How to Become a Veterinarian in Arizona

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Gaining admission into veterinary school is incredibly competitive. Aspiring veterinarians in Arizona must do everything they can to put themselves in the best possible position from the moment they decide to pursue a potential career as a veterinarian.

Knowing the steps from the beginning is a significant way to start this preparation. Doing so will ensure a smooth and straightforward journey through high school, college, and vet school.

Thankfully, that is precisely what the article below is about. Here, we deeply dive into every crucial component in starting a successful veterinary career in Arizona, including the individual steps, the national and state licensing requirements, notable accredited training programs, and more.

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Arizona

The following are the steps to starting a career as a veterinarian in Arizona.

Step 1: Earning a Bachelor’s Degree

In an undergraduate program, the objective for a future veterinarian in Arizona is relatively straightforward – earn a bachelor’s degree, excel in extracurricular activities, and build a good reputation to acquire excellent letters of recommendation to apply to a veterinary school.

Choosing a pertinent undergraduate major also helps, but generally, most vet schools allow a wide range of majors.

Step 2: Securing Admission into Vet School

The American Veterinary Medical Association must accredit veterinary schools. Currently, there are about 32 such institutions in the country.

Candidates are often asked to provide their undergraduate transcripts and letters of recommendation to secure admission. Vet school lasts four years and includes theoretical and practical training sessions.

Step 3: Completing Vet School and Passing the NAVLE

Before they complete vet school, all aspiring veterinarians must sit for and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. This multiple-choice, computer-based exam will allow them to secure state registration anywhere in the country, including Arizona.

Once they complete vet school, candidates will graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, be free to pursue state licensure and start practicing professionally.

Step 4: Specializing

Veterinarians may specialize in a handful of fields in veterinary medicine, including small-animal and large-animal veterinary fields. To do this, they typically have to undergo residency.

Certification is optional but possible. The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners has an array of specialty certifications that may be of interest in this regard.

Explore other careers with similar paths:

Licensure & Certification Requirements

The Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board is the state body in charge of licensing veterinarians in Arizona. To obtain this license, candidates must pay a $400 fee and an additional $200 during odd number years or $100 during even number years.

Licensing is valid for two years, after which it must be renewed. Renewal also includes completing 20 hours of continuing education every other year.

Those who wish for and meet the requirements for an endorsement or specialty license must also pay $750. No background check is involved, but candidates must provide proof of citizenship along with their transcripts and resume.

Top Veterinary Schools in Arizona

The following are the top accredited veterinary schools commonly chosen by aspiring veterinarians in Arizona.

Midwestern University

Midwestern University is one of two accredited veterinary schools in Arizona. Located in Glendale, the school operates at a very high standard and boasts experienced faculty.

Candidates are expected to review the program’s admission pages for more information on requirements and guidelines.

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona also boasts an accredited veterinary school in Tucson. Like Midwestern, this program can get competitive, and candidates are expected to go through the program’s website for more details on maximizing their chances.

Other Options

Even though they’re not in Arizona, the University of California, Davis, and Western University of Health Sciences, both in California, are excellent destinations for interested candidates in Arizona to receive a high level of classroom and real-world education as prospective veterinarians.

Consider exploring veterinarian schools in neighboring states:

Salary & Career Outlook

In Arizona, veterinarians earn an annual average salary of $125,968. However, naturally, a spectrum of earning categories sees some veterinarians in the state making more than others.

Of course, where one falls in the salary range depends on experience level, the particular establishment where a vet secures employment, and their specific location within the state.

Based on these factors, Those who fall in the top 10% of earners will earn as much as $185,813, while those who fall into the bottom 10% take home an annual average salary of $85,397.

Surprise ($143,394), Mesa ($142,992), Scottsdale ($142,935), Chandler ($142,370), and Apache Junction ($142,302) are the highest-paying cities for veterinarians in Arizona.

Veterinarians in Phoenix earn an annual average salary of $122,426.