How to Become a Veterinarian

Many times someone, typically a graduating high school student, will ask “What do I have to do to become a veterinarian? What does is takes to become a veterinarian?” The answer always seems to be insufficient, partially because veterinarians are involved in quite a wide range of disciplines and activities within this career. Once the 8 years of study in college are completed and a Doctorate degree is earned, the person has several kinds of employment positions awaiting his skills.

Veterinarian job description

Vets avert and treat animal’s injuries and illnesses. They might specify in a certain veterinary medicine, such as surgery or deal with a large group of animals in the wildlife, horses, small group of animals such as hamsters and the like. Duties include diagnosis, prescribing medications, executing surgery, providing vaccinations, and giving healthcare advice to pet owners. Veterinarians may perform research in varying areas like in the biomedical sciences. They tend to work in long hours. Most vet also make themselves always available around-the-clock for any emergencies.

How to become a veterinarian: Education roadmap

Becoming a veterinarian requires great sense of patience and dedication. One must complete the following education requirements

Bachelor’s Degree

Vast majority of schools of vet medicine prefer or require applicants to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Majority of veterinary schools, though, don’t have a specified undergraduate course. They only require applicants to take a science courses. These courses usually include general biology, physics, chemistry and math. But some schools may require more advanced science-courses, such as, biochemistry, mammalogy or animal behavior.

To get a better chance of admission, you can participate in any volunteer programs in the veterinary field. Volunteering at veterinary clinics or any related facilities could expose students or give them insight of the real work of a veterinarian. Several veterinary programs oblige some animal-related work experience. Volunteering can therefore fulfill such requirement and can give a student with a competitive advantage when applying. These experiences can be used to show their enthusiasm to the animal care field and earn professional references.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Aspiring veterinarians are required to obtain Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree or DVM. This is a four-year programs which is usually taken after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The first two years usually concentrate on science related subjects such as animal physiology and anatomy, virology and nutrition. The courses offered during these year basically lay the fundamental background for better understanding of veterinary medicine. Some courses may focus on an animal group. The following year may concentrate on any clinical studies wherein students practice their learned skills and knowledge in a real world setting. The final year is typically spent partaking in applied experiences like externships or practicum.


Graduate of veterinary medicine is requires to get a license before practicing their craft. This exam serves as client’s protection against incredible vet practitioners. It usually tests the basic knowledge of a vet graduate and their ability to apply that knowledge in the real setting.

Obtain Certification

To be qualified for certification in the specialty field, like surgery or internal medicine, veterinarians are required to complete either an additional education or residency. Residency programs typically involve several years working at the location where the vet obtains supervised training in the chosen specialty.

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