Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have veterinary work experience in order to apply to the Veterinary Technology program?

No work experience is required. The Veterinary Technology (VT) Program is open to students new to the field as well as experienced veterinary assistants.  The program provides students with the knowledge and skills to enter the field as a veterinary assistant.  The program is also a pathway for experienced veterinary assistants to qualify to take the board examinations and become Registered Veterinary Technicians.

What is the difference between a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) and a veterinary assistant?

RVTs must fulfill specific educational requirements and demonstrate competency in performing job-related tasks in order to become eligible to take the board examinations.  After passing both a state and national examination, they can be licensed by the California Veterinary Medical Board. There are specific medical procedures that only RVTs may perform.

Veterinary assistants are not licensed, do not need prior work experience and do not take any state or national board exams.  As veterinary assistants gain work experience and hone their skills, they perform many of the same duties as RVTs except for those designated as RVT-specific procedures.

What plans do I make as a high school student in order to enter the program?

High school students can attend Allan Hancock College through the College Now! program. College Now! students should plan on taking the VT program prerequisites while in high school. It is also advisable to take “Introduction to Veterinary Technology (RVT 300)” to get an overview of the program.  Upon completion of the prerequisites, high school seniors can apply to the program during the spring application period and be ready to enter the program in the fall upon graduation.

Do advanced placement (AP) classes in high school help meet the program prerequisites?

Yes. A score of 3 or higher on the AP Biology and AP Chemistry College Board exams will meet the prerequisite requirements. An official transcript from the College Board must be submitted with your application.

Do I need to complete the program in one year?

No. Although the majority of students elect to take the program as a cohort and complete the program in 1 year, it is not required.  Students must take only the number of classes they are able to successfully complete. You must be able to allocate enough time to take classes, study and complete assignments along with any other obligations, such as work. It is advisable to work no more than 20 hours a week if you intend to complete the program in 1 year.

RVT 301 (Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology) must be taken, as it is the prerequisite class for both Medical (RVT 305) and Surgical (RVT306) Veterinary Nursing classes held in the spring.

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Last Modified Oct 23, 2018