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How do I Become a Veterinarian?... Schools and Training

Being a vet means a life dedicated to animal health and welfare. It is demanding and fulfilling work, and a college education, training, and experience are all vital to achieve success. Even at high school, you can start preparing for a veterinarian college education by studying as much science as possible and by helping out on farms or with vets or animal welfare organizations.


Graduate from veterinary school

The central requirement if you want to become a veterinarian is to earn a four-year doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from one of the 28 veterinary schools accredited in the USA. Competition for entry to vet school is strong, and you will find your prospects of gaining admission much better if you have a bachelor’s degree. If your college offers a pre-veterinary program, that is ideal; if not, try to major in as much science as possible, especially biology, zoology, and biochemistry. Work hard to maintain a high grade point average in college as you will need this to get into vet school. You should identify the vet schools which you wish to apply to as early as possible and check on their entry requirements. Try hard to match your college courses to those requirements.


Gain your veterinary license

You will need a license wherever you practice in the USA. Requirements differ by location, but you will certainly be required to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE). Most states will also require you to pass an exam covering state laws and regulations and some require additional tests of your clinical skills.


Related Career Resources

Veterinary Colleges and Schools

Veterinary Career Information

Veterinary Career Outlook & Salary Information

Veterinary Career Characteristics


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