Veterinary Technology


ANSC logo

| Share

NDSU Veterinary Technology Program


What is a Veterinary Technician?

Veterinary technicians are important members of the animal health care team. They primarily function as professional technical support to veterinarians, biomedical researchers, and other scientists. Through the 1950s, veterinarians trained their own employees, delegating routine tasks and procedures as they saw fit. These on-the-job trained individuals were designated animal assistants, animal attendants, and veterinary assistants.  They were trained to meet the needs of an individual practice. If people wanted to move to another practice, they would have to start over again being trained in the ways of the new practice.

To meet the technical demands of an expanding veterinary profession and a more mobile population, formal academic programs started appearing in the 1960s. Today there are over 160 veterinary technology programs in the United States that educate veterinary technicians. In order to maintain a standard of excellence these programs are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The course of study in these programs entails at least two academic years, leading to an Associate of Science or equivalent degree with four-year Bachelor of Science degrees available at some institutions. During high school, would-be veterinary technicians are encouraged to enroll in college preparatory courses in science, math and English.

In today's fast-paced, high-tech world, veterinarians and other scientists must maintain high standards of animal care. The veterinary technician is an important contributor to this effort. The technician possesses the skills to handle many aspects of patient care, as well as to perform many laboratory procedures.

Technical Duties

Routine areas of responsibility qualified veterinary technicians assume include:

  • Physical Examination and Patient History
  • Client Education
  • Caring for the Hospitalized Patient
  • Administration of Medication and Vaccines
  • Clinical Laboratory Procedures
  • Dental Prophylaxis
  • Radiography
  • Anesthesiology
  • Surgical Assisting
  • Office/ Hospital Management

Veterinary Technicians can also find work in a number of areas outside of clinical veterinary practice. A Bachelors degree in Veterinary Technology opens many more opportunities for the veterinary technician. Positions in teaching, industry, research, government and private business can be obtained. To learn more click Career Opportunities.


About our Program

Students in the Veterinary Technology program at NDSU interact closely with the faculty and staff, the animals, and other students. We strive to give every student the opportunity to practice and gain confidence in their skills and put their knowledge to full use while in the program. This is accomplished in our lab courses and in our Veterinary Wellness Clinic where students are assigned tasks to complete on both in-house animals and with animals from our local animal adoption agencies. To learn more about the Program, Animals, Facility and Faculty click on the  buttons in the left hand column.

The Veterinary Technology Program has over 150 students from all walks of life. If you would like to correspond with some of our students click on the VET TECH CLUB.




Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.