How to Become a Veterinarian in Arkansas

Residents of Arkansas who love animals, have a passion for being around them and have an affinity towards helping them stay as strong and healthy as possible would naturally gravitate toward a career in veterinary medicine. Of all the job opportunities in the field, none is more prestigious than being a licensed veterinarian.

If you happen to be an individual looking to pursue this career in the state but without an idea of how to start, you have come to the right page. Before you’re done reading, you will have discovered all the key steps involved in the process, including the basic educational requirements and relevant examinations.

We also explain the salary projections that candidates can look forward to depending on key criteria.

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Arkansas

Below are the steps to launch a successful veterinary career in Arkansas.

Step 1: Take the Preparatory Steps

The first step in beginning any occupation is usually to take the preparatory steps. For aspiring veterinarians, this starts right from high school. They will focus on biology, laboratory, and animal science courses while maintaining a strong GPA.

Step 2: Complete a Relevant College Program

The exact major a candidate applies for in college on their journey to become a veterinarian will depend on various factors, including their preference and desired veterinary college. This is because while some vet schools mandate students to graduate from biology and animal science-related courses, others don’t care what major an applicant graduated from.

Step 3: Complete an Accredited DVM Program

After completing a regular college program, aspiring veterinarians in Arkansas may proceed to secure admission into a veterinary program. In doing so, they must choose only accredited programs, of which are 33 in the country.

DVM programs take 4 years to complete, making the total duration in college 8 years for interested veterinarians.

Step 4: Pass the NAVLE

Becoming a veterinarian is only completed once candidates pass the national licensing examination. Known as the NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination), this exam contains 360 computer-based questions and is administered in a multiple-choice format.

Step 5: Specialize

Veterinarians may or may not choose to specialize. Those who wish to may consider participating in residencies and focusing on areas such as exotic animal veterinary medicine and equine veterinary medicine, among others.

Consider Careers with Similar Paths:

Licensure and Certification Requirements

Arkansas is one of the many states where candidates must receive a state license to practice legally as veterinarians. The Arkansas Veterinary Medical Examining Board requires a $100 fee, along with the requirements above, for anyone looking to obtain a license.

After getting their licenses, professionals are also expected to participate in 20 hours of continuing education annually to maintain and reactivate their licenses.

The state has reciprocity agreements with many other states in the area, meaning candidates who have received their licenses elsewhere may also use them in Arkansas.

Applicants must be prepared to participate in a written jurisprudence exam.

Top Veterinary Schools in Arkansas

Since Arkansas has no accredited veterinary medicine programs, future veterinarians in the state may look to the following neighboring institutions for their education.

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA Online + Campus

The School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University is in Baton Rouge and offers a world-class veterinary medicine program.

Read more
$11,954 - $28,631
  • (225) 578-1175


Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK Online + Campus

Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences in Stillwater offers another wonderful alternative for aspiring veterinarians looking for an accredited program in Arkansas.

Read more
$13,920 - $29,440
  • (405) 744-5358


Explore nearby states for education and training:

Salary & Career Outlook

In Arkansas, veterinarians who find themselves in the category of the average earners take home an annual average salary of $114,828. Those among the top 10% take home an annual average salary of $159,868, while those among the bottom 10% make around $82,477 yearly.

Experience and location are two of the key factors that determine the annual average salary of a veterinarian in Arkansas. For example, those with more than 10 years of experience in the field take home an annual average salary of $163,366.

As for the highest-paying places to work as a veterinarian in Arkansas, they include Little Rock, with an annual average salary of $135,125; Springdale, with an annual average salary of $116,417; Conway, with an annual average salary of $116,417; and Fort Smith, with an annual average salary of $115,953.

Veterinarians in Rogers are also among the top ** ** five, earning an average salary of around $115,951 annually.