South Carolina is an historic state and their love of animals is measured by the 600 Veterinary Technicians who care for them. The oath of the South Carolina Association of Veterinary Technicians says it all: “I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and by promoting public health. I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the professions Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning.”
Employment Prospects for Veterinary Technicians in South Carolina
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 job opportunities in South Carolina for Licensed Veterinary Technicians is projected to grow at least 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, far faster than the national average.
Many of these jobs will be spurred as spending for pet/animal services expands. The animal consumer market has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry and quality medical care is a top priority for animal owners. Employment will open up in a variety of capacities such as medical specialty clinics, rescue shelters, exotic animal rescue and rehabilitation facilities, teaching colleges, research laboratories, non-profit organizations, and in the military and government.
Veterinary Technician Salaries in South Carolina
Licensed Veterinary Technicians in South Carolina earned a median annual wage of $30,290 in May 2012. According to Indeed.com , the average Vet Tech’s salary is $29,000. Salaries can range from $20,000 to $37,000 or more per year depending on experience, medical specialties and the location of the veterinary practice.
What Will You Do as a Vet-Tech?
As a Licensed Veteran Technician your tasks may include:
- Observe and record an animal’s behavior and condition
- Provide nursing care to ill and/or surgery recovering patients
- Administer emergency first aid as needed to injured animals
- Assist in surgery, administer anesthesia, monitor responses and vital signs
- Collect blood, urine, or tissue samples for laboratory testing
- Perform lab tests such as urinalyses and blood counts
- Take and develop x rays and other types of imaging
- Administer medications, vaccines, and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
- Communicate with animals’ owners in an informed and courteous manner
Accredited South Carolina Veterinary Technology Programs
There are three Veterinary Technician School in South Carolina, all fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These programs are 2 years or 4 semesters.
Veterinary Technician programs offer students hands-on experience with dairy cattle, horses, cats, chickens, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, turkeys, rodents, ferrets, reptiles, birds and zoo or exhibition animals. You may also have an opportunity to work with lab animals including mice, rats and guinea pigs.
Students gain practical skills in veterinary radiology, surgery, patient records, in-coming patient protocol and client education. Students can use this knowledge for employment in university teaching hospitals, nonprofit and government animal services facilities, at large and small animal hospitals and veterinary practices, pharmaceutical and biological research laboratories, feed companies and animal sanctuaries and shelters.
Some graduates pursue additional education, whether a four-year veterinary technology degree, or a degree in a related area such as animal science.
For more information you can refer to these resources:
- American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
- Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians
- Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Canadian Association of Animal Health Technologists and Technicians
- Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians
- National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
Veterinary Technician Coursework
- Animal Husbandry
- Medical Terminology
- Clinical Procedures & Techniques
- Diagnostic Lab Procedures
- Surgical Nursing & Anesthesia
- Zoological Animal Care
- Pharmacy and Medication
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Animal Diseases, Parasitology and Entomology
The Vet Tech can also specialize in:
- Dental Technician
- Internal Medicine
- Clinical Practice
- Animal Nutrition
- Equine Medicine
- Clinical Pathology
- Behavior Modification
- Zoological and Exotic Animal Medicine
- Emergency and Critical Care nursing
Your Veterinary Technician program in South Carolina will have Student Aid information for you. Scholarships set up by businesses or private foundations and/or traditional student loans may also be available. Your Student Guidance Counselor can discuss your specific financials needs and your coursework.
After graduating from a vet tech program in South Carolina, students will be prepared to sit for the national and state licensing boards. Obtaining both of these will allow students to practice in South Carolina as a Licensed Veterinary Technician as well as in most other states under reciprocity guidelines.
(For List of Accredited South Carolina’s Veterinary Technology Programs click here.)
South Carolina Vet-Tech Testing and Licensing Requirements
According to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the requirement for a license to practice as a veterinary technician requires passing the online examination by the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. The examination will be on the Veterinary Medical Practice Rules and Regulations and such other subjects relating to animal health technology as the board may require.
- Application. Any person desiring to be licensed as an Veterinary Technician may apply to the Board to take the license examination. Applications must be filed with the Board prior to the examination. Applications and accompanying documents will be valid for one year from the initial application date. After one year a new application, with attendant documents and appropriate fees must be submitted. Applications must include:
- College transcript. Certified copy of the applicant’s transcript, indicating veterinary technician degree, by a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association;
- National Board Examinations. Certified copy of national board examination results achieving the criterion-referenced passing score in effect at the time of examination;
- Verification(s) of Licensure (Endorsement Applicants). Complete verification required from each state, active or inactive, in which the applicant is or has been licensed;
- Photographs. One recent passport type photograph taken within the last six (6) months of application filing;
- Fees. A non-refundable certified check or money order.
The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. To qualify, you must have a degree from an AVMA/WVTA accredited veterinary technician program.
The VTNE exam costs $300 to take and is given three times a year. It is a three-hour test with 150 questions.
Continuing Education and Staying Current
South Carolina State Law requires that all Veterinary Technicians have at least 10 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years. The CE for each renewal period is counted from April 1st of the new year until March 31st of the renewal year.
Career Opportunities as a Licensed Vet-Tech in South Carolina
Your school will have assistance available to you while looking for a job. Also, the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CACVT) has an active job posting page separated into geographic regions.
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), an organization that represents and promotes the profession of veterinary technician, has a resources in their website’s Career Center page.
Potential Employers in South Carolina for Licensed Veterinary Technicians
- Humane Society of South Carolina (Columbia)
- Animal Control Services (Lexington County)
- South Carolina Animal Care & Control (statewide)
- Beaufort County Animal Control Services (Beaufort)
- Birds & Exotics Animal Care (Mt. Pleasant)
- Coastal Animal Rescue & Educational Sanctuary (Georgetown)
- Ebenezer Animal Hospital (Rock Hill)
- All Creatures Vet Hospital (Charleston)
- Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens (Columbia)
- Charles Town Landing Wildlife Park(Charleston)
- VCA Animal Specialty Center of South Carolina (Columbia)
Your Career as a Licensed Veterinary Technician
If you love animals and have the skills and knowledge to care for injured and ill animals of all kinds, working as a Licensed Veterinary Technician in South Carolina will provide you with a career, the chance to grow in your field and the satisfaction gained from helping animals needing medical care.