How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Carolina

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Have you ever put yourself in the shoes of an animal lover?

Once their beloved pet is ill or injured, only then do we realize the importance of the jobs vet staff has.

Once they enter an animal clinic, they completely rely on the vet team to help them through this stressful situation.

So if you think you can handle this, then maybe a career as a vet assistant in South Carolina is for you.

What a Vet Assistant Does

Petting and hugging the animals aren’t only what a vet assistant does.

You help ensure the smoothness in the daily operations of the vet facility.

The vet facility you might work in could be:

  • Animal hospitals
  • Pet clinics
  • Private vet practice
  • Mobile vet clinics

The responsibility you shoulder is heavy, and you’re entrusted with the following:

  • Help vets during patient examination
  • Give medicines to animals
  • Check the vital signs of patients
  • Calm both the animal and the owner
  • Clean the workspace, including kennels

Do note that the amount of work that you do depends on the facility you’re working in.

You may be asked to work on night shifts, weekends, or holidays.

So expect to be called on anytime, anywhere.

On another note, an effective vet assistant possesses personal characteristics, such as:

  • Patience
  • Detail-oriented
  • Problem solver

These plus your desire to help animals will be enough to prepare you for this profession.

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Education Requirements in South Carolina

Like other states, you only need to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent to work as a vet assistant.

No prior training or experience is required.

Vets usually will teach you what you need to know while on the job.

Lately, however, the rising demand for quality vet care has caused many employers to look for certified vet staff in their employ.

This has led to many people deciding to get the appropriate education and training for the sake of their careers.

Enrolling in a vet assistant program can let you learn extensive knowledge and skills, as well as earn a certification.

Some of the schools offering the program in South Carolina are the following:

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

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) also has its own offered program.

In the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) program, you’ll be taught by experts in:

  • Familiarizing the specific tasks of vet assistants
  • Identifying animal breeds
  • Learning medical terminology
  • Different ways to administer medications
  • Basic information on how a vet’s office operates

Once completed, you will then take the certification exam.

Upon passing it, you will earn the AVA title.

Job Prospects in South Carolina

vet assistant job search in south carolina

Finding a job is easy; getting hired is quite the challenge.

So you shouldn’t despair if you don’t get a chance to start working immediately.

It’d be helpful if you volunteer at animal shelters while waiting for a job interview.

This will gain you additional experience that will be helpful in your job prospects.

Do note, however, that employers prefer certain qualifications in their candidates, like an AVA.

So before applying, make sure that you meet all of their job requirements.

Ensure that you’re exactly who they’re looking for.

Here are a few vet facilities that are looking for trained and certified vet assistants like you.

  • South Carolina Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Centers of America Branches
    • Animal Specialty Center of South Carolina
    • Palmetto Animal Hospital
    • Charles Towne Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital in:
    • Lexington
    • Columbia Garners Ferry

Potential Salary in South Carolina

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a vet assistant’s salary isn’t much compared to similar occupations.

In fact, it’s very modest.

Your salary depends upon several factors, such as:

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Responsibilities assigned to you
  • Location of the vet facility you’re working in
  • Income of the region’s residents
  • Reputation of the vet facility

For example, busier vet clinics pay higher salaries but demand high job commitment in return.

Also, animal hospitals in larger cities will pay more than those in small towns.

In any case, you will receive an average annual salary of $29,728 as of February 2022 per Salary.com.

The salary range will fall between $23,953 and $35,859 annually.

Below you’ll find the salary percentile table for your reference.

Percentile Salary
10% $18,695
25% $23,953
50% $29,728
75% $35,859
90% $41,440

Meanwhile, the table below shows the varying salaries in the different places of South Carolina.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Columbia $28,979
Charleston $29,301
North Charleston $29,301
Greenville $30,104
Rock Hill $30,371
Mount Pleasant $29,301
Spartanburg $28,621
Sumter $27,591
Hilton Head Island $28,656
Florence $27,745

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

It’s good to know that NAVTA offers an option for those wanting to get certified.

As such, you can attend continuing education courses or online AVA programs for your career.

The following are some of the associations that provide valuable resources for vet assistants.

Final Words

Working as a vet assistant doesn’t require much qualification, true.

But if you really want to gain an advantage over others, appropriate education and training are necessary.

The vet assistant program will help you acquire advanced knowledge and skills.

And these are more than enough to make you highly qualified for the job.

With a certification in your pocket, you’ll soon be an effective vet personnel of the vet facility.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State