Veterinary Assistant

Job Description

Veterinary assistants  care for animals in clinics, animal hospitals, zoos and animal shelters. In this course, students will learn how to care for small animals and to recognize signs of illness and disease, handling and restraint of pets, exam room procedures, pharmacy and laboratory skills, radiology and diagnostic imaging, surgical tasks, legal issues, veterinary computer programs, facility maintenance and front office procedures.

Employment Outlook

According to the CT Department of Labor, the 2016 average hourly wage for Veterinary Assistants is $15.69 per hour.

Registration Requirements

Registration for all non-credit allied health courses must be done in person at the Registrar’s Office.  Students cannot register over the phone or online for these courses. Please bring the items listed below.

All students must:

  1. Have a photo ID
  2. Have a high school diploma or GED
  3. Pass a free MCC reading assessment test (bring print out of passing grade) OR
  4. show an unofficial or official transcript with proof of a passing grade in any college-level course.

Free assessment tests are given at the Testing Center in SSC L131a. Please check the current credit-free catalog for Testing Center hours. No appointment is necessary. You may go directly to room SSC L-131a to take the test.  Please bring your photo ID and your high school diploma or GED with you.

Program Description

MCC’s Veterinary Assistant program is the only college course in New England credentialed by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and has received the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) designation.  All students who successfully complete these courses will receive an MCC certificate.

This is a two-semester, 160-hour course/100 hour internship program that will prepare students for an entry-level position in veterinary health care. During this semester students will participate in 80+ hours of classroom time and a mandatory 50-hour internship. This internship is done outside of the normal classroom hours.  Students are allowed 3 absences. Upon the 4th absence they fail the course.

Students must complete both Veterinary Assistant I and Veterinary Assistant II, earn a grade of 75 or above, complete a 100 hour internship and attend at least 150 hours of instruction to be eligible to sit for the NAVTA-approved Veterinary Assistant examination. Upon successful completion of the exam, participants will be entitled to use the designation AVA after their names, and will receive a documenting certificate from NAVTA.

This course is offered in partnership with Bolton Veterinary Hospital.

Required textbooks/materials: Elsevier’s Veterinary Assisting Textbook, Mosby (ISBN 9780323359221); for approximately $93 and Workbook (ISBN 9780323377102) for approximately $35 are available at the MCC Bookstore. Navy blue scrub top and bottoms and a Manchester Community College student ID are required to be worn during internship hours.


Payment in full is due at the time of registration. Students risk losing their spot in class if they do not pay for the course in full. Financial Aid is not available for non-credit courses, however some Scholarships and/or SNAP Benefit Scholarships may be available

More Information

For more information about upcoming Veterinary Assistant classes, please see the Allied Heath section of the latest credit-free catalog.

Lorraine Doonan
Allied Health Program Coordinator
Credit-Free Programs, Continuing Education Division