Florida remains one of the country’s best states to become a veterinarian. We have discussd in our veterinarian career overview that veterinarians nationwide enjoy impressive salaries, high demand and job opportunities, and favorable projections for the coming decade.
Vets in Florida enjoy all of these and more.
If you are a Florida resident wanting to consider a career in the field, you have come to the right page. In the passages below, you will find all the critical information you need to start your career straightforwardly.
You will also find a list containing some of the top programs to enroll in and the possible annual salary to look forward to.
Steps To Become a Veterinarian in Florida
Below are the necessary steps for becoming a veterinarian in Florida:
Start from High School
To become a veterinarian in Florida, interested individuals can give themselves a better chance by taking specific classes in high school, such as laboratory science, English, and mathematics.
A high GPA will also make them more appealing when securing college admission.
Enroll in a College and earn a Bachelor’s Degree.
A bachelor’s degree is optional for veterinarians, but it makes securing admission into a veterinary school relatively easier. Most vet schools will ask applicants to take college courses, including microbiology, biochemistry, social sciences, and humanities.
Complete Veterinary School
Completing a veterinary school and graduating with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree is essential to becoming a veterinarian. Typically, the competition to enter veterinary schools is relatively high.
For this reason, completing the step above will always be an additional advantage. Most veterinary schools carry out standardized tests for applicants known as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
The specific GRE, an aspiring veterinarian will sit for depends on the school they apply to. Also, depending on the school, candidates may have to provide other supporting documents, such as letters of recommendation or proof of experience volunteering in a veterinary clinic, shelter, or practice.
Take the NAVL Examination
All veterinarians are expected to pass a general license exam called the North American Veterinary License Exam (NAVLE). They are expected to pass this exam before they graduate with their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
This exam is taken on a computer and includes 360 multiple-choice questions.
To specialize after graduating from a veterinary school, veterinarians usually enter residency programs. This is done to obtain practical experience in the vet’s specialty field. The most popular options include zoo, research, equine, large animal, and small animal veterinary medicine.
Florida State Requirements: Licensure and Certification
After passing the NAVLE exam and graduating from an approved College of Veterinary Medicine, aspiring veterinarians in Florida must also obtain a license from the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine.
To do so, they must pay an application fee of $354, including a $105 license fee for taking the jurisprudence exam. Along with this computer-based exam, candidates must also take a Veterinary Medicine Florida Laws and Rules examination that costs $68.5.
A Vet Medicine license in Florida must be renewed every two years through 30 hours of continuing education.
Top Veterinary Schools in Florida
There is only one AVMA-approved veterinary college in Florida: the vet medicine program offered at the University of Florida.
University of Florida
As Florida’s only AVMA-approved institution, the University of Florida’s veterinary medicine school holds itself to very high standards. According to the News and World Reports, the school is ranked seventh among veterinary medical colleges nationwide.
Thanks to the unique approach, quality instructors, and world-class facilities, the school can provide rigorous training while incorporating a great deal of biomedical research to help students facilitate further advancements in the field even as they learn.
Salary and Job Outlook
Veterinarians in Florida take home an annual salary of $123,126, the same level as the national average. It is common to start with a salary closer to $84,557 before reaching the state average.
From there, it is also possible to get even higher and earn up to $179,286, the state average for the top 10% of veterinarians in Florida.
To move up the salary ladder, veterinarians in Florida may consider optimizing their experience level, credentials, and company of employment.
Location also plays a considerable role, as veterinarians in some cities earn significantly more than others. For instance, Fort Lauderdale is the highest-paying city for veterinarians in Florida, with a $136,128 annual salary, followed by Orlando ($133,962) and Jacksonville ($131,838).
Miami and Fort Walton Beach round up the top five with annual average salaries of $128,064 and $119,400, respectively.