School of Health and Life Sciences

Veterinary Medical Assistant

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Veterinary medical assistants provide support to clients, animal health technologists and veterinarians. Duties may include administration, animal handling and support with nutritional and pharmaceutical products. They also assist with record keeping and other clinical procedures and tasks.

This 1-year certificate program will provide you the skills and confidence you’ll need to work in a front-line position as a veterinary medical assistant in private veterinary clinics, livestock centres and animal shelters. In addition to classroom instruction, you’ll get in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in animal clinics across Alberta.

Good attention to detail? Thrive on a fast pace and heavy workload? These are important traits of people interested in this program. If you are a people person and enjoy helping them with their animals, this program is a good fit for you.

Sep 01, 2023

Quick Facts

Credential: Certificate

Certificates are credit programs that take 1 year or less and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

    Length: 1 Year

    With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 1 Year to complete.

    Open Studies: Available

    This program has courses that are available for Open Studies. Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program. It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in. View courses

    International Students: Accepted

    This program accepts international students, however, program availability may be limited. Check program availability for this term. This program also meets the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

    Grad Employment Rate

    Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

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    Median Starting Salary

    Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

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    Hands-on, industry-relevant training

    To work as a veterinary medical assistant, you will need to have a genuine interest in animals and their welfare. It’s important to understand that you will need to be comfortable working with a variety of animals, both large and small.

    After a year of classroom instruction, your clinical placement will give you hands-on experience at an animal clinic where you’ll get a taste of what your future career could look like. Travel may be necessary as some placements are outside of Edmonton.

    You will also regularly support the animal health technologists at the NAIT Animal Clinic. 

    As a student in the program, you can expect to spend on average:

    • 26 hours per week attending classes over the course of a semester 
    • 15 to 20 hours per week studying and completing class assignments
    VMA students and instructor treating a dog

    Enter the workforce with confidence

    After just 1 year of study in NAIT’s Veterinary Medical Assistant program, you’ll be ready for a fast-paced career in which you will assist veterinarians and animal health professionals with a wide variety of front line tasks. From veterinary clinics to animal shelters, your certificate will allow you to work across the country.

    Animal Medical Assistant graduates may be eligible for credits for common courses with NAIT's Animal Health Technology diploma program.

    Career Opportunities

    After just 1 year of study in NAIT’s Veterinary Medical Assistant program, you’ll be ready for a fast-paced career in which you will assist veterinarians and animal health professionals with a wide variety of front line tasks. From veterinary clinics to animal shelters, your certificate will allow you to work across the country.

    VMA student with a cat

    Want to learn more about this program?

    Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions.

    Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

    • Student application support
    • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
    • Program admissions process
    • Enrolment support
    • Student funding options
    • Fee and refund inquiries
    • General program and course withdrawal procedures
    • Navigating nait.ca and MyNAITPortal

    Contact Student Service Centre

    Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

    • Program details
    • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
    • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
    • Program and course withdrawal

    Contact this program




    The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or legal@nait.ca.

    VMA students with a dog and cat

    Advanced Credit

    You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

    Transfer Credit

    In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

    • You must have completed the course or program no more than 5 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
    • You must have a minimum mark of C in the course(s) or program

    Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.

    Courses

    Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

    Tuition & Fees

    Scholarships & Awards

    The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

    Admission Requirements

    Want to learn more about this program?

    Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions.

    Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

    • Student application support
    • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
    • Program admissions process
    • Enrolment support
    • Student funding options
    • Fee and refund inquiries
    • General program and course withdrawal procedures
    • Navigating nait.ca and MyNAITPortal

    Contact Student Service Centre

    Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

    • Program details
    • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
    • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
    • Program and course withdrawal



    The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or legal@nait.ca.

    Apply to NAIT

    Learn how to register through Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) or begin the application process.

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