Veterinary Assistant

Gain the skills necessary to start a successful career in the field of animal care and as a veterinary assistant.

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    Area of Interest is required
    In-Class: Instructor-led classes held in-person at one or more of our 4 campuses.
    Hybrid: Instructor-led classes on a set schedule held remotely on video over the Internet, with some courses delivered in-person at one of our 4 campuses.
    Remote: Instructor-led classes on a set schedule, held remotely live on video over the Internet.
    Online: Flexible schedule with a set weekly pace and the support of facilitators when you need it; delivered over the Internet.
    Preferred Method of Learning is required
    Campus is required
    Consent is required




    53 Weeks


    8 Weeks

    Program Outline

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    About The Program

    The Veterinary Assistant diploma program provide you with the administrative skills needed for the veterinary office and animal care environment. Gain an introduction to the field of veterinary medicine, nutrition needs and nursing. Throughout the program, you will acquire an understanding of purebred cats and dogs, how to identify breeds of cats and dogs and discuss their health care requirements. Develop real-world work experience through an 8-week field placement so that you graduate with the skills and experience that employers want.


    Career Opportunities

    The Veterinary Assistant Diploma program will qualify graduates to pursue positions in veterinary clinics, animal care agencies, or positions in pet stores.

    Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads

    • Safety Services
    • SPCA
    • Oromocto Vet Hospital 
    • Cedar Hills Animal Hospital 
    • Grey Cove Vet 
    • Mayfield Veterinary Clinic


    81 %

    Employment Rate*

    $ 14

    Average Wage/hr**

    $ 19

    High Wage/hr**

    *Employment Rate based on 2021 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field.


    NOC Code: 6563, 1411 - **Wage data based on NOC Code 6563 and rounded down to the nearest dollar based on New Brunswick data. Average wage doesn't reflect the starting salary but represents the middle value between lowest to highest wages. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in Dec 2022.

    Program Details

    Do you want to pursue a career helping animals? The Veterinary Assistant program at Eastern College combine hands-on clinical experience with administrative support training to prepare you for a role in the world of veterinary care. Whether providing clinical assistance or handling client communication, graduates from this program are essential to the operation of every veterinary clinic.

    Course Listings: New Brunswick
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    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Small Animal Medicine for VAS
    This module is designed to introduce students to the preventive health programs of small animal medicine. The veterinary administrative assistant plays an important role in educating and advising clients on vaccines, de-worming, and other aspects of preventing health problems in companion animals.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Small Animal Nursing for VAS
    This module is intended to introduce students to the different areas of small animal nursing. It will give the students sufficient hands-on experience and practice in areas such as, First Aid and restraint and handling. Students will gain a basic understanding of veterinary office-management software functions and applications. There will be guest speakers, field trips to vet clinics and hospitals and many hands-on activities.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Bookkeeping Fundamentals
    This module introduces fundamental bookkeeping principles and practices for small businesses. Students will study the accounting equation, account categories, the debit and credit system of bookkeeping, and correcting entries. Regular business transactions and adjusting journal entries are recorded, and the trial balance and basic financial statements are prepared.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Business Communication
    Excellent communication skills are essential in the smooth operation of a business office. In this module, the emphasis is not on the memorization of the rules governing the English language but on the application of basic conventions to produce grammatically correct communications. With this emphasis on clear expression of thought and intent, topics covered include grammar, spelling, punctuation, proofreading and editing, the communication process, written and oral communication techniques, overcoming communication barriers, written and oral routine orders, inquiries and replies, delivering good and bad news; communication within an organization (upward, lateral, and downward) and using technology as a communication tool (fax, email and messaging).
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Business Math
    This module provides the students with an understanding of arithmetic, mathematics, and measurements used in common business and industry environments. At the end of the module the student will be able to define whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages; become familiar with equations and formulae; and learn the use of graphs..
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
    This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn about the "Hidden" Job Market and ways to access it in their upcoming job search, how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume and references, and organize proof documents for their career portfolio. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation - Part II.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
    This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Part I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today's technology. Students will create a personal list of "Top Employers" and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Part I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Digital Literacy for Professionals
    This course has four units that introduces you to the fundamental concepts and principles of learning and working in a digital environment. The first unit introduces you to using devices and handling information with topics on operating systems (Windows, MAC, and Linux), computer organization (folder management and naming conventions), cloud storage (including Microsoft OneDrive), types of web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari), and fundamental troubleshooting. In the second unit, you will become familiar with creating and editing information through learning about file formats (pdf, mp4, docx), productivity (including iWork and Microsoft Office Suite) and creativity (Adobe, Canva, iMovie) platforms, and basic introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The third unit on communicating and collaborating will introduce you to web conferencing applications (Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams), mail applications (including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail,), project management tools (Trello, Asana), and time management tools (including Todoist, Outlook Calendar, and iCal), and building rapport virtually. In the final unit, you will gain an understanding on netiquette, cybersecurity, and digital wellness. After completing this course, you will have enhanced digital literacy skills as a professional in the working and learning environment.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Document Formatting
    Students practice identifying and applying standard formatting to a variety of typical business documents, while continuing to develop their keyboarding speed and accuracy along with their proofreading skills. Formatting of business documents includes practice with block-style and modified block-style letters, memoranda, reports bound and unbound, reports with lists and displayed text, memo style reports, formal reports (including title page, table of contents, bibliography, etc.), purchase orders, press releases, agendas, minutes of meetings, itineraries and various types of envelopes. Keyboarding drills and timings, as well as practice with language arts, are also included.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Breeds - Dogs & Cats
    This module will provide students with an understanding of purebred cats and dogs. Students will learn about organizations in Canada that are responsible for the development and preservation of these purebred animals. They will learn to identify breeds of cats and dogs and discuss their particular health care requirements.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Field Placement - Veterinary Assistant
    On successful completion of the classroom hours of this program, students will be placed on field placement at an outside organization. Students will have the opportunity to apply their newly developed knowledge and skills in a real-world environment.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Image Development
    This module teaches the student how to develop and manage a professional image. Topics include: appearance-visual and verbal, interpersonal interaction, business etiquette, and networking skills. At the end of the module, students will have an appreciation and understanding of the importance of a professional image in the business environment.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Nutrition for Veterinary Administrative Specialist
    This module is designed to introduce students to the nutritional needs of our companion animals. The veterinary administrative assistant plays a role in educating and advising clients on their pet’s nutritional requirements and helping to establish an appropriate feeding plan for the pet’s needs.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Office Skills
    The daily routines of a modern business office are examined, and the skills necessary to assist in the smooth operation of the office are presented. A variety of learning methods may be used including lecture, discussion, role-plays, case studies and work simulations. Topics include the role of office support personnel, professional and reception skills, information management, incoming and outgoing mail procedures and office filing systems.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Database Management
    This software lab module consists of online training and assessment in Microsoft Access. Students learn a comprehensive set of skills, including creating and modifying database tables, defining table relationships, sorting data, creating simple and advanced queries, creating and formatting forms and reports, and creating and running macros.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Presentations
    This software lab module consists of online training and assessment in Microsoft PowerPoint. Students learn a comprehensive set of skills centered around the creation of attractive, professional-looking presentations. Students learn how to effectively use and format animations, transitions, pictures, audio, video, charts and tables, as well incorporate speaker notes and annotations into their presentations.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Word Processing
    This software lab module consists of online training and assessment in Microsoft Word, and builds on the skills introduced in Computer Fundamentals. Students learn a comprehensive set of skills, with coverage including formatting text for layout and appearance, formatting document sections, using styles, working with header/footer content, inserting and formatting tables, graphics and pictures, working with templates and themes, using advanced editing features, and working with mailing tools.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Spreadsheets
    This software lab module consists of online training and assessment in Microsoft Excel. Students learn a comprehensive set of skills, with coverage including creating, formatting and printing worksheets, creating simple and advanced formulas, using mathematical, logical, statistical and financial functions, creating and modifying charts and pivot tables, and using data tools.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Student Success Strategies
    In this orientation module, emphasis is placed on thinking about achieving success from Day One. This module stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic, and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note-and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting SMART goals and maintaining a positive attitude; techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Medical Terminology for Veterinary Administrative Specialist
    This module familiarizes students with basic medical terms and their proper pronunciations. How medical terms are derived, basic word structures, medical word building using roots, prefixes and suffixes are all discussed and practiced. Many of these terms are used in the animal care field and it is important for employees of veterinary clinics to have a working understanding of these terms.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Writing for Comprehension
    Through lectures, textbook exercises, and classroom labs, this module teaches students the skills and knowledge necessary to apply basic business writing skills when creating various memos; routine letters; good news letters; persuasive and bad news letters; presentations; and meeting agendas.
    Admission Requirements
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    High school graduation or equivalent. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant. In addition, an entrance assessment must be successfully passed.

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