Veterinary Technology

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates
Department: Veterinary Technology
Institute: Health & Biosciences
College: PAC

What is a licensed veterinary technician?


A veterinary technician is an integral part of the veterinary hospital staff, which is composed of individuals who are dedicated to ensuring high quality medical care for animals. Palo Alto College's program began offering classes in 1996 with its first cohort of graduates completing the program in 1998. 

Students pursuing a degree in animal care will receive formal training from an established, fully-accredited American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Veterinary Technology program and will gain the skills necessary to become a veterinary technician. Students will learn 350 essential skills in our 15,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility. After successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the national and state credentialing exams. 

If you are interested in science, research in public health, as well as helping animals, Veterinary Technology is the career for you. Personal attributes that contribute to a successful career as a veterinary technician include:

  • A strong science background and good basic math skills
  • Ability to work well with people and animals
  • Good communication and decision-making skills
  • Dedication and work ethic
  • Time management skills and self-initiative
  • Willing to work in a high stress environment
  • Self-starter
  • Organized 
  • Compassionate 


Veterinary Technology Program Highlights

  • Fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Over 20 years of success with 320+ graduates
  • Dedicated 15,000 square-foot facility at Palo Alto College
  • Hands-on experience in the Clinical Pathology lab, Anatomy/Physiology lab, Parasitology lab, Clinical Management, large animal facilities, surgery prep room, surgery suite, and recovery room
  • All courses taught by Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Licensed Veterinarians 
  • Two program tutors on staff
  • Recognized as the only program in Texas to be named to the Top 50 Veterinary Technician Programs for 2018 by
  • High Licensed Veterinary Technician credentialing rates
  • On-site advisor and recruiters
  • Average program cost of $12,000 (including in-district tuition, supplies, and books)

Veterinary Technology Career Areas & Employment Positions

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics States that employment of veterinary technicians is projected to grow 19% from 2014-2024. Career opportunities include:

  • Companion Animal Veterinary Technician
  • Laboratory Animal Technician—research and development
  • Large Animal Technician—equine or food animal
  • Military or Government Veterinary
  • Animal Technician
  • Veterinary Technician in a zoo or aquarium facility
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Teaching
  • Specialty or Referral practice

This program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).


Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) Pass Rate

Total* July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2019


Number first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE


VTNE pass rate annual percentage

    *Three-year pass percentage
Admission Requirements for New Students

Applicants are required to submit their completed application packet with all supporting documents. Application packets are accepted January 1st thru June 1st for the upcoming fall semester. The completed application packet deadline is June 1st by 5 p.m. and should be submitted via email only to NOTE: If deadline falls on a weekend, application packets should be submitted the next business day.

Steps to Apply

  1. Apply to Palo Alto College via
  2. Submit official transcripts to the Admissions and Records office
  3. Complete required prerequisites
  4. Submit unofficial transcripts to the Veterinary Technology program
  5. Complete clinical experience hours
  6. Request for Reference
  7. Apply to Palo Alto College Veterinary Technology program
    • NOTE: GPA Requirement - Students must have a total GPA of 2.5 to be eligible to apply to the program.
    • Exception: Students who have already earned a degree are allowed a total GPA of 2.0 to be eligible to apply. 
  8. Submit application packet (PDF) to Veterinary Technology program 


Applicant Selection Process for New Students

Candidate selection will be based on the applicant’s successful completion of Palo Alto College and Veterinary Technology program admission requirements, the applicant’s level of college education, total GPA from all institutions, number of clinical experience hours earned, and the DVM/LVT reference form. 

Following the selection process, applicants are ranked accordingly. Each applicant will be classified in one of the following four statuses: 

Accepted: top 50 completed applicants.

Alternate: select number of ranked completed applicants invited to attend orientation.

Pending Alternate: any remaining completed applicants not chosen for orientation or still lacking/pending application requirements after June 1 or turned in after the June 1 deadline.

Denial: any applicant who did not meet the cut off of being chosen to attend orientation or did not meet application requirements. An explanation to the applicant will be stated in the status letter.

All Accepted and selected Alternate applicants will receive a Reply Form. On this reply form, the student must accept or forgo their status by the deadline provided and return via fax, email, or in person by deadline provided. If an applicant fails to reply by the given deadline, it will be assumed that the applicant has chosen to forgo their status, and the next completed alternate will move up in rank.

All documents will be kept on file should an applicant decide to re-apply the following year.

Alternate Protocol
If an accepted student forgoes their acceptance, a position in the Fall semester will become available. The order of occurrence for which alternates will be offered an “Accepted” status is below:

  • The highest ranking alternate will be offered the position and must respond by the given deadline. If that applicant declines, or if additional positions become available, admission will be offered to the alternates listed in order of highest to lowest ranking.
  • Pending Alternate applicants will not be considered for acceptance until their application requirements have been completed, regardless of rank. As pending alternate applicants complete their application requirements, their status will be re-evaluated
Other Information for New Students

What makes a competitive application?

  • Total GPA: A student's total GPA will be calculated by ALL college courses completed throughout his/her college career. Maintaining the highest GPA possible is recommended for a stronger application. All application points will be added to the total GPA.
  • Degree: Applicants with proof of a completed degree will be awarded additional points depending on level of degree. 
  • Total number of Clinical Experience hours obtained: Applicants who complete more than the 80 required clinical experience hours will be awarded additional points for additional hours worked.
  • Reference form: Students will be awarded points based on the evaluation by the DVM/LVT after obtaining clinical experience hours. Better performance equals a better reference from the DVM/LVT.

What will be needed once I’ve been accepted?

  • Physical Exam and Current Tetanus: Once accepted into the program, students will be required to provide a copy of a current physical exam and immunization record showing proof of current tetanus, within 10 years, prior to being enrolled in the program.  
  • Complete required paperwork prior to orientation: Required paperwork will be included in the orientation packet that will be mailed and acceptance and will be due at the mandatory orientation.
  • Attend the mandatory orientation: All accepted applicants, as well as a select number of alternates, will be invited to attend a mandatory orientation. If students do not attend the orientation, Palo Alto College will assume the student will forgo acceptance and the position will be offered to the highest ranking Alternate. 
  • Order scrubs and other equipment: Full uniform(s) and related equipment (see Handbook under accessories) are not optional and must be ordered at orientation. Students must have a uniform in possession prior to classes starting.
  • Order textbooks: Students must have all required text books in possession prior to classes starting. Textbooks are not optional and are necessary for success in the program. Discounted bundles may be offered at orientation.                             
Admission Requirements for Returning Students

Applicants are required to submit their application packet with all supporting documents once all requirements have been completed. Application packets are accepted January 1 thru June 1 for the upcoming fall semester. The completed application packet deadline is before 5 p.m. on June 1 for Fall semester and Nov. 1 for Spring semester and should be submitted via email to

Steps to Apply

  1. Minimum 2.0 GPA
  2. Complete clinical experience hours
  3.  Request for Reference
  4. Action Plan essay
  5. Submit application packet (PDF) to Palo Alto College Veterinary Technology program
  6. Veterinary Technology interviews


Application Selection Process for Returning Students

Candidate selection will be based on the applicant’s successful completion of Palo Alto College and Veterinary Technology program admission requirements, the applicant’s total GPA from degree courses only, number of clinical experience hours earned, and the DVM/LVT reference form, Action plan Essay, student motivation, interest in the field and Interview Process. All requirements are taken into consideration. 

The program admission panel will evaluate each reentry request and reserves the right to not fill every seat if the applicant is deemed not qualified for readmission.

If a student drops a course or withdraws from the program, the student must have met with the program director prior to dropping to be considered for readmission. If student institutionally withdrew from the program, supporting documentation must also be provided and the decision for re-entry will be based off documentation.

If a student wishes to return to the program as either a part-time or a full-time student, the guidelines in the “Admission Requirements for Returning Students” must be followed. There is no automatic remittance back into the program. 

Applicants are required to complete and submit all requirements prior to June 1 for the fall semester and prior to Nov. 1 for spring semester. All students will be notified by June 15 for the fall semester and by Nov. 15 for spring semester. Applicants who have met all the application requirements will be notified about a date for the interview process with the program interview panel prior to acceptance.

Students are allowed readmission only ONE TIME to the program, if space is available. The program admission panel will look at exceptions to this rule on a case by case basis.

Credentialing Eligibility Information

Upon completion of Program and College requirements for the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology from an AVMA-accredited program, the graduate is eligible for the national examination (VTNE) and state LVT exam. Passing of a national certification exam is not required for awarding the AAS degree in Veterinary Technology and completion of the AAS degree does not guarantee passage of these exams. A graduate is not an LVT until s/he meets the requirements of the state credentialing agency. Graduates are eligible to be credentialed upon successful completion of the VTNE and, in Texas, the LVTE.

NOTE: A Social Security number is required to complete the licensing process in Texas. If you don’t have a SS number you still may be able to take the state exam, but the license will not be issued until a SS number is obtained.

Applicants with a criminal history are strongly recommended to contact the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to request a Criminal History Evaluation Letter. This will allow the student to pursue credentialing with greater confidence of being able to be licensed upon completion of the program.

NOTE: If a prospective student has a felony conviction this could result in denial of licensure. These students would not be eligible for admissions into the program until a declaratory order process is completed with the licensure board and proof of eligibility for licensure or certification is provided. Applicants with a criminal record should contact the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. 

For additional information please contact:

Program Information and Tour Sessions

Monthly information sessions and tours of the Veterinary Technology building are available for prospective students to learn more about the program and/or admission process. It is highly recommended for prospective students to attend one of these information sessions. To attend a session, please email Leanna Ruiz, L.V.T., at

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 (9 a.m.)

Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 (9 a.m.)

Friday, March 27, 2020 (9 a.m.)

Friday, April 17, 2020 (9 a.m.)

Friday, May 22, 2020 (9 a.m.)



Dr. Severo Rodriguez
Interim Department Chair

Sabine Hall (SABINE 203)


Laurie Pawelek, A.A.S., L.V.T.
Director of Veterinary Technology

Veterinary Technology (VT–100)




Elena Garza
Administrative Services Specialist

Veterinary Technology (VT–100)


Leanna Ruiz, A.A.S., L.V.T.
Academic Advisor (contact for Admission questions)

Veterinary Technology (VT–109)




Malorie Vallejo
Certified Advisor

Palomino Center 114