How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

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There are many good reasons why you should become a vet assistant in South Dakota.

The industry keeps growing, so you will not have any problems finding a job.

But first, let’s take a look at the certification requirements for this state.

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Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in South Dakota

In South Dakota, a vet assistant who has certification can work in any facility.

Some of these include:

  • Pet clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Educational institutions

A vet assistant has several different tasks, but you will usually need to complete the following:

  • Communicating with clients
  • Making appointments
  • Request records requests from other vets
  • Inventory control
  • Cleaning vet gear
  • Sanitizing animal cages
  • Operation room cleaning
  • Help with filling prescriptions
  • Prepping exam and operating spaces
  • Keeping records updated
  • Pay attention to the dietary needs of pets
  • Make sure the animals get enough exercise

Those who don’t have enough experience with animals just yet, you can pursue an externship.

You can also visit the below resources for info:

  • South Dakota Veterinary Technician Association
  • Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life
  • Vetcetera
  • Where Techs Connect

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in South Dakota

In South Dakota, you just need a high school diploma or a GED to start working.

But, many facilities will ask for a vet assistant certification.

To get one, you can attend a training program for vet assistants.

You will be able to apply to get the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification after you complete the program.

The vet assistant certification in South Dakota is provided by the NAVTA.

The training program you attend needs to be approved by the NAVTA as well.

For improved credentials, you can pursue a specialization like:

  • Dental Technician
  • Anesthetist
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Behavior Technician
  • Zoological Medicine
  • Equine
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Practice
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical Pathology

In South Dakota, there are many programs available online but also in person.

If you are working or your time won’t allow it, you can simply choose a program online.

You will attend both theory and clinical practice during training.

The theory classes will feature subjects like:

  • How to identify different breeds
  • Animal anatomy
  • The best ways to administer meds
  • How to administer post-operative care
  • Handling various breeds of animals
  • Medical terminology
  • Handling chemicals

The programs where you can train in South Dakota are seen below.

Top 3 Schools in South Dakota

School NameAddress
Globe University5101 S Broadband LnSioux Falls, SD 57108
National American University321 Kansas City StreetRapid City, SD 57701
National American University5301 South Highway 16, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701-2823

You can also get more experience by becoming an experiential learner.

The only requirement to this option is to be employed at least 20 hours a week.

Vet assistant training programs in South Dakota have a duration of some months and up to 2-3 years.

The longer programs provide a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

In South Dakota, you will need to pass the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) exam.

The certification exam is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

Before you can attend, you have to make an appointment and pay a fee.

The topics will cover:

  • Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
  • Dentistry
  • Pain Management/Analgesia
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Anesthesia
  • Animal Care and Nursing

The vet assistant certification in South Dakota stays valid for around 2 years.

If you plan on getting it renewed, you have to pay a renewal fee and attend some more education classes.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in South Dakota, vet assistants have an average yearly wage of

Salaries are better for vet assistants who have experience or live in a metropolitan area.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Assistants in South Dakota

City NameSalary
Sioux Falls$28,627
Rapid City$27,676
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in South Dakota

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD40$29,000$13.94$34,430$22,320
Sioux Falls, SD40$32,180$15.47$38,990$23,760
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, OCC Code 31-9096, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in South Dakota

The vet assistant field in South Dakota is said to increase over the next 7 years.

So, you just need to find a suitable training program in your area and get a diploma.

This will help you start the career of your dreams.

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