Online Veterinary Assistant Programs

online veterinary assistant programs

Veterinary assistants are trained to help veterinarians and veterinary technicians with basic clinical duties, ensuring the smooth running of a veterinary establishment. The key administrative duties of a vet assistant include ensuring that records are properly kept and all necessary equipment is available when needed.

In several states nationwide, veterinary assistants are not expected to receive a license before they can secure employment and start working professionally. However, they are expected to receive adequate training to carry out their duties at the highest level.

This is where online veterinary assistant training programs come in.

The Need for Online Programs

All veterinary assistants are expected to receive significant training before they can start working professionally. However, most of this training can be acquired online.

Online programs for veterinary assistants came about because candidates needed an avenue to receive comprehensive training without having to be physically present at all times. This makes it easier for more interested individuals to enter the field, thanks to the fact that they can proceed at their own pace without dropping all their prior commitments to make it work.

Additionally, many interested candidates live in locations with a strong vet assistant program nearby.

Moreover, online veterinary assistant training programs have evolved so much that students enjoy comprehensive online classes and receive hands-on training thanks to partnerships with brick-and-mortar clinics.

The upcoming list explores several top-quality online vet assistant programs offering such benefits.

Why You Should Attend an Online Veterinary Assistant Program

There are several reasons to consider online veterinary assistant programs. The following are just some of the most prominent advantages these virtual institutions provide:

  • Accessibility - As mentioned above, candidates looking to become veterinary assistants may not have a top-class program in their area. Thankfully, some online programs, such as the ones listed below, are considered among the country’s best.
  • Convenience - Online veterinary assistant programs offer candidates the option of acquiring valuable skills from the comfort of their homes. The importance of such convenience must be considered, particularly for those with other real-world commitments.
  • Flexibility - Some online vet assistant programs allow candidates to move independently. This option to rest and assimilate at an individual’s discretion can encourage them to see things through instead of quitting.
  • Quality - A veterinary assistant training program must have attained very high educational standards to be accredited. The accreditation agency usually sets strict quality criteria for all institutions before granting accreditation.

These criteria are just as strict for an online veterinary assistant training program, if not more so. They include specific course hours, supervised practicum hours, and preparation for possible professional tests.

Online Vet Assistant School Accreditation

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America is the prominent organization responsible for accrediting veterinary assistant programs nationwide, whether online or on-campus.

Attending a NAVTA-accredited program is no longer mandatory to become a veterinary assistant. Candidates are advised to attend online NAVTA-accredited programs simply because they offer several benefits that regular training programs, whether online or on-campus, don’t.

For instance, NAVTA, the predominant organization for veterinary technicians, is well-reputed nationwide and boasts a strong professional network of allied health workers. Becoming a part of this group offers incredible career opportunities.

Additionally, leading to the next advantage, candidates who attend NAVTA-accredited programs have a straightforward path to obtaining the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) credential. Having an AVA certification as a vet assistant is one of the best things you could do for your career, not just in the short-term employment market but also when taking advantage of career growth opportunities.

Candidates who have graduated from a NAVTA-accredited program must obtain a code from the program, register with VetMedTeam, and pass the certification exam under an exam mentor’s supervision before officially becoming Approved Veterinary Assistants.

Accredited Online Veterinary Assistant Programs

The following are six accredited online veterinary assistant programs with impressive records of graduate success.

Penn Foster

Penn Foster is a popular name for online training in the healthcare and veterinary fields. The school offers 16 online healthcare training programs, with the veterinary assistant program being among the most popular.

Apart from its popularity, one of the highlights of Penn Foster’s vet assistant program is that candidates can participate in an 8-week externship to acquire further knowledge and hands-on training. Additionally, students will be well-positioned to take the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) examination thanks to an array of training materials, all available online.

Penn Foster also boasts strong connections with some of the largest and most recognized veterinary clinics and hospitals nationwide, including BluePearl, Banfield, and VCA. This makes it easy for students to develop a strong professional network and secure employment immediately after completing the program.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) approved the program.

Animal Behavior College

Animal Behavior College is another top-quality destination for online training spanning various healthcare fields. The College offers a veterinary assistant program with a curriculum divided into 11 stages.

The first nine stages are designed to introduce students to the foundational concept of veterinary assisting. They include surgical assisting, radiology, small animal nursing, animal restraint, and examination room procedures.

Candidates will also learn to perform administrative duties in an animal clinic through medical record-keeping, inventory analysis, teamwork, and communication.

Once they have completed the first nine stages, they will be allowed to proceed to the 10th real-world training stage. At the Animal Behavior College, real-world training for aspiring veterinary assistants is done through externships.

Students can complete their externships in around 20 weeks by securing positions with the school’s partner facilities nationwide. After completing the 10th stage, candidates move to the final stage, where they must pass a final exam showcasing expertise in all the topics they have been taught.

Ross College

Ross College offers an incredibly advanced veterinary assistant training program that can be completed in 36 weeks. It includes six modules dealing with key topics that all veterinary assistants must be familiar with before starting their careers.

Along with learning how to carry out office duties such as client relations, record keeping, inventory management, and equipment management, students will also learn about core vet assistant clinical duties such as tool sterilization, surgical assisting, patient prep, x-rays, and diagnostic lab procedures.

After completing the theoretical parts of their training, candidates may participate in an externship for real-world experience. Externships for vet assistants at Ross College take six weeks to complete.

In combination with the online and hybrid training programs, the school offers on-campus training for candidates in Huntsville, Erlanger, North Canton, Kalamazoo, and Warren.

As expected, Ross College’s distance vet assistant program is approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).


The veterinary assistant training program at VetMedTeam was established in 2001 and has received approval from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. One of the highlights of studying here is that candidates enjoy learning through a curriculum that is constantly reviewed, updated, and improved to keep up with advancements in the field.

According to the program website, the course is perfect for candidates seeking training to secure employment, candidates already working as vet assistants who wish to deepen their skill set, and candidates who wish to obtain professional credentials from NAVTA.

Interested individuals may apply for admission into this program regardless of their geographical location. Individuals may also apply without proof of high school graduation.

VetMedTeam is known for its strong partnership with the NAVTA, which accredits veterinary assistant programs. VetMedTeam issues the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification examinations.

The exam requires registration with VetMedTeam and incurs an examination fee of $100.


VetBloom’s veterinary assistant program can be completed in 26 weeks. It includes a comprehensive curriculum divided into 5 modules, teaching critical skills such as basic medical terminology, anatomy and pathology, animal physiology, and nutrition.

It also includes additional skills useful for a veterinary assistant, such as animal grooming, medical calculations, and medical record keeping. Those who complete their 5 training modules may move on to the hands-on training aspect of this program.

This is achieved by participating in a six-week externship that includes a minimum of 120 hours of training on the job in a full-service veterinary clinic or hospital. The externship is supposed to help veterinary assistants practice what they have been taught in virtual classes while picking up valuable experience under the supervision of experienced professionals.

VetBloom is also notable for providing flexible payment plans. Candidates can also have their tuition reimbursed by employers, including those who are partners of the school.

Career Step Online

Like the other programs on the list, Career Step offers an online veterinary assistant program that prepares candidates for a fresh career as a veterinary assistant, allows practicing vet assistants to acquire more skills, and ensures candidates qualify and are well-prepared for the AVA certification examination.

The program gives candidates 24/7 access to the training materials, meaning they can learn only when convenient. It also includes real-time support so students who need help can easily reach out through phone, chat, or email and have a professional answer their queries.

Other highlights include hands-on training in a real-world veterinary setting through externships and the self-paced arrangement with an 8-month full access guideline.

Focus topics include animal pathology, animal physiology, nutrition and diet care, surgical assisting, an introduction to animal nursing, record keeping, pharmacology and radiology, and exam room caregiving.

Students will also learn veterinary terminology, discover how to properly relate to clients, and handle testing situations that may arise on the job.

Explore online programs for other vet careers