Veterinary Technology, A.A.S.

Academic Programs

Career Path


Start Term

Program Options

Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus

Program Information

Few professions can give you as much satisfaction as working with animals, but you’ll need the best training possible to succeed in this career field. Iowa Western’s Veterinary Technology study program will send you on your way after earning an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Iowa Western graduates are working in many areas of the animal science industry, including large and small veterinary clinics, animal shelters, clinical laboratories, zoos, animal research facilities, and biomedical facilities.

Iowa Western’s new state-of-the-art Veterinary Technology facility and personable instructors are two of the attractive features of this program. Students learn valuable skills in surgical labs and participate in animal care and kennel duty every day. Vaccination clinics are held on campus, giving students hands-on experience with animals of many different species. Graduates become eligible for the Veterinary Technician National Examination and the Iowa Veterinary Technician Examination to become a Registered Veterinary Technician. This field increases in demand each year.

The Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The American Veterinary Medical Association can be contacted at 1931 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173; 1-800-248-2862;

Students accepted into the Veterinary Technology program at Iowa Western are required to obtain pre-exposure rabies vaccines per the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Students accepted as Prep-Veterinary Technology students are not required to show proof of vaccination until they have completed all additional admissions requirements and have been accepted into the program by the Admissions Office. For more information, please visit here!

Job Outlook

  • 600 Jobs (2020)
  • +14.8% Change (2020-2025)

What will you do

This program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year degree. Veterinary Technologists assist veterinarians in the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and care of animals in a veterinary clinic, animal hospital, or research facility. Graduates of this program can find employment in many sectors including small and large private animal practices, animal shelters and humane societies, clinical laboratories, education, zoos, government research, and the biomedical industry. Upon graduation of the program, students are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and the Iowa Veterinary Technician Examination to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). The employment opportunities for veterinary technologists are expected to increase by 41% through the year 2016.


  • Average: $15.47
  • Entry: $12.49
  • Experienced: $18.24

Career Examples

  • Veterinary Technicians
  •  Veterinary Assistants
  •  Patient Care Coordinators
  •  Animal Care Assistants
  •  Animal Caretakers
  •  Animal Technicians
  • Residential Counselors.

Program Prerequisites

General Education Courses that must be completed prior to the first semester of Veterinary Technology: 

BIO 112 - General Biology I 4.0 Credit(s)
AGV 104 - Veterinary Technology Anatomy and Physiology I 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 7.0 Credits

First Semester

AGV 100 - Introduction to Veterinary Technology 2.0 Credit(s)
AGV 110 - Principles of Veterinary Technology I 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 120 - Veterinary Medical Terminology 1.0 Credit(s)
AGV 122 - Principles of Sanitation 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 205 - Kennel Management and Animal Care I 1.0 Credit(s)
AGV 108 - Veterinary Technology Anatomy and Physiology II 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 13.0 Credits

Second Semester

AGV 115 - Principles of Veterinary Technology II 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 135 - Clinical Pathology Lab Techniques I 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 140 - Veterinary Pharmacology 3.0 Credit(s)
BIO 186 - Microbiology 4.0 Credit(s)
AGV 207 - Kennel Management and Animal Care II 1.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 14.0 Credits


AGV 142 - Mathematics for Veterinary Technicians 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 145 - Animal Nutrition 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 805 - Veterinary Technology Internship I 2.0 Credit(s)
ENG 105 - Composition I 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 11.0 Credits

Third Semester

AGV 147 - Large Animal Care 4.0 Credit(s)
AGV 170 - Veterinary Anesthesiology 3.0 Credit(s)
AGV 136 - Clinical Pathology Lab Techniques II 4.0 Credit(s)
AGV 150 - Office Procedures for Veterinary Technicians 3.0 Credit(s)
  • Social Science/Humanities Elective 3.0 Credit(s) 2
  • AGV 209 - Kennel Management and Animal Care III 1.0 Credit(s)

    Semester Total: 18.0 Credits

    Fourth Semester

    AGV 149 - Avian, Exotic and Lab Animal Care 3.0 Credit(s)
    AGV 182 - Diagnostic Imaging 3.0 Credit(s)
    AGV 806 - Veterinary Technology Internship II 3.0 Credit(s)
    AGV 185 - Veterinary Surgical Assisting 3.0 Credit(s)
    MGT 195 - Workplace Empowerment 3.0 Credit(s)
    AGV 211 - Kennel Management and Animal Care IV 1.0 Credit(s)

    Semester Total: 16.0 Credits

    Total Semester Hours Required: 79.0


    Students must earn a “C” or higher in all required courses in order to graduate.

    2Social Science/Humanities Elective must be selected from the following:

    Social Science/Humanities Elective

    ECN 120 - Principles of Macroeconomics 3.0 Credit(s)
    ECN 130 - Principles of Microeconomics 3.0 Credit(s)
    PHI 105 - Introduction to Ethics 3.0 Credit(s)
    PHI 142 - Ethics in Business 3.0 Credit(s)
    PSY 111 - Introduction to Psychology 3.0 Credit(s)
    PSY 121 - Developmental Psychology 3.0 Credit(s)
    SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology 3.0 Credit(s)
    SOC 120 - Marriage and Family 3.0 Credit(s)

    Contact Us

    Program Outcomes

    Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

    • Interpret the veterinary profession’s ethical codes and applicable laws.
    • Apply and manage anesthetic protocols for surgical procedures.
    • Recognize and identify gross anatomical systems in various species.
    • Explain the physiology of each anatomical system in various species.
    • Demonstrate effective and appropriate restraint on various species.
    • Perform animal nursing skills on various species.
    • Perform animal husbandry skills for various species.
    • Identify parasites and perform appropriate parasitology procedures on various species.
    • Perform and interpret diagnostic testing procedures pertaining to veterinary medicine.
    • Calculate medication in the prescribed form.

    Program Disclaimers

    • Because career opportunities associated with this degree are so varied, salaries vary considerably as well. To explore careers and gather specific salary information, we encourage you to visit the following website: IHaveaPlanIowa