How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

Upon finishing secondary education, many students are not sure what they want to study.

The continuation of education might be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention the learning processes which require a lot of effort.

For those people who do not want to study anymore, but to start working immediately, the veterinary assistant vocation is ideal.

The only prerequisite is fondness of animals and eagerness to provide them help and support.

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Job Description

As the number of people focused on animal welfare rises, the public awareness of veterinary health care issues is growing, too.

The way animals have been treated has considerably changed throughout recent years and veterinary medicine developed into real and significant science.

The veterinary assistant occupation is difficult and demanding since they 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.

Their daily duties include multi-tasking since versatile duties might be assigned to them.

Veterinary assistants perform both medical and clerical duties, since veterinary hospitals or zoos where they might find a job, are also businesses dealing with payments and administration.

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.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in South Dakota

Requiring less education than becoming a veterinarian, but offering equal satisfaction, the job of a veterinary assistant becomes more and more popular among younger generations

They should know that being a veterinary assistant is not financially rewarding and at the same time is not an easy job.

Taking all this into consideration that the job of a veterinary assistant is not naïve at all, maybe those future veterinary assistants should think about getting some kind of education before applying for this job.

To become a veterinary assistant in South Dakota, you do not have to have a mandatory certificate or education and the duties can be learned during the work.

On the other hand, the job itself requires knowledge related to animal health care, and it is wise to pass special lessons that will help them gain all the education and training associated with veterinary assistant duties.

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

Completing a veterinary assistant program is beneficial as licensed veterinary assistants have better job opportunities and can expect a higher veterinary assistant salary than their non-certified colleagues.

Some veterinary assistant campus in South Dakota are:

  • Globe University-Sioux Falls
  • National American University


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

Every kind of knowledge is valuable and useful when entering a veterinary hospital and through these classes, at colleges and universities veterinary assistants can learn the specifics of this profession including:

Learn about the medical recommendations made by veterinarians

Study everything about a veterinary hospital 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.

To become an AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) and obtain a higher-end vet assistant position in South Dakota, you can enter any of NAVTA colleges and you will become much more knowledgeable about all matters of a veterinarian’s office.

The different routes that can be taken to become an approved veterinary assistant are:

  • Externship Option with practical training that most veterinarians require when hiring.
  • Experiential Learner offered to veterinary assistants who are already working a 20-hour weekly minimum.
  • Veterinary Assistant Program also designed for currently employed veterinary assistants.

Your AVA needs to be renewed every 2 years, by earning 10 continuing education credits.

Getting a Job

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment prospects of all veterinary assistants will experience extensive growth in future years because the services provided by veterinary assistants will be needed.

It is also forecasted that the arrival of new medical technologies and techniques will require more educated and licensed assistants.

The job opportunities in South Dakota are numerous and once applying, the facility staff will decide about the appropriate candidate who fulfills all the requirements.

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

Nowadays, more and more veterinarians require that assistants hold a certificate achieved at an accredited community college or technical school.

Potential veterinary assistant employers in South Dakota are:

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


As a veterinary assistant, you should not expect to start out earning a lot, but your pay rate might increase as you gain more experience in the field and get more extended responsibilities.

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

The salary of a veterinary assistant who works in clinics and hospitals that are open 24/7 and where he/she needs to work nights and weekends is higher.

Also, animal research facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturing centers are likely to pay more to their assistants than smaller practices, but their responsibilities are greater though.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that all veterinary assistants earned an average wage of $24,430 per year.

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.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
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, 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.


Veterinary assistants are people of great importance in animal hospitals and clinics, and besides being in charge of less important tasks such as administrative work and scheduling appointments, veterinary assistants also help veterinarians during a surgery, sterilize the equipment and those that are more educated get a chance to perform some minor interventions as well as laboratory work.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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