$88k $88k
78k 78k
8.9% 8.9%
3.8/5 3.8/5
Ph.D. Doctorate


The educational requirements for veterinarians vary with each country. Typically, it takes from four to eight years of education after graduating from high school to obtain a veterinary degree. The degree granted also varies with each country. Some grant the equivalent of a bachelor's degree while others grant a doctorate degree. In the United States, holders of either degree are allowed to practice as a veterinarian if they succeed in passing a national and state board exam.

In the United States, veterinary schools are frequently state-supported institutions. Each state's schools might be significantly different than that of another state, depending on the number of positions available, and the number of in-state applicants. Because of this, veterinary school admissions can vary in competitiveness. The ratio of applications to students accepted varies tremendously between each school, mostly due to the variation in the school's residency requirement. Options are available for students to apply to overseas schools, but graduates are often not regarded as highly if post-graduate training is desired.

In the U.S. and Canada, veterinary school lasts four years with at least one year being dedicated to clinical rotations. In the U.S., one can enter veterinary school after completing the pre-veterinary requirement in as little as two years, but most veterinary school applicants have completed a bachelor's degree before entry into the professional program.

Which are the best veterinary schools in the U.S. and Canada?

University of California, Davis (ranked #1 in the world)

Cornell University (ranked #2 in the world)

University of Guelph (ranked #4 in the world)

Texas A&M University (ranked #6 in the world)

What are Veterinarians like?


Based on our pool of users, veterinarians tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Industrial Designers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 182 Sokanu users

Are Veterinarians happy?


Veterinarians rank among the happiest careers. Overall they rank in the 89th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Industrial Designer Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Veterinarians

The most common degree held by veterinarians is Animal Sciences. 3% of veterinarians had a degree in animal sciences before becoming veterinarians. That is over 9 times the average across all careers. Biology graduates are the second most common among veterinarians, representing 3% of veterinarians in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.0 times the average.

Veterinarian Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Veterinarian, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of veterinarians % of population Multiple
Animal Sciences 2.6% 0.3% 8.9×
Biology 2.6% 2.8% 1.0×

Veterinarian Education Levels

77% of veterinarians have a doctorate degree. 23% of veterinarians have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 0%
Master's degree 23%
Doctorate degree 77%

How to Become a Veterinarian

Think you might be interested in becoming a Veterinarian? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good veterinarian? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wesley College | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • American University | Washington, DC
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of the District of Columbia | Washington, DC
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

  • How To Become A Veterinarian (In Canada) admissions.carleton.ca

    A veterinarian is a doctor of animal health who has trained at a university for at least six years and is licensed to provide medical and surgical care for animals. Prospective vet school students need to have a strong track record in the sciences and a sharp analytical mind.

  • Steps To Becoming A Veterinarian vbs.psu.edu

    There are 30 veterinary schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in the U.S. Admission requirements for veterinary schools have many things in common; however the specific requirements may vary among schools.

  • What Education Or Training Do You Need To Become A Veterinarian? work.chron.com

    For individuals who love working with animals and want to earn a salary above the national average, becoming a veterinarian might be a path worth taking.

Find your perfect career

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