How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

The moment people finish secondary education is a very difficult period.

Many of us are not sure what they want to study, and post-secondary education might be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention the learning processes which require a lot of effort.

If you do not want to study anymore, but start working immediately, the veterinary assistant vocation is ideal, being that the only requirement that you need to meet is to possess love towards animals and eagerness to provide them help and support.

Veterinary assistants are people of great importance in animal hospitals and clinics.

They can be in charge of less important tasks such as administrative work and scheduling appointments if they do not continue with post-secondary education, while those with additional knowledge will help veterinarians during surgery, sterilize the equipment and do laboratory work.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in South Dakota

Due to the fact that the number of people focused on animal welfare rises, the public awareness of veterinary health care issues is growing, too, changing the way animals have been treated.

The veterinary medicine developed into a real and significant science which requires educated staff.

The veterinary assistant occupation is difficult and demanding, even though many people think otherwise.

These people have to possess good critical thinking and problem-solving skills, excellent communication and teamwork skills, they need to be compassionate and have a positive attitude, while at the same time, perform all their daily duties which can be both medical and clerical.

Veterinary hospitals are businesses dealing with payments and administration, so they need to have marketing and business knowledge.

If they work in a facility that offers accommodation for the pets and is open 24/7, then they might have to work night shifts and during weekends and holidays.

South Dakota Vet Assistant Education Requirements

The job of a veterinary assistant requires less education than becoming a veterinarian but offering equal satisfaction.

Being a veterinary assistant is not financially rewarding, but many young people decide to get involved in it.

We highly suggest that, even though formal post-secondary education is not required, future veterinary assistants should think about getting some kind of education before applying for the job.

So as to become a veterinary assistant in South Dakota, you do not have to have a mandatory certificate, but the job itself requires knowledge related to animal health care, and it is wise to pass special lessons.

Those courses are available in a college or school, and even online through distance learning programs.

A couple of veterinary assistant campus and online programs in South Dakota:

  • Globe University-Sioux Falls
  • National American University

NAVTA has organized more than 30 programs throughout the USA and Canada, so as to show that education is important when it comes to animal care.

Through these classes at colleges and universities, veterinary assistants can learn the specifics of this profession including:

  • Learn about the medical recommendations
  • Study everything from marketing and administration to payment
  • Learn the duties of veterinary assistant and how to efficiently perform them
  • Learn knowledge and skills that can lead them to a rewarding career, etc.

There are three options available by NAVTA:

  • Externship Option: most frequently used by unemployed people in a veterinary practice, but who are looking for employment.
  • Experiential Learner: for the working veterinary assistants
  • Veterinary Assistant Program:  the option for veterinary assistants who already have employment in a full-service veterinary practice and works a minimum of 20 work hours per week.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in South Dakota

The main reason for completing a veterinary assistant program is that as licensed veterinary assistants you will have better job opportunities and you can expect a higher veterinary assistant salary than non-certified colleagues.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment prospects of all veterinary assistants will experience extensive growth in the years to come.

The services provided by veterinary assistants will be needed and some states may even experience the lack of certified vet assistants, especially due to the arrival of new medical technologies and techniques that will require more educated people.

The job opportunities in South Dakota are numerous.

Chances are equal for all the applicants and once applying, the facility staff will decide about the candidate who fulfills all the requirements and who will be hired.

South Dakota has to offer a lot of places where veterinary assistants can look for and possibly find work.

It is worth mentioning that as a veterinary assistant, you should not expect to start out earning a lot.

Entry-level vet assistants usually have lower wages, but their pay rate might increase as they gain more experience in the field and get more extended tasks.

There are various factors that determine the veterinary assistant salary such as work hours, experience, and type of facility where he/she works.

If you find a job in clinics and hospitals that are open 24/7 and where you work nights and weekends, your salary as a veterinary assistant will definitely be higher.

Also, higher salaries are in animal research facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturing centers, while the lowest are in smaller vet practices.

When it comes to South Dakota, veterinary assistant wages are low and they differ from place to place, which is represented in the table below.

LocationAvg. 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

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in South Dakota

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

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Being that your AVA needs to be renewed every 2 years, by earning 10 continuing education credits, we suggest taking a look at the following links so as to get acquainted with possible courses and seminars that you can attend.

Furthering your knowledge in this field is essential, as the vet medicine is constantly developing and advancing.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State