Three Major Tracks Veterinarian Practice Specialty Industrial Government Veterinary Technician Veterinary Assistant
Veterinarian General Practice Most Common Diagnose, treat and prevent disease in animals owned by the public Often limited by what clients can pay
Veterinarian Education 4 Years undergraduate (Bachelor) 4 Years Veterinary School (DVM) Competettive admission to Vet Schools
Veterinarian Education cost: Undergraduate $28,155 - $42,224 per year Veterinary School $18,000 - $38,000 tuition, plus books, fees, living
Veterinarian Average Starting Salary Private Practice $65,404 Average debt at graduation $151,672
Veterinarian Specialty Responsible for specialized care, referrals, consultations, teaching and research.
Veterinarian Specialty Limited by geography: large enough population to support specialty, some financial limitations, other location-specific
Veterinarian Specialty Education: DVM degree (at least 8 years) followed by 1-year internship, then 2-4 year residency in specialty area and pass board exams
Veterinarian Specialty Education cost: Internship usually unpaid, residents typically paid almost enough to cover living expenses.
Veterinarian Specialty Mean salary (NOT starting) $148,000 for private practice specialists $136,000 for corporate and public specialists
Veterinarian Government and Industry Responsible for care of military animals, public health and food inspection, research, product development and testing.
Veterinarian Government and Industry Limitations: Location, job type
Veterinarian Government and Industry Education: DVM to specialty to advanced degree Salaries vary with duties and education
Veterinary Technician (LVT) Responsible for assisting veterinarians in treatment, surgery, animal handling. May perform anesthesia, many dental procedures, client education, laboratory testing, etc. Often supervise other employees.
Veterinary Technician Limitations: May not diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery or practice outside the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Limited advancement.
Veterinary Technician Education: 2-3 years college, graduate from accredited college program and pass board examination. NOT an on-the-job trained position. Equivalent to a human RN.
Veterinary Technician Cost of Education: Online or classroom-based, $1300 - $30,000 depending upon degree, location and type of training
Veterinary Technician Starting salary: $17,362 - $39,732 Typically maximum salary $68,000 Specialty training available.
Veterinary Assistant Responsible for assisting licensed technicians (LVTs) and veterinarians: Animal restrain, sanitation, nursing care, some lab procedures, preparing and giving medication, etc.
Veterinary Assistant Limitations: Must be directly supervised by veterinarian or technician; may not diagnose, treat, prescribe, perform surgery or anesthesia
Veterinary Assistant Education: Usually trained on the job. Certificate programs available but not required. High school completion, written and verbal communication, math skills, work ethic required.
Veterinary Assistant Cost of Education: Typically earn while doing on the job training.
Veterinary Assistant Starting Salary: Typically minimum wage, may increase somewhat with experience but raises and advancement are limited without additional education.