Nov 18, 2010
hi, i posted an earlier about becoming a vet assitant. Thankfully i did because i realized you DONT need a certificate to be an assistant so i decided to do the tech course at penn foster online because it works perfect for my schedule(i havent signed up yet though).From what ive researched this course requires two 9wk programs where u volunteer at clinics etc to get so many hands on hours.That is fine(unless i cant find a place that will allow me to do this).But i heard that one 9wk course has to be with large animals(horses) which may be hard to find AND that they want u to use manual xrays versus digital xrays(which i hear is all thats used now).So im wondering if anyone has completed this course through penn.I will call the school come monday to ask about these questions but thought i would check here.Ive heard both positive and neg things about the school so just looking for more thoughts from any of you! thanks


Awesome Member
Oct 31, 2010
Veterinary Student
I don't think manual xray machines will be hard to find at a large animal practice, the digital ones are way expensive, and not everyone has upgraded to those due to cost. you will be able to find someone to shadow, you may have to drive a bit, but you will. breathe. Where are you located? I'm sure the folks on here could help lead you in the right directions in where to ask when you get to the askin part! Remember breathe. And GOOD LUCK! Sounds like you are on the right track.
Nov 18, 2010
so i dont have the right software on my computer to do the online vet tech at penn foster.I checked some local colleges and they have vet assisting but its running about 15,000 bucks.just for assisting.I cant see spending that type of money when penns vet tech was just under 6,000bucks. Im hearing alot people dont gradute from penn or quit.When i called penn to see how many people graduated from tech program she said she didnt know.My other concern was the hands on time i would have to put into a vet if i go the online route.I would have to quite my job or become part time and then i really wouldnt have the money. How do you people do this??? Iam 30yrs old and never went to college but am realizing that i would love to get into the vet business.I think my only option at this point is to just try and get a side job on the wknds or something at a vet or somewhere and then hope that i can move up


KSU CVM Class of '11
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2007
DC metro area
Hi, auntiemissa,

Your best source for information might be a website that is tailored to folks who are pursuing the same degree/certification you are. Of course, you're more than welcome to post here and I think a lot of folks on here have given you some very good advice. :)

However, I think that since you're asking about specific assistant programs, it might be best to ask those who are familiar with that degree. Asking us about it is kind of like asking medical students about nursing school--we have some idea, but not much specific information since that isn't what we've researched for ourselves. (The folks on here are pursuing the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.)

By the way, congrats on making a career change--what an exciting time. :)

Best of luck! :luck: :xf:

that redhead

7+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2010
How do you people do this??? Iam 30yrs old and never went to college but am realizing that i would love to get into the vet business.I think my only option at this point is to just try and get a side job on the wknds or something at a vet or somewhere and then hope that i can move up
Actually, we don't do this. We're people interested in going to veterinary school, not veterinary assistanceship. I agree that finding a forum geared towards people who are also pursuing veterinary medicine from the technician/assistant side of things will probably be the most helpful to you.

It would be a good idea to get a side job or start volunteering. You said before that you enjoy being around animals but I'm not sure if you've fully investigated what working in the veterinary field means. It doesn't just mean snuggling with puppies and kittens. It means bad smells, awful messes, blood and guts, the potential to be bitten or scratched, dealing with uninformed and often nasty clients, etc. By volunteering or even finding some part time work as a kennel technician, you can dip your toe into veterinary medicine without throwing the rest of your life aside and taking an enormous risk in a field that you are still learning about. Keep your job for the income and volunteer at a shelter or clinic if you can. If you enjoy that, then might be the time to start looking into full time work in the field. Best of luck!


Western U c/o 2015
Oct 10, 2010
Southern California
Veterinary Student
Paying for school to become a vet assistant is a waste of time. If you don't have experience, try looking for a job as a receptionist at a veterinary office and get as much hands on as you possibly can. You'll learn a lot more talking to the techs and vets there than you would from an online program.

I don't discount online programs all together though. I did the St. Petersburg veterinary technician program while working full time at a hospital and it was great for me. I learned a lot and had the opportunity to have way more clinical experience than I would as just a vet assistant. If you're willing to spend the money to learn, make the investment to become a credentialed technician. I don't know of any states that require credentials to work as a veterinary assistant. In my opinion, the vet assistant education programs are just a way for those schools to make money. They're not really necessary.