What can I do with this diploma?

Do you have a passion for animals and medicine? If so, a career as a veterinary technician could be perfect for you. Our Veterinary Technology Diploma program will prepare you to enter a practice as a technical assistant to a veterinarian. You'll be a core member of the veterinary medical team, impacting the lives of animals and their families each day.

In this career, you'll work closely with veterinarians and other hospital staff, including receptionists, kennel attendants and veterinary assistants. Communication skills are essential to your role, because you'll regularly counsel clients on their pets' care.

Most of our graduates work with cats, dogs and other pets in companion-animal practice, while others work with horses and livestock or in non-practice settings. While working exclusively with large animals is less common in Atlantic Canada, some of our graduates work in mixed practices where both small and large animals are treated.

As a vet technician, you'll assist veterinarians in diagnoses—for example, providing accurate diagnostics with radiographs and blood work. You'll carry out treatment plans from the veterinarian like administering medications and providing nursing care. You'll also communicate with animals’ families and caregivers to ensure the best outcome for your patients.

Veterinary technician in private practice options include:

  • small animal
  • mixed
  • large animal
  • equine exclusive
  • exotics
  • specialty referral (emergency/intensive care unit)

Veterinary technicians have diverse responsibilities, including:

  • client education
  • nursing
  • animal husbandry
  • surgical assistance 
  • anesthesia
  • laboratory diagnostics
  • radiology
  • pharmacy
  • reception
  • hospital office management

Beyond veterinary practice

Veterinary technicians can have successful careers in a variety of other fields, including animal shelter management, animal research in universities and for private companies, veterinary teaching and sales for veterinary supply companies. You could also find employment with a zoo or in the wildlife rehabilitation field.

Veterinary medical field teaching areas include:

  • veterinary technician programs
  • veterinary assistant programs
  • teaching hospitals (veterinary school)

Veterinary sales representative areas include:

  • nutrition
  • pharmaceutical
  • veterinary supply
  • pet insurance

Future studies

As a graduate of the Veterinary Technology Diploma program, you'll have a strong knowledge base in a variety of areas. You may choose to pursue our Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) and later, a Master of Science. You can also explore a variety of exciting continuing education specialties for veterinary technicians, including:

  • internal medicine: oncology, cardiology, neurology, small and large animal internal medicine
  • dental technology
  • emergency and critical care technology
  • anesthesiology
  • animal behaviour
  • zoo medicine
  • equine medicine
  • surgical technology
  • clinical pathology
  • laboratory animal medicine

We do not recommend the Veterinary Technology Diploma as a stepping stone to a veterinary medicine program, as the diploma does not fulfill the entrance requirements to apply to vet school. If you're interested in becoming a veterinarian, find out more about our preparatory studies in Pre-Veterinary Medicine.

Discover what our alumni have done with their diplomas

Read our alumni stories to learn about some of the amazing things our former students have been up to since graduating from Dal.