Veterinary assistant examines dog

Veterinary Assistant

Turn your passion of caring for animals into a rewarding career with the Veterinary Assistant program at College of DuPage. Our hybrid program is designed to prepare you for a career with animals in laboratories, animal hospitals and clinics while performing surgical preparation to small animal nursing under the supervision of veterinarians, scientists, and veterinary technologists and technicians.

Upcoming Classes

Classes are offered during the Fall and Spring semester. We are currently enrolling for the Fall 2024 semester. Contact to receive more information.

Registration Information

Information Session

Students are required to attend this introduction before beginning the Veterinary Assistant Program. Topics covered include course logistics, expectations, as well as an overview of curriculum, mathematics used in the field, ethics and physical expectations. Register and attend the next information session.


Experience is an important component when becoming a veterinary assistant. Fortunately, you can receive relevant veterinary assistant training experience during the externship part of our program. We have relationships with veterinary facilities across DuPage and neighboring counties, providing you with the opportunity to receive on-the-job training experience.

A successful completion of the Veterinary Assistant course is a requirement prior to enrolling in the externship course. The goal of this clinical externship is to provide you with the hands-on experience necessary to develop the skills you’ll need to work as a veterinary assistant. You’ll practice under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or credentialed veterinary technician. This externship consists of 100 hours of clinical experience in a full-service companion animal practice to be completed in 8 to 12 weeks.


*The median annual wage for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers was $46,310 hour in May 2022. Employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. High turnover should result in good job opportunities. Upon completion of the program you may find work in private veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, animal shelters or even zoos.


  • 18 years of age
  • High school diploma or equivalency is required
  • English proficiency

Due to the inherent requirements of the profession as a veterinary assistant, students must possess additional non-academic skills. Psychomotor skills (hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity), visual acuity (normal or corrected vision) sufficient for safe practice of veterinary assistant duties and communication skills (ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing, with patients, doctors and other personnel, and the ability to follow written and verbal directions).

Essential Functions are generally required for all College of DuPage Health Career Programs. If the ability to perform these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations result in the inability to meet identified student learning outcomes, the student may be at risk of not successfully completing the course and/or program.

Tuition and Financial Options

Tuition of $1,499 excludes externship.

A payment plan is available. Payment is due at registration.
Explore financial options for Continuing Education programs.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers,
at (visited Oct. 28, 2021).

Contact Information

Continuing Education
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110
(630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785

Front Desk Hours
  • Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Office hours may vary due to holidays and staff coverage.