How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

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Young people experience a challenging transition period upon finishing secondary education.

Many of them aren’t sure what they want to study, while some struggle to find decent work.

If you’re part of the latter, why not consider being a vet assistant as your future career?

It’s one of the easiest careers to enter.

You only have to be a high school graduate with a love for animals and an eagerness to learn.

No prior experience or training is required.

So read on to learn how you can become a vet assistant in South Dakota.

What a Vet Assistant Does

With the way people focus on animal welfare nowadays, it has changed the way animals have been treated.

Today, the vet field has developed into a significant industry, requiring educated and trained staff.

In a way, a vet assistant career is difficult and demanding.

You’ll be in charge of:

  • Administrative/clerical work
  • Appointment bookings
  • Assisting vets during procedures
  • Sterilizing the equipment
  • Performing lab work and diagnostics

And to effectively complete these, you must display a good level of:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Compassion and positive attitude
  • Marketing and business knowledge

The thing is, this job doesn’t sleep.

Depending on the animal care facility, you may have to work 24/7.

Other times, you’ll be asked to do night shifts or work on weekends or holidays.

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Education Requirements in South Dakota

As mentioned, you only need to hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent to work as a vet assistant.

But we both know that to advance in any career, you should attain some degree of education or training.

The job itself requires knowledge related to animal health care, and it’s wise to enroll in vet assistant programs.

There are a few schools offering this in South Dakota, such as:

  • Globe University – Sioux Falls
  • National American University

Online courses are also an option if you don’t have time for traditional in-class learning.

You also have other education and training options if in-class and online schooling isn’t for you.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) offers you three options.

  • Externship Option for people looking for employment
  • Experiential Learner for the working vet assistants
  • Veterinary Assistant Program for those in full-service vet practice working at least 20 hours a week

NAVTA organized this to show that education is important when it comes to animal care.

So during the program, you can learn the specifics attached to being a vet assistant, including:

  • Learning the duties of vet assistant and how to efficiently perform them
  • Understanding the medical recommendations
  • Studying the vet business, from marketing and administration to payment
  • Acquiring knowledge and skills that can lead them to a rewarding career

Job Prospects in South Dakota

career goals as a vet assistant

One of your goals in completing a vet assistant program is to earn a certification.

With it, you’ll have better job opportunities and potentially earn higher salaries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the employment level will experience extensive growth in the years to come.

The services provided by vet assistants will be urgently needed.

South Dakota and other states may even lack certified vet assistants trained on the latest vet technologies and techniques.

Fortunately, as of now, South Dakota offers plenty of job opportunities.

Here are some vet facilities where you can find work in the state:

  • South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association
  • Mountain View Animal Hospital
  • Northern Hills Veterinary Clinic
  • All Animal Pet Hospital
  • Dunes Animal Hospital

Potential Salary in South Dakota

Various factors help determine a vet assistant’s salary.

Some of them are as follows:

  • Education
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Work hours
  • Workplace

For example, in terms of the workplace.

If you work in a 24/7 vet clinic, you’ll earn more income.

So does working in animal research facilities and pharmaceuticals.

As of February 2022, a well-established vet assistant can potentially earn between $21,906 and $32,794 in a year (Salary.com).

The average annual salary amounts to $27,187.

Of course, when starting out, you shouldn’t expect to earn much.

Entry-level vet assistants usually have lower wages, but will increase as you gain more experience.

Here’s a table showing the salary percentile for vet assistants in South Dakota.

Percentile Salary
10% $17,097
25% $21,906
50% $27,187
75% $32,794
90% $37,898

Meanwhile, below shows the salaries in different places across the state.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Sioux Falls $27,042
Rapid City $26,779
Aberdeen $25,147
Watertown $26,579
Brookings $26,579
Mitchell $26,579
Pierre $25,610
Yankton $25,986
Huron $25,863
Vermillion $25,394

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

With the rapid advancement of vet medicine, furthering your knowledge is essential.

So take a look at the following links to know the possible courses and seminars you can attend.

Final Words

It’s easy to become a vet assistant with its minimum working requirement.

But understand that you play an important role in animal care facilities and in the vet team.

So to provide animals with efficient help and support, it’s best to acquire the appropriate education and training.

Gain the knowledge and skills attached to and required for this job.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State