How to Become a Veterinary Technician in South Dakota

pet love to owners

We all treat our pets like family.

That’s why it’s hard for us to see them suffering from illnesses.

And so, we place so much value on animal health care so they can get the help they need promptly.

Because of this, the vet industry has grown exponentially, producing capable vet professionals.

One such group is the vet technicians.

If you’re interested in treating animals for a living, then read on to learn what a vet technician does and how to become one in South Dakota.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in South Dakota

A vet technician is someone like you who is passionate about animal health care.

It’s a demanding job where the main responsibility lies in assisting the vet at every phase of the vet care.

You’ll do the following in the day-to-day operations of the vet facility:

  • Provide basic animal care
  • Disinfect examination rooms and equipment
  • Give medications and/or vaccinations
  • Prepare animals for surgery and/or examinations
  • Keep and update patient records
  • Communicate with pet owners

If the vet clinic offers overnight accommodations to animal patients, you may be asked to work night shifts.

Also, you may be called in during the weekends or holidays to help out in emergencies.

How to Become One

If you want to be a vet technician, you need an associate’s degree in vet technology.

To obtain that, you must enroll in an accredited vet technology program.

Luckily, one vet college offers this and that’s Southeast Technical Institute.

Once you graduate, take and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).

It’s a licensure exam that will earn you the Certified Vet Technician designation.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in South Dakota

vet technician education in south dakota

Vet colleges vary when it comes to admission requirements and prerequisites.

But they do have common requirements that you must meet at the least.

  • Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Passing scores on SATs or ACTs

Other requirements may include:

  • Background checks
  • Rabies shots
  • Interviews
  • Placement tests
  • Medical history

We suggest inquiring the school about the exact requirements.

If you do get admitted, the courses you’ll learn will include the following:

  • Parasitology
  • Radiology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Surgical nursing
  • Large and small animal care
  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology

Some of these classes will have lab work where you can get hands-on training.

You won’t only have experience working with pets, but with other types of animals too.

You’ll experience what it’s like to manage and treat farm, zoo, and exotic animals there.

In the last leg of education, you will do an internship, working under a professional vet.

There, you’ll learn the realities of the job and experience what a vet technician goes through every day.

Usually, vet technology programs last from two to three years, with 70 and 90 credit hours.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition varies depending on the college you’re planning on enrolling into.

Generally, though, the tuition fee will cost no more than $25,000 in total.

However, this amount excludes expenses for books, lab supplies, insurance, and the like.

We recommend inquiring the school for the complete details about the tuition, though.

If you have a hard time supporting yourself financially, you can always apply for financial aid.

Scholarships, grants, and loans can be available to you provided you’re eligible for them.

Go to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and submit your request for financial aid.

Veterans and their dependents or family members also receive education benefits from the government.

Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the benefit you’re entitled to.

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Licensing and Certification

taking the vet technician exam in south dakota

A license is important to have if you want to be recognized and work professionally in this industry.

So you must take and pass the VTNE regulated by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

It’s a 150-item test that you can take for a $300 exam fee.

Do note that you can’t take this test unless you’re a graduate of an accredited program.

When you pass this exam, you will undergo an oral interview with the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Examining Board.

Afterward, you will request to be registered as a Certified Vet Technician in South Dakota to them.

As for the renewal, you need to complete at least 12 credit hours of continuing education every two years.

Getting a Job in South Dakota

You might not believe this but vet technicians can find employment fast.

That’s due to the rising number of vet facilities opening and hiring newcomers to their vet staff.

Here are some of the facilities where you might find employment 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

Salaries for Vet Technicians in South Dakota

You might’ve heard that the paycheck might not be that high, and as of this time, that’s true.

However, it’ll change in the near future, especially with the 15% employment growth projected by the end of 2030.

This growth will result in good prospects, with vet facilities offering very competitive salaries.

Here are the average salaries for a vet technician in South Dakota:

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Aberdeen,SD $24,163
Brookings,SD $25,539
Deadwood,SD $25,287
Pierre,SD $24,608
Rapid City,SD $25,732
Sioux Falls,SD $25,984
Watertown,SD $25,539

Regional Salary in South Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD70$36,710$17.65$43,400$30,250
Sioux Falls, SD90$38,040$18.29$44,130$30,880
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2056, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Words

Most jobs have their good and bad sides, and vet technician is no exception.

You’ll carry a number of tasks that could be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing.

However, don’t be discouraged.

Remember, you’re doing this because you want to see your patients happy and healthy again.

So persevere and hone the skills and knowledge you have to be able to provide quality vet care services.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State