Veterinary Technology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Additional Contact Information

If you have questions, please contact our program coordinator:


Q: What is the cost of the Veterinary Technology Program?

A: Veterinary Technology Program fat Foothill Community College for under $3,500.00! (Compare this to the cost of some private programs in the area...)

The total cost from admission to graduation, for an in-state student, is approximately $4,500.00*. This includes all usual Registration Fees for all the Vet Tech and required Science courses and all additional VT-related fees (Scrubs, name tags, lab fees), etc.

For a detailed explanation of Student Fees and a Fee Schedule go to:

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Q: What are Veterinary Technician's Salaries like?

A: Veterinary technician salaries are commensurate with experience and education; and tend to be higher in multiple doctor or corporate-owned veterinary practices. Remember also that your area of residence will generally affect your veterinary technician salary, as higher cost of living typically goes hand in hand with higher salary (keep this in mind as you review national salary data.)

Based on our Annual Intern and Graduate Surveys: starting salaries for a new graduate technician range from $12.50-$17.50/hr ($25,000-35,000/year.) An RVT with 3-5 years of experience generally earns $18.00- $23.00/hr ($36,000-46,000/year.) Highly skilled, licensed technicians with management ability or those employed in the biomedical industry, or as educators, commonly earn in excess of $25.00/hr. Benefits vary widely, with multi-doctor practices, and corporations providing the most attractive packages.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor in November, 2004 the mean annual salary of veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians nationwide was $26,330 ($12.66/hr). The median annual salary was $25,360 ($12.19/hr.) The bottom 10 percent earned less than $17,630 ($8.48 /hr), and the top 10 percent earned more than $36,300 ($17.45 /hr.) The vast majority of veterinary technicians were employed within veterinary private practices. The best paying industry however, is the pharmaceutical and biomedical manufacturing services industry.

For additional information see the references below:

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Q: Where is the program located?

A: The Veterinary Technology program is located on the Foothill College Campus in Los Altos Hills, California, just off Highway 280 in the Silicon Valley approximately 40 miles south of San Francisco and 10 miles north of San Jose. The VT teaching lab and animal compound is located in the area of campus adjacent to Student Parking Lot "D".

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Q: How can I contact the Veterinary Technology Program Director by phone, email or fax?

A: For contact information, click here.
College Location Map
Campus Map

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Q: Is the VT Program Accredited?

A: The Veterinary Technology program is one of fifteen allied health programs at Foothill College and is in the Division of Biology and Health Sciences. It is one of only seven AVMA Accredited schools in California and is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (A.V.M.A./C.V.T.E.A.).

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Q: What degrees or certificates are granted by the program?

A: The Foothill College Veterinary Technology Program is a two year Associate in Science (AS) Degree program. Students who successfully complete the program receive an AS Degree in Veterinary Technology from Foothill College. There are currently no other certificates of completion or certificates of proficiency awarded by the program.

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Q: Who teaches the VT courses?

A: The faculty consists of two full time licensed, accredited veterinarians, one part time licensed veterinarian, one full time registered veterinary technician and two part time registered veterinary technicians. The program director is a veterinarian and full time instructor.

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Q: Where are the VT courses taught?

A: The program operates a facility licensed by and regularly inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (U.S.D.A./A.P.H.I.S) on the Foothill College Campus The centerpiece of the program is the newly remodeled Veterinary Technology teaching Laboratory, a prototype of a typical mixed-animal veterinary practice that serves as the primary location for practical training. Classrooms and additional laboratories are assigned by the college as needed and are located on the adjacent main campus. Adjacent to the VT Lab are the large animal holding pens, dog runs, horse paddock and a pasture.

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Q: Are there live animals used in the program?

A: Yes. The program maintains a small colony of both large (sheep and horses) and small animals (dogs and cats). Year around care of the resident animals is provided by approximately fifty first and second year Veterinary Tech. program students, under the supervision of two licensed veterinarians and four registered veterinary technicians. This care is in accordance with accepted standards of animal husbandry and veterinary medical practice in the community and is in strict compliance with the Federal Animal Welfare Act. The program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the facility itself is registered with the United States Department of Agriculture and as such is regularly monitored by federal veterinarians.

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Q: What is done with the animals kept by the VT Program?

A: Animals are kept at the veterinary technology teaching facility in order to train future veterinary nurses in the proper care and treatment of veterinary patients. The animals are not subjected to any unduly painful or invasive procedures, and are considered by all students and faculty to be our pets. No procedures conducted on any animal that is not done routinely in veterinary hospitals every day and there are strictly enforced protocols in place to ensure that animals are not overused or used inappropriately. The program is also overseen by an active Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is an advisory group of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and public members.

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Q: Are the animals used for research?

A: Absolutely not. No invasive procedures or surgery (except routine spays and neuters) are performed on the animals. No experimentation of any kind is conducted. We are a teaching program and do not conduct research. The program has an active Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and compassionate protocols for animal use have been carefully developed and are on file. Faculty and students are extremely respectful of the animals.

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Q: Where do you get the resident teaching animals?

A: Each year unwanted or homeless dogs and cats are adopted by the program, where they live and participate in the training of veterinary technicians. Each newly adopted animal receives the following routine veterinary care:

  • Thorough physical examination performed by a veterinarian;
  • Examination for both internal and external parasites and treatment if necessary;
  • A complete set of vaccinations is administered;
  • Each animal is tested for Heartworm infection and placed on monthly preventative medication. Males are neutered and females are spayed. Animals are housed in comfortable spaces and receive high quality food, fresh water, toys and exercise.
  • Daily animal care is provided by students supervised by the doctors.

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Q: What happens to the animals at the end of the school year?

A: At the end of each school year we place each animal in a good home. The program has adopted, cared for, and re-homed hundreds of animals over the years.

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Q: Do I have to apply into the two year program?

A: Yes. Qualified students must apply and be accepted into the VT Program. Application to Foothill College does not imply acceptance into the VT Program. Applications are available from August 1st, and must be submitted by the June 1 deadline each year.

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Q: Explain the Application Process?

A: Please see Application

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Q: Are there any prerequisites for admission?

A: Please see Prerequisites

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Q: When does the program start each year?

A: The program starts only once each year in the Fall quarter (late September), and consists of a two-year sequence of courses. Students may not enter the VT program itself at other times throughout the year, but are encouraged to continue to work on their college general education and required science classes.

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Q: What is the "Alternate Route" to state board exam eligibility?

A: The "Alternate Route" is basically a way for unregistered veterinary assistants to qualify to take the State RVT Exam without graduating from a two year AVMA Accredited program or from a 15 month private program. Please read the Alternate Route Information document.

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Q: I am an experienced veterinary assistant--Can I get a license by the "Grandfather Clause"?

A: There is no longer a "Grandfather Clause" in California. You can become eligible for the RVT Licensing exam by either graduating from a two year AVMA Approved program such as ours, OR by what is known as the "Alternate Route".

Please read the Alternate Route Information Document for detailed information.

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Q: When are the courses offered?

A: The program courses are generally taught during the day during the regular academic year. (Three quarters; late September through late June). Days and times vary quarter to quarter and can be found in the Foothill College Catalog and Schedule of Classes. Every attempt is made to schedule the classes in "Blocks" to allow time for students to work in their internships. The program is a daytime program and currently no evening courses are offered.

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Q: Does the Program have any Online Courses?

A: The Foothill VT Program is currently offered on-site only. We do offer an online Veterinary Assisting Program each summer: /bio/programs/vetasst/

If you live in California: You may wish to Investigate Category 5 (the 'Alternate Route') to State Board Exam Eligibility.

Students are referred to the CA Veterinary Medical Board's RVT Roads to Certification Workbook online for more information.

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Q: Are there any night or weekend classes?

A: Generally, no. The program courses are usually taught during the day Monday through Thursday. Occasionally a course is scheduled in the evening to accommodate a part time instructor. Animal care is performed 24/7 by students, and may involve some assignments on the weekends and holidays.

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Q: May I attend part time?

a: Students are encouraged to enroll full time and complete the entire VT curriculum in two consecutive years. Preference is given to applicants who intend to attend full time; and part time students will be accommodated as space allows. Part time attendance can be arranged by special permission of the program director. It is the philosophy of the program to work with students as circumstances arise in an attempt to retain them in the program.

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Q: Can I take individual courses in the curriculum without applying to the program?

A: Yes. With the permission of the program director. Currently employed unregistered veterinary assistants may enroll in selected VT courses with out being enrolled in the program. Students must take any and all prerequisite courses before permission will be granted.

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Q: Are there any special mental, physical and emotional standards required of VT students?

A: Yes. These are known as the Veterinary Technology Program Minimum Technical Standards and can be found in the Program Application.

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Q: How long will it take to finish the program?

A: This is highly variable depending on the amount of college work that has been completed by an individual student prior to application into the VT Program. Program completion requirements can be thought of as consisting of three parts:

  • Foothill College's General Education requirements.
  • Required Science courses.
  • Veterinary Technology sequence of courses.
In reality the program is a "THREE YEAR PLAN" Most students take one or more years to complete the college General Education requirements and two years to complete the VT Program curriculum.
  • Complete all the Minimum Prerequisites including VT 51-Introduction to Veterinary Technology.
  • Complete all or the majority of the Foothill College General Education Requirements (No more than 1-2 GE courses remaining at the time the VT Program is started...)
  • Complete the Required Science courses (College General Chemistry and College Microbiology)
  • Apply for admission and be accepted to the program.
  • Enter the program and complete all the remaining requirements for graduation in two consecutive years (two-year VT Sequence of First and Second Year Courses).

Note: Many students also elect to complete all or part of the required science courses prior to application for admission to the program. Students should contact a VT Counselor for advice.

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Q: May I take my General Education and Required Science courses before applying to the VT Program?

A: Yes. Most successful students complete all or most of their college General Education requirements prior to applying to the program. Many also complete some or all of the program's Required Science requirements. The VT course are very challenging and require a lot of time and effort to be successful. The demands of the curriculum and the required internship hours combined with a busy personal life can prove to be too much for a student without careful planning and preparation.

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Q: May I take my General Education and Required Science courses at a college other than Foothill?

A: Yes. The only courses unique to Foothill College are the VT Courses. Many two and four year colleges offer courses comparable to those required for graduation from the VT Program. Our Biology and Chemistry departments serve a number of Allied Health Career programs and thus provide excellent courses for our students.

The student is encouraged to contact a Veterinary Technology Counselor or the VT Program Director to discuss transferring courses taken elsewhere. It is the student's responsibility to ascertain if a given course will be accepted by Foothill College and meet the requirements of the VT Program. A petition for Equivalency must be obtained from a VT Counselor and completed for any courses that do not exactly match those found on the VT Curriculum sheet.

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Q: Will my General Education and Science courses taken at other schools transfer to Foothill College and meet the program's graduation requirements?

A: Generally yes. A petition for Equivalency must be obtained from a VT Counselor and completed for some courses that do not exactly match those found on the VT Curriculum sheet. The student must contact a Veterinary Technology Counselor to discuss the possibility of transferring courses taken elsewhere. It is the student's responsibility to ascertain if a given course will be accepted by Foothill College and the VT Program Director.

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Q: I already have a Bachelor's Degree do I have to do all my general education over again?

A: No. The Bachelor's degree fulfills the general education requirements for graduation from Foothill College. You will still receive a Associate's in Science (AS Degree) in Veterinary Technology upon successful completion of the program.

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Q: How do I contact a Veterinary Technology Counselor?

A: To make a counseling appointment, please visit: to make an appointment with Ms. Brenda Johnson.

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Q: Where do I get financial aid information?

A: For information on financial assistance, scholarships and grants, contact the Foothill College Financial Aid Office or see the Online Financial Aid Guide.

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Q: How do I apply for admission to the Foothill College?

A: Contact Foothill College Admissions and records or see the Online Registration information.

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Q: What is the job market like for veterinary technicians?

A: The demand for Registered Veterinary Technicians is high

  • A recent survey by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities shows the number of positions advertised is about 20 times the number of qualified applicants. Most all students graduate employed. Graduates can find employment in many sectors including private practice, clinical laboratories, education, government, research, and the biomedical industry. Some graduates have been accepted into advanced degree and internship programs including veterinary school.

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Q: Can I place an ad for a veterinary staff job opening or recruit an intern to work in my practice?

A: Yes. Once received job offers are announced to the 1st and 2nd year Veterinary Technology students and posted in our "Job Binder".

  1. You may send a job flyer by:
  2. FAX: 949-7375
  3. Mail:

Dr. Karl Peter
Veterinary Technology Program
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd.
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Note: You may also post a job online using the Veterinary Technology Job Board.

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Q: How do I learn more about Foothill College and the Biological & Health Sciences Division?

A: Please click and explore the following links:

  1. Foothill College Home Page.
  2. Biological & Health Sciences Division Home Page.

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Q: I'm a foreign student. Where can I get information about the International Student's Program at Foothill College?

A: You may learn more on the International Student Program Information Page.

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Q: Where can I find information about applying for admission to Foothill College, registering in a course or applying for financial aid?

A: You can find information on these topics by surfin' on over to:

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Q: Can I find the Schedule of Courses for the upcoming quarter online?

A: Yes you can! Check it out at: Online Course Schedule.

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