Stellar Career College Modesto


4300 Sisk Road Modesto, CA 95356

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(209) 545-5200


Veterinary Assisting

Program offered exclusively on campus

Veterinary Assistant Program

Veterinary assistants are the “jack of all trades” in the veterinary profession. Their job touches every different part of a busy veterinary hospital or clinic. As a veterinary assistant you will perform reception functions, fill prescriptions, keep exam rooms and kennels cleaned and prepped, set up lab work, assist with inventory, update medical records, assist with nursing care, assist with surgical preparation and procedure, and perform radio-graphic procedures. Your assistance provides invaluable help to veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Administer common medications.
  • Handle animals.
  • Assist in filling prescriptions.
  • Set up lab work.
  • Assist with nursing care and surgical preparation.
  • Program duration is 36 weeks in length and current class hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • Class sizes typically 15 students or less.
  • Hands-on training includes: administering common medications, handling animals, assisting in filling prescriptions & set up lab work, & assisting with nursing care and surgical preparation.
  • Program also includes 166 hours of externship at our affiliated veterinary sites.
  • You will learn about pet nutrition and a variety of health and safety issues. You will understand how to treat and prevent parasites, including roundworms and heartworms. You will even learn the facts of life, as it pertains to dogs and cats. You will explore current thoughts on spaying and neutering, how to deal with the very emotional issues of euthanasia, pet loss, and how best to assist clients in a time of need.
  • Unlimited tutoring.

After completing the Veterinary Assisting program, students will be able to:

  • Describe the interpersonal skills and professional characteristics of an effective veterinary assistant, explain where employment opportunities can be found for those with training in animal care, and outline typical daily responsibilities.
  • Use appropriate veterinary terminology to describe basic concepts of anatomy and physiology, pathology and disease, pharmacology, dentistry, and nutrition, as they apply to animals.
  • Describe how to determine the difference between emergency medical conditions and less critical medical ailments by identifying symptoms, signs, and clinical signs, and by reading animal body language.
  • Explain the fundamental quality control processes used to safely handle and treat both healthy and sick/injured animals, such as when conducting physical examinations, collecting samples, conducting tests, performing procedures, and making observations.
  • Identify standard procedures used in the animal care laboratory and surgical center and describe the functions, use, and maintenance of the specialized equipment and instruments found there.
  • Interact with veterinarians, veterinary technicians, clients, and animals, displaying professional skills, appearance, and ethics in a work-experience setting.

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
Students enroll in this program to seek post-graduation employment in positions typically including:

Veterinary Assistant O*NET (31-9096.00) Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Job Outlook:

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are in demand: The job outlook for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is expected to grow 14% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations¹. Pet owners are projected to spend more on their animals, which is driving the growing demand for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers.

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.

State Requirements

A career in this field may require you to meet certain licensing, training, and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state. You should check with your state, local government and/or licensing board to find out which requirements may be applicable in your state.

Find out how to get enrolled and on your way to a career you are passionate about, give us a call (209) 545-5200.


How long does it take to become a vet assistant?

Stellar Career College’s Veterinary Assistant program can be completed in as few as nine months. 

What does a veterinary assistant do?

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

  • Administering medication and immunizations.
  • Collect samples such as blood, tissues and urine.
  • 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 assistant requires less schooling than a vet technician, 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. 

Can I go from a veterinary assistant to a veterinary technician?

Yes. If you pursue additional education and licensing, you could become a veterinary technician. Working as a vet assistant is a great first step to understanding the industry, different specialties and advanced duties required to work as a vet technician.

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.