How Much Do Veterinarians Make

To become a Veterinarian you must be able to communicate with both animals and people.

The path to becoming a veterinarian is not a short one. For individuals who love working with animals and want to earn a salary above the national average, becoming a veterinarian might be a path worth taking. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our free quizzes.

Veterinarian Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $88.480
  • Projected Lifetime Earnings: $3,644,000

Veterinarian – Education

Before they can start working and practicing as credentialed veterinary professionals, veterinarians must have earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited U.S. Veterinary Schools. Each school has its own admission requirements, but all applicants must at least take and pass the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT), and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These are the minimum requirements for all accredited veterinary schools, and some schools have more prerequisites.

After completing their academic education, graduates need to become state-licensed. Basic licensing requirements in jurisdictions include a passing score on the NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination), and an official transcript of the diploma issued by the veterinary school they graduated from. If applicants did not register with the NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners) they will not be able to take the NAVLE exam. Foreign veterinarian university or college graduates may be licensed if they pass a certification exam via the U.S. Education Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates.

Veterinarian – The Job

Veterinarians are educated in accredited veterinary schools. They are prepared to be employed as private veterinarians or by private healthcare facilities, they may work in zoos and animal sanctuaries, or can be hired by agriculture and livestock firms, or veterinary hospitals. Veterinarians are additionally hired by governmental agencies, for example as researchers for the Center for Veterinary Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or as meat inspectors, animal health & safety workers or another related field. These professionals usually have one or more assistants to get the job done.

Veterinarians are accomplishing a wide variety of responsibilities and tasks that come with their profession. Whether they work as private practitioners. or in a position that makes them part of a team of healthcare professional, veterinarians are expected to possess integrity and be always concerned for animal welfare and safety. They will make diagnostic reports and treat animal diseases and guard their safety conditions, and veterinarians are trained to perform surgery if required. When veterinarians are employed as animal welfare inspectors or safety workers, they will inspect and assess livestock for various diseases. In that function, they will also inspect meat-processing plants or quarantine animals for a number of reasons.

There are veterinarians who are self-employed and some are government-hired veterinarians who clock-in long hours. They are employed in and provide services for a wide variety of professional settings and under various conditions while, in comparison, veterinarians who are working in research-based health facilities and programs, are generally occupied in more clinical environments.

Career Outlook

Some veterinarians, after being highly experienced after many years of training and practice, will begin their own private practice and open up their own healthcare facilities or veterinary clinics. Other veterinarians set out to explore a variety of academic opportunities. They may become teachers or professors in one of the many American veterinary schools or overseas. Those who choose to engage in government service often have a well-developed management and administrative experience to look for top management-level positions that can take them to the next in their careers.

For the next decade, the U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is expecting a twenty percent increase of veterinarian jobs. The reason for this lies in an expected pet ownership increase and continuing government support for food and agriculture-focused programs. Another reason is a continuous increase of research and a growing attention to animal welfare and health, and disease control.

Veterinary Schools

In the U.S. we can find 30 veterinary schools that are accredited by the AVMA (The American Veterinary Medical Association). In 2014, there were almost 7,000 applicants trying to get one of the 2,700 existing openings in these veterinary schools. You may safely say that it is highly competitive to be able to get into an accredited U.S. veterinary school.

Though specific prerequisites may strongly vary from school to school, but there are also many things that veterinary schools have in common. So if you think about attending a veterinary school, it is highly advisable that, already very early in your education, you become familiar with the college entrance and acceptance requirements of the school you want to go to. This will also definitely benefit your study results after your first year in college.

Most American veterinary schools are using a centralized application service, called the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). This service is operated by the AAVMC (The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges). This application service will handle your application, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

The VMCAS then forwards their recommendation to each of the schools you have indicated. Be sure to include all relevant documents and transcripts with your application to the VMCAS. Please be aware that quite a few veterinary schools additionally have their own supplemental application requirements and want you to send all relevant information directly to the school as well.

Top Veterinary Schools

1. Cornell University

2. University of California – Davis

3. Colorado State University

4. North Carolina State University

5. Ohio State University

6. University of Pennsylvania

7. University of Wisconsin – Madison

8. Texas A&M University – College Station

9. Michigan State University

10. University of Georgia

11. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

12. University of Florida

13. Tufts University

14. Purdue University – West Lafayette

15. Auburn University

16. Washington State University