Stay Local, Where Your Skills are Needed.

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NICC_stay_localBecome a Large Animal Veterinary Technician!

The dairy, beef and swine industries are big business in Iowa.

In 2014, these large animal livestock accounted for a combined $1.83 billion in exports for the state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service. To grow and maintain this large sector of the American economy, veterinary professionals are needed to ensure that these animals have good nutrition, are strong and healthy, and can resist and recover from infections, illnesses and disease. In northeast Iowa, the employment demand for skilled and knowledgeable veterinary technicians is projected to grow 16.7 percent from 2010 – 2020.

As a Large Animal Veterinary Technician program student at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), your skills and knowledge are needed, especially in rural areas to assist practicing veterinarians who face increasing workloads and demands on their time.

Because quality is part of our mission, the program is accredited by the American Veterinarian Medical Association, the governing body that oversees veterinary technician programs. The program also earned national recognition in 2014 by, which placed the NICC program in the publication’s Top 10 Large Animal Vet Tech Schools & Farm Animal Programs list in the U.S.!

For more information on the Large Animal Veterinary Technician program, visit

Christopher Harvey, D.V.M., director of the Large Animal Veterinary Technician program, knows that features of the program and the College’s partnerships with graduate eight-year universities and the private sector contribute greatly to every student’s unique, hands-on and relevant educational experience.

11_NICC Calmar Dairy Facility302“In this two-year Associate of Applied Science program, students must complete an internship at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The internship experience for Large Animal Veterinary Technician students was developed in collaboration with the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine and Swine Medical Education Center. This is great experience. Locally, students also develop their training through a partnership with the Critters and Such small animal hospital in Decorah,” Harvey said.

Additional features at the Calmar campus include a state-of-the-art necropsy lab that allows for transport of deceased livestock into the lab, which includes a floor with drain capacity and a camera mounted on the ceiling to record lab work and procedures conducted by students. Using the lab, students may perform autopsies to learn of an animal’s cause of death.

The skills you acquire in the Large Animal Veterinary Technician program prepare you for work in veterinary clinics and many sectors of the veterinary industry, such as sales or corporate and private animal nursing. Large Animal Veterinary Technician program graduates may also transfer their credits to continue their education at a four-year college or university to pursue a veterinary science or veterinarian degree.

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