How to become a vet

By on June 19, 2023

Is it your ambition to work with animals and become a veterinarian? Being a veterinarian is hard work and requires a high level of discipline.

To become a veterinarian, you must first understand what veterinarians do. Veterinarians help preserve and improve the health of companion animals. In addition, you should also prepare for a fair amount of education, and you will gain hands-on experience in the veterinary world.

Being a veterinarian is a fun and rewarding career for those who want to help animals for a living. If you are going to become a veterinarian, check out this article.

Steps to Becoming a Veterinarian

Becoming a veterinarian takes hard work and dedication. It would help if you were determined and committed to developing the necessary skills to master the profession. The steps to becoming a veterinarian are relatively straightforward:

Know What a Veterinarian Does

The role of a veterinarian is to care for animals and work to protect the public’s health. Most veterinarians work in clinics or hospitals. You may also be asked to make house calls. Veterinarians perform several duties:

  • Provide treatment for pets and their health issues
  • Consult with pet owners about preventative healthcare
  • Perform medical and surgical procedures like dental work
  • Protect public and animal health with required vaccinations

Suppose you do not like the idea of performing surgery or prescribing medications. In that case, you can become a veterinary technician and help the veterinarian explain how to administer pet medications.

You Need Post-Secondary Schooling

Veterinarians need to learn the skills required to care for animals properly. Science-based subjects are of particular importance. There are specific areas of study that a veterinarian in the making must learn to become a practicing vet:

  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics

You must also learn animal psychology to understand how animals process experiences and communicate emotions. You will also take communications to talk to pet owners, colleagues, and other professionals in your practice.

Undergraduate Program

A bachelor’s degree is the way to a successful veterinarian career. From there, you will work on a four-year undergraduate degree and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. You will acquire the tools to prepare for the hardships and triumphs of practicing veterinary medicine.

Veterinary School

When you have entered a DVM program, you will study subjects such as pharmacology and animal science. Any science that is applied to working with animals may be explored. This degree takes four years to earn. Any college or school of veterinary medicine that is accredited is appropriate.

Earn the Required Licenses

You will need to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination to be able to graduate. This exam consists of 360 questions relevant to veterinary medicine. You must check with your state government regarding the specific provisions required to practice veterinary medicine.

Veterinary Internships

A veterinary internship will allow you to gain some hands-on experience and can be a first step toward residency. Internships are one-year service education programs. The purpose of an internship is to provide mentored training for aspiring veterinarians.

Veterinary Residencies

Residencies provide specialty training in a specific area of veterinary medicine. Most of the time, veterinary residencies last two to three years. They help students obtain the knowledge they need to succeed. Specialties cover a broad range of disciplines:

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Internal medicine

Residencies provide advanced training that will precipitate a specialty certification, and you will get supervised experience. Residencies involve a high level of participation from the student. They are required to become certified.

Start Your Career

Internships and residencies often lead to work opportunities for many students. Veterinarians often work in clinics and hospitals. You may also find work at an animal shelter. You may be surprised to know some places where veterinarians work, such as racetracks and national parks.

Board Certification Time

The American Board of Veterinary Specialties recognizes certain specialties. One of these, for example, includes canine and feline. Becoming board certified is optional, but it gives you an advantage in areas requiring specialty medicine.


Becoming a veterinarian is a long and involved process. The first step is to know what veterinarians do and determine whether this is the path you want to take. After you make, your decision comes much education and hands-on experience with internships and residencies. Finally, you get to start your dream career as a practicing veterinarian.

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