Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Become a Vet

If you like animals and biology, you may want to consider a profession as a veterinarian. It's a well-paying career that allows you to work with both animals and humans in an interesting and important position. Vets can work in a variety of settings from a pet clinic to a farm [source: BLS]. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to become a vet.

  • Educational requirements Before going to veterinary school, you must complete a university degree with a high cumulative grade point average. You will also have to achieve a high score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Preferred areas of background include animal science, biology and chemistry [source: University of Illinois]. Upon admission to a veterinary program, you will have to complete four years of study to obtain a degree as a doctor of veterinary medicine [source: UWYO].
  • Residency program Although it's not required, it's recommended that you complete an internship or residency program upon graduation from veterinary school. This will involve working with experienced vets, and will help you familiarize yourself with the hands-on aspect of the career. These years of training can also provide specializations in certain fields of veterinary sciences [source: UWYO].
  • Getting licensed Most states require vets to be licensed, however licensing requirements vary from state to state. Upon completing your education, find out the licensing requirements in the state where you plan on practicing. All states require applicants to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam [source: BLS].
  • Obtaining employment There are a number of avenues to obtain employment as a vet. Most recent graduates open their own practices, treating companion animals, such as dogs, cats and birds. However, private industries, government services and the military are all in need of veterinary services. Consider contacting your state or national government body or local farms or zoos for employment [source: UWYO].