2018-2019 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Apr 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Veterinary Technology, A.A.S.

Program and Career Description

The Veterinary Technology Program provides intensive study of the skills and knowledge needed to work competently as a veterinary technician including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, clinical techniques, pharmacology, anesthesiology, surgical and medical nursing, radiology, and clinical pathology training.

How long is the program?

Columbia State offers a two-year (21-month) full scope program in Veterinary Technology.

What does the program provide?

  • Classroom instruction, laboratory, and clinical experiences.
  • Competencies that exceed American Veterinary Medical Association requirements.

How is the job market?

The first job for about 90% of graduate veterinary technicians is in private practice, with companion animal practice leading the list. However, the demand for veterinary technicians in other fields is growing rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for veterinary technicians nationally to increase by 36% from 2008 - 2018 because of the relatively few veterinary technology graduates each year. The profession is expected to experience continued growth through a combination of increased demand by facilities for the skills of licensed technicians as well as opportunities created when current technicians advance, opt for additional formal education, or retire. Employment of veterinary technicians is typically stable during periods of economic decline or recession.

Career Beginning Salary Experienced Salary Median
Veterinary Technicians (TN) $23,240 $31,470
Veterinary Technicians (US) $27,970 $40,550

Career Salary information taken from www.bls.gov. Check out this web site for additional information about education requirements and preferred work styles and abilities for these careers. Salaries are not guaranteed.



Opportunities exist in the following areas:

  • Teaching
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biomedical Research
  • Military Services
  • Humane Societies
  • Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Zoo/Wildlife Medicine
  • Veterinary Supply Sales

(Designed for the student who does not intend to transfer into a baccalaureate degree program.)

Veterinary technicians are important members of the veterinary health care team, work in veterinary medicine throughout the nation, and are extremely important in the effort to provide quality animal health care to ensure the humane treatment of all animals.

Program enrollment is limited due to facility constraints and admission is not guaranteed. New classes begin only in the fall semester. Applicants should contact program faculty early in the year to allow adequate time for completion of all required forms. Review of applications will begin February 15 annually. Eligible candidates who have complete college and program applications will be invited to interview with the admissions committee. Applicants who submit materials after February 15 may be considered on a space available basis. All Learning Support requirements must be completed by the end of the Spring Semester prior to beginning Veterinary Technology classes in the Fall semester.

Clinical skills in veterinary technology are obtained through completion of practicum objectives at affiliated veterinary facilities throughout middle Tennessee. Over 500 hours of supervised clinical experience are required and students must provide their own transportation to and from facilities. Clinical sites will be assigned to the student by program faculty to provide exposure to a variety of animal species. Assignment locations are not based solely on proximity to the student's place of residence.

Clinical background checks are required by a few affiliated clinical training sites. Based on results of the criminal background check, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow your presence at their facility. The Veterinary Technology program does not require a criminal background check as part of admissions. After graduating from the program, the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners will require a background check upon application for licensure. More information is available from your program director.

Upon successful completion of the program students are awarded the Associate of Applied Science degree and are eligible to apply for licensure by the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners as a Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician.

Accreditation Information

The Veterinary Technology Program at Columbia State is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360

Admission Requirements

Candidates for admission must have a high school diploma or High School Equivalency Diploma (GED® or HiSET®) and must be admitted to the College before being considered for admission to the program.

As early as possible, the student should contact a member of the program faculty for information on advising and the application process. The student may also wish to schedule a campus tour and arrange a meeting with program faculty. Tours can be scheduled by calling 931.540.2766. For the latest information on campus tours go to: www.columbiastate.edu/admissions/campus-tours.

The following items must be on file in the Admissions office:

  1. Completed Application for Admission to the College.
  2. Official transcripts from:
    1. High school (A partial transcript is acceptable for high school seniors prior to graduation.)
    2. All colleges attended.
  3. Completion of testing and test results sent to Columbia State.
    1. ACT/SAT, if under age 21.
    2. Placement test scores, if required.

The following are requirements of the Veterinary Technology Program:

  1. Students applying to the program must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be eligible.
  2. Complete all Veterinary Technology Program application forms.
  3. Complete a formal personal interview with the program director of Veterinary Technology and/or the selection committee. Applicants are evaluated during the interview process based on the following criteria: professional appearance, academic ability, previous experience, reasoning skills, personal interaction skills, and motivation.
  4. Complete an eight-hour observation of the activities and duties of a licensed veterinary technician.
  5. Report, in writing, any felony convictions.
  6. Thoroughly review the Veterinary Technology Program Student Policy Manual, available on the Columbia State web site and in the Library, prior to being admitted into the Veterinary Technology Program. This action must be documented by signing a verification form provided by the Veterinary Technology Program.
  7. Exemption from or satisfaction of Learning Support competencies in reading, writing, and math as determined by college placement standards by the end of the Spring semester prior to enrolling in Veterinary Technology classes for the Fall semester.

Completion of these requirements certifies eligibility, but in no way implies or guarantees admission to the program.

Review of applications will begin February 15 annually. Applicants who submit materials after February 15 may be considered on a space available basis. Class size is limited. All Learning Support requirements must be completed by the end of the Spring Semester prior to beginning Veterinary Technology classes in the Fall semester. If the class has not been filled to capacity by the end of the Summer Semester, students completing their Learning Support requirements at the end of the Summer semester may be considered on an individual basis.

Following the class selection, all applicants will be officially notified by the Veterinary Technology Program director of their admission status.

Continuation Requirements

In order to continue in the Veterinary Technology Program, students must meet the following academic requirements:

  1. Earn a "C" or higher in each Veterinary Technology course.
  2. Earn a "C" or higher in AGRI 1020 , AGRI 1025 , and BIOL 2230  in order to continue in the program.
  3. Earn a "C" or higher in clinical practice, which is considered satisfactory performance in clinical assignment.
  4. Maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  5. Enroll in and successfully complete all required general education courses during (or before) the semester listed in the curriculum outline.
  6. Maintain professional conduct as outlined in the Veterinary Technology Program Student Policy Manual.

Students who do not meet the continuation requirements above are ineligible to progress in the Veterinary Technology Program. These students may be qualified to continue courses in the College, but will not be permitted to register in a Veterinary Technology course without readmission to the program.

Readmission to the Program

Readmission to the Veterinary Technology Program after dismissal is not guaranteed, regardless of the reason. A student who wishes to apply for readmission must do so in writing, at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student would like to re enroll. After reviewing all student records, the Veterinary Technology faculty will determine whether the student will be readmitted to the program. Students dismissed from the program a second time may not be readmitted. Due to the rapid change of technology in the field of veterinary medicine, an elapsed time period of five years or more shall necessitate repeating all Veterinary Technology courses.

Program enrollment is limited by accreditation standards and clinical space. Readmission requests will be only if there are positions available within the class. 

Program Requirements

The courses below are applicable to degree requirements. Students may be required to take additional Learning Support courses.

Natural Sciences Requirement

Requirements for Graduation include:

  • Earn 25% of total program credits in residence at Columbia State.
  • Earn a GPA of at least 2.0 in program courses.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Take the Exit Exam required by Columbia State.

If you have completed TN eCampus courses, run a degree audit from the student tab in myChargerNet to determine how these courses apply to this program.

Veterinary Technology, A.A.S. Sample Academic Plan - Total Credit Hours: 73

First Year - Spring Semester - Total Credit Hours: 14

Second Year - Fall Semester Total Credit Hours: 16

Second Year - Spring Semester - Total Credit Hours: 16


Note: Learning Support math requirement(s) must be satisfied even if you do not intend to take a college-level math course.

Any non-VET classes may be taken prior to program enrollment. Once enrolled in the Vet Tech program, students will not be permitted to postpone any non-VET, general education course(s). Should any course not be offered at Columbia State during the term indicated, program officials will assist students in re-ordering courses to complete all requirements.

For more information contact:
Health Sciences Division office at
931.540.2600 or 931.540.2599

Columbia State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution,
is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.