How to become a Veterinarian

Do you love animals and want to help them? Maybe a career as a veterinarian is the right fit for you.


  • Most veterinarians work in private clinics caring for family pets or pets from a shelter that are waiting for homes.
  • Some veterinarians specialize in a certain area. An equine vet takes care of horses. Food animal vets take care of livestock, such as cattle or sheep. Sometimes these vets work to make sure these animals don’t get diseases that might make humans sick.
  • Zoos need veterinarians to take care of a wide variety of animals.
  • Veterinarians are usually on call around the clock. They sometimes work long hours.
  • Dealing with scared, dangerous, or aggressive animals is often part of the job. Vets have to be careful not to get kicked, scratched, or bitten.
  • Another hard part of the job is comforting a family whose pet is sick or dying.
  • Vets need a state license to practice medicine. They must also have a bachelor’s degree, usually in biology or a similar discipline, followed by a four-year medical degree in veterinary science. Getting into vet school can be hard because so many people are interested.
  • Vets earn between $60,000 and $150,000 a year.


Questions and Answers

Question: What if I want to care for animals but I don’t want to go to college for eight years?

Answer: Getting a veterinarian degree is a big commitment. But there are other ways to get involved with animals. Vet techs usually need a two-year-certificate. You could also work as an animal trainer or simply volunteer.


Learn More

Watch a video about being a vet.