Becoming a Veterinarian
In Shiloh, Marty wanted to become a veterinarian. "I want to be a traveling vet. The kind that has his office in a van and goes around to people's homes, don't make folks come to him." Becoming a vet requires years of hard work, a great love for animals, and the ability to do well in college. Here are some facts you should know if becoming a vet is your dream.
You should get experience with animals. This may mean cleaning cages in a kennel or mucking out stalls at a stable. Many times the only way to get a job working with animals is to start at the bottom and work up to the more desirable jobs. Volunteer work with animal shelters and humane societies is another great way to gain experience.
Learn everything you can about animals. Read books and watch documentaries on educational television. If you are interested in one particular animal learn everything you can about it. Don't wait until college and try to become an A student. Learn good study habits early.
Most students get a four year undergraduate degree which includes English, biological and physical science, humanities and social sciences before going to veterinary school. So many students apply to veterinary school that you must have at least a B+ average to be accepted. Find out early what classes are required for the veterinary school you wish to apply to and make sure you take them all. Veterinary school takes four years and includes course work and clinical experience in anatomy and physiology of animals, disease systems, toxicology, diagnosis of injury and disease, veterinary public health and other topics. Graduates of veterinary school must then pass a national certification examination and meet the requirements of the Veterinary Medical Board to be licensed. The starting salary for vets is between $30,000 - $75,000.
If you are not accepted to veterinary school, don't be discouraged. There are many jobs that you will be able to do and still work with animals.