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Animal Care Aide Certificate

30-week part-time certificate

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: October
  • Develop practical skills and knowledge for employment in veterinary hospitals, animal shelters and kennels.
  • Apply theory to practice with hands-on sessions in specialized facilities including 20 hours of mandatory work experience.
  • Courses, held part-time in the evening, combine theory and classroom instruction.
Career possibilities: As a graduate, you will qualify for entry-level employment opportunities to provide valued support at veterinary hospitals, animal recovery shelters, pet stores, zoos, game farms, kennels, grooming businesses and large animal farms.


  • Less than a year to a new career. In less than a year, you will be on your way to a new career. Courses are typically held in the evening, with some classes held on weekends.
  • Make sure it’s right for you. Before beginning the program, you will attend a mandatory information session which will give you the opportunity to meet the instructor and learn more about the program.


The Animal Care Aide program prepares you for entry-level employment in animal care facilities, including veterinary clinics, hospitals, animal recovery centres, shelters, kennels and specialty animal businesses. You will learn to provide assistance and support as part of a dedicated team of professionals in the field of animal care and will gain understanding of animal behaviours, nutrition, wellness, handling and basic care procedures to be a valued member of an animal care team.

Six instructor-led courses include hands-on sessions and work experience in veterinary clinics and/or specialized facilities. The program is part-time, allowing you to add to your qualifications while maintaining other commitments. Courses have been developed in close consultation with industry professionals to ensure that, upon graduation, you will have the skills and knowledge to work in the animal care field.

While the program emphasizes small animal care in hospital/clinical settings, the training is valuable and easily transferable to other animal care settings. It is intended for individuals with no previous or formal training, but courses have been designed to help existing staff and volunteers who wish to upgrade their skills.

Graduates receive a certificate of completion from North Island College.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate, you will be well-prepared with relevant, entry-level skills in demand at veterinary hospitals and animal care shelters. You may also find work and/or volunteer opportunities in settings such as animal recovery centres, pet stores, zoos, game farms and similar businesses, grooming businesses, kennels and large animal farms.

Admission Requirements


  1. C in one of Applications or Principles of Math 11, Introduction to Math 11, Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11, Foundations of Math 11, Trades Math 11, Consumer Math 11, or NIC MAT 053; and
  2. C in Provincial English 11 or NIC ENG 052; or
  3. Placement testing or instructor permission.


Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

To Be Successful

Skills required to be successful in the program include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • comfortable working closely with domestic animals
  • strong desire to provide caring and knowledgeable aid to animals
  • ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • strong work ethic and positive attitude toward class attendance and punctuality

Program Requirements

  • ANH-100 Domestic Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • ANH-101 Introduction to Radiology
  • ANH-102 Basic Laboratory Procedures
  • ANH-103 Hospital Care
  • ANH-104 Basic Surgical Procedures
  • ANH-110 Work Experience for Animal Care Aide
  • ANH-112 Veterinary Reception

Completion Requirements

Attendance is required in all courses. Absenteeism may result in failure.
You must maintain 65% or better in each course to continue and to complete the program.

Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2017, Winter, Spring & Summer 2018

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1
Tuition $2,285
NISU Fees $120
Books $305
Learner Resource $140
Total $2,850

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