The sparsely-populated state of South Dakota offers some great opportunities for veterinary technicians. Many vet tech jobs in South Dakota involve working with livestock on ranches and farms, which is not always available in more urban states. In addition, vet tech positions in South Dakota are growing at a healthy rate: the number of jobs is expected to increase by 17.5 percent between 2012 and 2022. [Leer en español]
Salaries for Veterinary Technicians
Veterinary technicians in South Dakota earn a median salary of $36,380 per year. This is fairly close to the median annual salary for vet techs nationwide, which is $36,850. Furthermore, housing prices and the overall cost of living are below average in South Dakota, meaning that vet techs in this state can earn a very good living. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paid veterinary technicians in South Dakota may earn as much as $46,190 per year.
Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
All practicing veterinary technicians in South Dakota must be registered by the South Dakota Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Before they can be registered, candidates must graduate from a vet tech program that has been approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The final step before registration is an oral interview with the Board.
Veterinary Technician National Examination
The VTNE is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). To be eligible to take this exam, candidates must have graduated from an AVMA-accredited vet tech program. The test consists of 170 multiple-choice questions divided into four sections: medical and nursing, laboratory procedures, dentistry, and pharmacology. Candidates must obtain a passing score on the VTNE to be eligible for registration as a veterinary technician in South Dakota.
AVMA-Accredited Veterinary Technician Education
South Dakota currently has two veterinary technician programs that have been approved by the AVMA. The veterinary technology program at National American University was first certified in 1981 and is now fully certified. In addition, Globe University-Sioux Falls has a program that received its initial accreditation in 2010. Both programs culminate in an associate in applied science degree.
Major Veterinary Technician Employers in South Dakota
South Dakota veterinary technicians may work in small animal hospitals, ranches, farms, and research laboratories. There are projected to be around 320 veterinary technicians employed in South Dakota by the year 2022. Some of the facilities in South Dakota in need of registered veterinary technicians include:
- Sioux Nation Pet Clinic, Sioux Falls
- Charles River Laboratories, Scotland
- Oahe Veterinary Hospital, Mobridge
- Aberdeen Veterinary Clinic, Aberdeen
South Dakota veterinary technicians are eligible to join the South Dakota Veterinary Technician Association. This association has a Facebook site that makes regular postings, and through which you can request their website address. Vet techs in this state may also choose to join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). NAVTA membership benefits include discounts on insurance, hotels, and car rentals, and access to the most up-to-date information about the practice of veterinary technology.
Veterinary Technician Schools in South Dakota
Rapid City, SD Area
National American University-Rapid City
5301 South Highway 16, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701-2823
National American University offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their Rapid City campus in the city of Rapid City, South Dakota. This private, for-profit college has about 1,479 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is in the order of $13,647 yearly. Study materials can cost roughly $1,350, depending on the program chosen.
Sioux Falls, SD Area
Globe University-Sioux Falls
5101 S Broadband Ln, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108
Globe University’s Associate-level Veterinary Technology program is based at their Sioux Falls campus in the city of Sioux Falls, SD. This private, for-profit college has roughly 138 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The university is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees are usually about $14,040 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,152, although this will vary with the program.
* Tuition fees and accreditation status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with the college before applying.