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How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Veterinarian?

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Building a career in the medical industry requires sheer determination, hard work, and dedication. You also have to be ready to invest long years in formal education, practical training, and hands-on experience. The same rules apply to veterinary professionals too, and you cannot expect things to be easier because you will treat animals instead of humans. If you want to know more about the career trajectory of a veterinarian, let us explain it in detail.

Demand for veterinarians far outweighs demand for most professions. Job growth for the decade ending in 2028 is projected to be 18%, significantly better than the 5% growth projected for all occupations combined.Click To Tweet

A 4-year Bachelor’s degree

Before you seek admission into a vet school, you will need a conventional 4-year bachelor’s degree. Choose a program that offers a strong foundation in subjects such as biological and physical sciences because they will help you in vet school. Alternatively, you may opt for an associate’s degree related to animal healthcare. An associate’s degree saves your time as you can complete it in only two years.

4 years in a veterinary school

After completing the bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree, the next step is to get into a vet school for earning a doctorate degree. It is a 4-year degree, where you study the theoretical parts of veterinary medicine for the first three years and get practical training with animals for one year. The program covers subjects such as animal anatomy, physiology, nutritional care, and parasitology.


Once you graduate from a vet school, you cannot start practicing right away. You will have to get a license by appearing for a licensing exam first. You can start preparing it along with your studies and even sit for the exam before you graduate. As soon as you clear the exam, you can begin practicing medicine as a vet. At this stage, you must explore disability insurance for soon to be veterinarians to secure your future income potential. It is the best move you can make to future-proof your career right at an early stage.


While you may consider starting your own clinic, it is recommended that you take up an internship program under a seasoned veterinarian before going independent. An internship gives you good exposure to clinical settings and bolsters your confidence as your seniors guide you and help you to learn from your mistakes. You are in a better position to handle animal patients more comfortably as well. Further, the first-hand experience with clinical procedures gives you better chances of success later.

Specialization degree

While conventional veterinary education takes around eight years to complete, you may opt to study further for a specialization degree. You may pick fields such as anesthesia, surgery, dermatology, or animal behavior, depending on your interest. A specialization degree adds value to your qualifications and promises a higher income potential. The period of the specialization varies, though you can pursue it along with your career.

While the road to a successful veterinary career seems long and challenging, it opens great opportunities for professionals. All the hard work and dedication you invest in building the career is worthwhile because you can make thousands of dollars and do something you love.

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