According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinary technician jobs are expected to increase nearly 20 percent in the next six years, a news release says.

The “COVID-19 pet boom” produced a surge in pet adoptions that the country has never seen before—in nearly 20 million American households—spurring an even greater demand for veterinary care.

Muscatine Community College (MCC) of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) is inviting people to learn more about this in-demand field and the Veterinary Technician Program on Tuesday, March 21, from 3:30–5 p.m. at the Muscatine Agricultural Learning Center, 3200 Lucas St., Muscatine.

Attendees can tour the college’s Ag Learning Center, meet instructors, and chat with an admissions counselor about financial aid, student life, and next steps.

“This visit day is perfect for anyone considering the veterinary field,” said EICC Assistant Director for Admissions & Community Outreach Heather Evans. “We talk about the differences between vet techs and veterinarians, what MCC’s Vet Tech Program looks like, and the career as a whole. It has helped many students decide if this is the right path for them.”

The program’s curriculum includes both small- and large-animal care. Courses are taught by experienced veterinary technicians and veterinarians who are keenly aware of the expectations of future employers.

“I receive requests weekly from area veterinary hospitals looking for graduates to employ,” said MCC Vet Tech Program Director Dr. Dan Drahos. “We could easily graduate twice as many students and still not meet the demand for vet techs in the area.”

Students are provided with top-notch, hands-on training in veterinary technology labs that rival those found in many veterinarian offices. In addition to the labs, the facility also boasts a large indoor arena, horse stalls, farm ground, and classrooms. The center was made possible through a partnership between MCC, the Muscatine Community School District, and the Muscatine Friends of the FFA.

The program is also covered by the Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship, a state-funded program for students pursuing a high-demand career paths. As the name implies, the grant covers any remaining gap between federal and state grants/scholarships, as well as tuition and qualified fees. Regardless of a student’s personal income situation, students enrolled in the program will pay no tuition costs.

The visit is open to any individuals interested in the veterinary industry, including parents and families. For more information, visit here.