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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinary Attendants in Columbia, South Carolina

If you want to be a veterinary attendant, the Columbia, South Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for veterinary attendants sees this job pool growing by about 22.8% over the next eight years. In general, veterinary attendants feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics.

A person working as a veterinary attendant can expect to earn about $9 per hour or $20,120 annually on average in South Carolina and about $10 per hour or $21,210 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Veterinary, people working as veterinary attendants in South Carolina earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Veterinary nationally. Veterinary attendants work in a variety of jobs, including: research animal attendant, small animal caretaker, and veterinary technician .

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a veterinary attendant, among twenty schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level for veterinary attendants is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a veterinary attendant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Veterinary Attendant

Veterinary Attendant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, veterinary attendants feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. They also clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment.

Veterinary attendants hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures. They also monitor animals' recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms. Equally important, veterinary attendants have to ready examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies. They are often called upon to assist veterinarians in examining animals to establish the nature of illnesses or injuries. They are expected to clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination and operating rooms, and animal loading/unloading facilities to manage the spread of disease. Finally, veterinary attendants dust or bathe animals to manage insect pests.

Every day, veterinary attendants are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for veterinary attendants to administer medication and blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians. They are often called upon to execute office reception duties such as scheduling appointments and helping customers. They also sell pet food and supplies to customers. They are sometimes expected to administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals. Somewhat less frequently, veterinary attendants are also expected to write reports, maintain research data, and execute clerical duties.

Veterinary attendants sometimes are asked to clean and sterilize instruments and apparatus. And finally, they sometimes have to execute accounting duties, including bookkeeping, billing customers for services, and maintaining inventories.

Like many other jobs, veterinary attendants must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Veterinary Attendant Training

Newberry College - Newberry, SC

Newberry College, 2100 College St, Newberry, SC 29108. Newberry College is a small college located in Newberry, South Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 977 students and an admission rate of 79%. Newberry College has a bachelor's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated four students in 2008.


Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician: The technician certification designations of ALAT, LAT, and LATG are well known and widely used throughout the varied fields of laboratory animal care.

For more information, see the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.