How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Carolina

If you think about the feelings of an animal lover once their beloved pet is ill or injured, we can realize how important job veterinarians have.

Pet lovers and vet staff consider a veterinary hospital a place of greater significance than the human hospital.

Once pet owners enter an animal clinic, they completely rely on veterinarians and their staff in this kind of a stressful situation and this is an ideal job only for people who believe that they are able to handle all those difficulties and can provide support to the animal owner in distress.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in South Carolina

Petting and hugging the animals is not what a veterinary assistant does.

He/she enables and highly affects the successful functioning of a veterinarian’s office or animal hospital.

Not only do they help a veterinarian during patient examination, give medicine to animals, and check the vital signs of patients once entering the clinic, but also they do other daily duties such as weighing the animals, calming both the animal and the owner, cleaning cages among many other tasks.

They might work in several types of environments, like animal hospitals, private practices of veterinarians, and even in mobile units that travel around so as to provide medical care.

How much you will work and whether you will be required to work overnight, it all depends on the type of facility you find the job in.

In those animal hospitals that are open 24 hours a day, a veterinary assistant may work weekends and holidays as well.

Personal characteristics of a vet assistant are calmness around animals and the ability to calm them down since they usually come frightened.

Also, a successful veterinary assistant needs to be patient, detailed, and well organized.

Their desire to help animals tied with certification programs will be enough to prepare them for this occupation.

South Carolina Vet Assistant Education Requirements

The educational prerequisites for veterinary assistant jobs in the USA include a high school diploma or GED equivalency and South Carolina is not an exception.

This means that veterinary assistants are allowed to start working without any previous knowledge related to animal care and learn while on the job.

However, the constant demand for quality animal care caused many employers to look for certified vet staff, that is, people who will know what to do upon entering the clinic.

So, there are many people who decide to gain education and experience before they start working with animals or even after they have found the job.

They are usually more favorable candidates for veterinary assistant jobs, and we would like to help you achieve knowledge and get certificate as a proof of your education by offering you the following schools where students can enter veterinary assistant programs and get prepared for the responsibilities of the occupation.

A few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in South Carolina:

  • Midlands Technical College
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Piedmont Technical College

The education is provided with the support of NAVTA, the association which provides certificates after finished education.

On these classes held by experienced instructors, students will get acquainted with the specific tasks of assistants, how to identify breeds, medical terminology, ways to administer medications, and the basic information on how a veterinarian’s office operates.

Once you complete it you have to take the AVA examination and if you pass it, you will be issued a certificate.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in South Carolina

After doing well and successfully finishing the courses, another important thing is to find a satisfying job and this may not happen at once.

You should not fall in despair if you do not get a chance to start working instantly.

Quite the contrary, what we suggest is volunteering so as to be close to the veterinarians and gain even more experience which will definitely be helpful in your future job prospect.

When applying for the job, the chances for getting it are equal for all the candidates and the criteria on which the employers decide are up to them, but certainly, better positioned among participants are those with the certificate.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the organization which collects the data about the annual veterinary assistant salaries around the USA,  vet assistant salary is not at all satisfactory, being that it ranges from $17,500 up to $40,200.

The veterinary assistant salary depends upon personal factors, such as experience working with animals, veterinary assistant schools attended, and the responsibilities at the clinic as well as social factors, including the region in which the clinic is the earnings of its citizens, and prominence of the clinic.

It is worth mentioning that the larger and busier veterinary clinics pay a higher veterinary assistant salary but at the same time demand more job commitment and professional education.

Also, hospitals in larger cities will pay a higher wage than those in small towns.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of South Carolina annually.

It varies from one city to another, but the difference is not so significant as it is in some other cities.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
North Charleston$29,301
Rock Hill$30,371
Mount Pleasant$29,301
Hilton Head Island$28,656

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in South Carolina

SCVMA (South Carolina Veterinary Medical Association)

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Animal Specialty Center of South Carolina
  • VCA Palmetto Animal Hospital
  • VCA Charles Towne Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Lexington
  • Columbia Garners Ferry

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

It is good to know that the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) offers options for people who are already veterinary assistants and are working a full-service veterinary practice but want to get a certificate.

The option is to attend continuing education courses or online vet assistant programs, which are also required for those who want to renew their AVA.

The following are some useful associations that provide seminars and educational programs for vet assistants in South Carolina.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State