Veterinarian at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Veterinarian

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Veterinarian

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Idaho 490 $78,870 $38
Montana 340 $61,050 $29
Vermont 240 $82,590 $40

Becoming a Veterinarian

Veterinarians must hold a doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M. for V.M.D.) from an accredited college of veterinary medicine. Applicants to D.V.M. programs must complete a set number of hours in prerequisite coursework in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics. Some veterinary schools will favor applicants with experience working with animals, working for a veterinarian, and/or working in a research laboratory or setting related to veterinary medicine.

A typical doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M.) program will offer various tracks of study, such as equine, small animal, or food animal. Programs generally take four years to complete and will include laboratory and clinical components. Due to the hands-on nature of veterinary medicine, D.V.M. programs are not available in online-only formats. Some classes in a typical D.V.M. program may include:

  • Veterinary Anatomy
  • Veterinary Physiology
  • Veterinary Parasitology
  • Veterinary Anesthesiology

Veterinarians must be state-licensed. Candidates for licensure will need to successfully complete the national North American Veterinary Licensing Exam as well as a second exam covering state-specific laws and regulations. Additional certification for veterinarians is not required, but can demonstrate expertise in a specific area of veterinary medicine.