$87,590 AVG. SALARY
A veterinary physician examines, diagnoses and treats animals. They may deal with common household pets in a general practice, or they may specialize in livestock, zoo-based animals or racing animals. Veterinarians can also conduct surgeries, care for wounds, vaccinate against diseases and prescribe medications. In worst case scenarios, vets are also qualified to euthanize sick or dying animals. Other veterinarians promote public health by fighting animal-borne diseases and help cultivate healthier relationships between people and their animal companions.
Most vets work in a veterinary clinic, but they will interact with people just as much as animals, which is why good communication skills are also important. A typical day can include everything from surgeries (spaying and neutering procedures are some of the most common), prescribing heartworm medication, setting a broken bone, animal checkups, administering innoculations and more.
What education is required to become a veterinarian? Although a bachelor’s degree isn’t a requirement for getting into a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) program, most candidates end up having one. Because veterinary medicine is very competitive, it’s important to acquire a solid science education, excellent grades and develop good study habits as an undergraduate student. As of 2014, there were just 30 colleges with accredited D.V.M. programs. These degrees typically take around four years to complete, with the last year reserved for clinical rotations. All states and the District of Columbia require that vets be licensed. Veterinarians can get their license by graduating from an accredited program and passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. States might also require vets to sit for an additional state-required exam. More information about veterinarians can be found at the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) website.
Best colleges for vets and DVM schools
- University of California—Davis
- Cornell University
- Colorado State University
- North Carolina State University
- Ohio State University
- University of Wisconsin—Madison
- Texas A&M University—College Station
TOP 5 BEST PAYING CITIES FOR VETERINARIANS
Santa Barbara, California – Avg. salary $175,260
Ann Arbor, Michigan – Avg. salary $164,200
Honolulu – Avg. salary $153,300
Palm Coast, Florida – Avg. salary $146,790
Oxnard, California – Avg. salary $146,000