training Orientation (1 Hour)

  • Successfully follow the lesson structure and download available study tools.
  • Navigate the Microsoft Office training module(s) using the buttons and icons provided.

Word 2019: Beginner (10 Hours)

  • Identify and use the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, tabs, scroll bars, cursor, ruler, and status bar.
  • Create, save, open, edit, navigate, print, share, and recover a document.
  • Edit and format text with options such as alignment, fonts, lists, spacing, tab stops, page format, layout, paragraph alignment and spacing, and copy formatting.

Excel 2019: Beginner (12 Hours)

  • Use the Quick Access Toolbar, title bar, display options, formula bar, and worksheet tab.
  • Create, save, open, edit, navigate, and print a worksheet.
  • Create, edit, delete, and format cells with options such as cell alignment, applying cell styles, splitting cells, merging cells, row and column titles, row and column width, hide and unhide, and page setup and view options.
  • Edit cell data using options and tools such as cut, copy, paste, AutoFill, text tools, and cell references.
  • Create basic, logical, financial, and text formulas.

Working as a Veterinary Assistant (3 Hours)

  • Understand the role of the veterinary assistant.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct.

Business Writing (16 Hours)

  • Identify appropriate methods of communication in a variety of situations.
  • Apply all steps of the writing process to create professional documents, including prewriting, organizing, writing, and editing.
  • Create professional and accurate letters, memos, and emails, and identify the qualities of professional communication, modern communication trends, etiquette, and professional document formatting.
  • Identify and use program-specific resources.

Veterinary Assistant Foundations (14 hours)

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of medical words, including prefixes, roots, suffixes, and abbreviations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical words and abbreviations related to pharmacology.
  • Identify and classify the major structures and organs of animals.

Animal Safety & Nutrition (14 Hours)

  • Promote patient and provider safety.
  • Demonstrate proper handling techniques.
  • Demonstrate proper restraint techniques.
  • Identify basic nutritional concepts that contribute to the health of the animal.

Client Management (16 hours)

  • Demonstrate caring and professional behavior with patients, healthcare teams, and patient advocates.
  • Develop communication and customer service skills.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of each member of the veterinary team.
  • Adhere to professional standards regarding patient information.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct.
  • Apply therapeutic communication techniques within the healthcare team.
  • Demonstrate safety measures within the veterinary office setting.
  • Identify how ethical and legal issues impact patient care outcomes and the healthcare team.
  • Understand the importance of pet insurance.

Patient Management (18 Hours)

  • Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret health record documentation.
  • Develop skills for data collection and interpretation.
  • Demonstrate basic exam room procedures.
  • Understand the basic zoonotic and communicable diseases.

Small & Large Animals (15 Hours)

  • Differentiate various breeds of cats and dogs.
  • Differentiate the breeding process of cats and dogs.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of safety concerns for small and large animals.
  • Identify and classify the major structure and organs of the avian and reptile.
  • Demonstrate proper handling techniques of the avian and reptile.
  • Identify and classify the major structure and organs of the equine.
  • Demonstrate proper handling techniques of the equine.
  • Assist in the care of small or large animals.

Pharmacy & Pharmacology (8 Hours)

  • Understand the legal issues related to pharmacology and pharmacy.
  • Understand the proper techniques for administering vaccines.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of filling medications and inventory control.

Laboratory & Surgical Procedures (14 Hours)

  • Adhere to safe and professional lab skills and techniques.
  • Identify proper laboratory record-keeping techniques.
  • Assist in the laboratory setting as needed.
  • Demonstrate how to maintain an X-ray log.
  • Demonstrate how to process diagnostic radiographs.
  • Adhere to safety standards while handling processing chemicals.
  • Adhere to safety standards while assisting the veterinarian and/or veterinary technician with diagnostic radiographs and ultrasounds and caring for the patient.
  • Adhere to quality control standards.
  • Demonstrate the process of labeling, filing, and storing film and radiograph.
  • Adhere to safety standards and equipment cleanliness of the radiology equipment.
  • Adhere to standards while maintaining equipment such as film cassettes and screens.
  • Demonstrate how to assist with surgical procedures.
  • Adhere to safety standards with equipment cleanliness.
  • Adhere to safety standards with facility cleanliness.

Final Exam Preparation (1 Hour)

  • Identify the steps needed to take to be eligible for and effectively prepare for and access the final exam.
  • Identify the format, restrictions, and policies of final exams, including scoring, retakes, allowed resources, and time limits.