Plenty of people own animals. Some people only own house pets, whereas some people own farm animals. When an animal joins your family, it requires the same kind of care and attention that any family member requires. You need to make sure that your pet is well fed, well exercised, and well cared for. Part of being well cared for means ensuring that your pet receives adequate medical attention on a regular basis. Visits to the veterinarian can be expensive to a pet owner, and they can be stressful for the pet. However, they’re just something that have to be done. They’re essential to the upkeep of any pet. All pet owners take their pets to the vet every now and then, but not every pet owner endeavors to become a vet themselves.
Everyone knows that doctors are paid incredibly well. Whether you practice cardiology or urology, I think it’s safe to say that if you’re a medical doctor then you’re going to make a lot of money. Does that same principle extend to people who serve as doctors to animals? In this article, I plan on talking a little bit about that. I’m going to be discussing how much the average vet makes, while being sure to also discuss how factors like location, experience, and education, can affect that salary. Finally, if you’re interested by the money behind this work, I’m going to talk about what someone actually has to do in order to become a vet. Without further ado, let’s see what we can’t find out about this profession.
Average Salary for Vets – $88,490
The average salary for a veterinarian currently sits at $88,490, which is definitely a respectable income for just about anyone. This may not be as much as a doctor makes, but it’s still certainly a very impressive figure. Of course, since this is just an average, that obviously means that some people are paid more than this and some people are paid less than this. How is this salary affected by a factor like location? As you can probably imagine, people everywhere have pets and so people everywhere have a need for vets. However, places where there are more people typically have more pets. As a result, major cities like New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago have a greater demand for veterinarians than most other cities. If you live in one of those cities, then I think you’ll have an easier time finding work. If you get a job there, you might even be paid more than someone who lives in another city.
Next, let’s consider how experience can affect the salary of a veterinarian. Just like with any other profession, people who have more experience in this field are paid more highly than people with less experience. However, it isn’t quite the same extreme curve that you would see in some other jobs. A vet with over twenty years of experience can make up to $20,000 more than someone with entry level experience in the field. What is a practice actually paying for when they dole out this kind of hefty income? To begin with, a vet with more experience is more familiar with the kind of work that they’ll need to do. They are less likely to be surprised by certain cases. Not only that, but a vet with more experience has the critical thinking skills and cool head required to truly excel in this field.
Next, we can talk a little bit about how the salary of a vet is affected by education. In some field, you work alongside people who may have different experience from you. If you work in a marketing department, then maybe you have a master’s degree in marketing whereas your co-worker has a bachelor’s degree in English. However, that common phenomena doesn’t typically exist when it comes to veterinarians. All vets require the same education. They get their undergraduate degree, and then they earn their doctorate while they go to veterinary school. As a result, education doesn’t really affect salary. One thing that does actually affect salary, though, is certifications. If you acquire certain certifications that your co-workers don’t have, then you may have an easier time getting a job or acquiring a promotion. It simply makes you more competitive.
How to become a vet – Do you need to go to school?
So, if you’ve read all of that information below and you’re still interested in pursuing a career in veterinary sciences, then you may be chomping at the bit to find out what someone has to do in order to actually become a vet. The first thing that you need to do is finish high school. If you’re still in high school, then keep your head down and your grades up. The higher you grades are, the better chance you have to get into a college. Another thing that you can do is take on advanced courses that deal specifically in science, which will help you get a head start in your college education. If you’ve already dropped out of high school, then you should seriously look into obtaining a GED so that you can at least have some kind of high school equivalence as you go to enter college.
Once you’re done with high school, it’s time to begin your undergraduate career. Get into the best college that you can possibly get into, and take on a degree that is related to veterinary sciences. While you’re in college, you need to work really hard so that you can get into a good veterinary school. This means keeping up your grade point average, maintaining strong connections with your professors so that they can write you a strong letter of recommendation, and even trying to obtain some hands-on experience by either volunteering or interning with an existing practice. Not only will this give you valuable work experience, but it will also allow you to network with other veterinarians, which can be really helpful when you’re looking for work later on.
First, though, you need to get into veterinary school, which is a form of graduate school. As a form of graduate school, you’re going to have to enter a really intense application process. You should be working on your application during your senior year, so that you’re completely ahead of the curve once you graduate. Before you can even apply, you need to take the GRE. (I know that you may have thought that your days of standardized testing were over when you graduated from high school, you would unfortunately be wrong about that.) While you’re attending this school, you’re going to be working toward your doctorate. Once you’re able to finish out graduate school, you’re going to need to become officially licensed. Just like a doctor for humans needs a license, a doctor for animals needs one too.
In order to be a vet in the United States, you need to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Depending on which state you intend to work in, you may also need to pass a couple of state-specific exams. Once you become licensed, you need to acquire experience. When you’re first starting off, you’re probably going to be working with more “traditional” animals like cats and dogs at a private clinic. However, if you’re more ambitious, then you may be able to get work at something like a zoo, where you work with significantly more exotic pets. From there, it’s just a matter of working your way up the ladder. You can consider being certified in a specialty, which makes you significantly more marketable and competitive as an applicant. All you really have to do in order to succeed in this field, as with any other field, is work hard.