A veterinarian’s expertise is always in demand in one field or another. Small and large animal veterinarians are needed in clinics, while exotic animal veterinarians are necessary for zoos.
If you are an Indiana resident looking to start a successful career as a veterinarian, you have come to the right place. In the following sections, you’ll find extensive guides regarding the steps involved in starting a veterinary journey in Indiana, the possible licensing and regulatory requirements, and the possible salary projections to look forward to.
You will also discover some of the top accredited veterinary colleges in the area, along with a few other neighboring options.
Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Indiana
The following are the considerations needed to kick-start a successful veterinary career in Indiana.
Step 1: Optimize your High School Experience
Thanks to the meager rate of accredited veterinary colleges in the country compared to interested candidates, it is highly imperative for individuals to do everything they can to stand out and gain an edge over the competition.
Such preparation begins in high school.
During this time, individuals are advised to keep their grades high, especially in courses such as mathematics, biology, physics, and chemistry. They are also advised to participate in leadership and interpersonal activities to improve these skills.
Step 2: Optimize Undergraduate Experience
Time spent in an undergraduate degree program is precious for an aspiring veterinarian in Indiana. At this point, they will receive training in a field of their choice, and what they learn will serve them well throughout their lifetime.
However, it is also an opportunity for candidates to start laying the groundwork for smooth admission to veterinary colleges. They are advised to major in fields relevant to veterinary medicine while participating in activities that can earn them extra accolades.
Most veterinary colleges will also require letters of recommendation from a candidate’s undergraduate program.
Step 3: Earn a DVM
Candidates who complete the veterinary school will earn a doctor of veterinary medicine degree that they will need to practice as professional veterinarians. DVM programs focus on various classroom topics, including animal behavior, animal anatomy, radiology, pharmacology, parasitology, and veterinary physiology.
Step 4: Pass the NAVLE
Along with their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, veterinarians must also practice professionally with a license obtained by passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. This computer-based exam is valid for all states in the country.
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Licensure & Certification Requirements
As a veterinarian in Indiana, you must go through a series of compliance steps to be in good standing with the state veterinary board, officially known as the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medicine.
To receive approval from the board, candidates must pay a $150 fee to obtain a license that will be valid for two years. Candidates must also participate in continuing education of 40 hours every other year to renew this license.
Additionally, individuals must undergo a background check and provide proof of citizenship or alien status. Candidates should also be prepared for a jurisprudence exam.
Top Veterinary Schools in Indiana
The following are some of the most popular destinations for interested individuals in Indiana looking for a solid, accredited veterinary school.
Purdue University in West Lafayette is a highly respected institution across the country. The school boasts an accredited veterinary college focusing on quality education and research.
Candidates accepted into this program can learn under world-class instructors while achieving expertise in classroom and theoretical topics.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University’s College of Vet Medicine is a beautiful neighboring option for aspiring vets in Indiana looking to go beyond the state borders. As expected, the program is accredited by the AVMA and well-respected nationwide.
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Salary & Career Outlook
Aspiring veterinarians in Indiana will be glad to know that the annual average salary for veterinarians in the state is well in line with the national average. This figure of $120,470 is appropriate for those optimizing a few key factors, such as experience, specialization, and location.
For those who have successfully optimized these factors, the annual average salary is $175,989. The yearly average wage is still at least $82,466 for those among the lowest-paid.
The highest paying cities to be a veterinarian in Indiana include West Lafayette, Anderson, and Fishers, with annual average salaries of $141,254, $141,857, and $133,486. Yorktown and Evansville are also in the top five, with average yearly wages of $131,139 and $116,070, respectively.
Indianapolis is just outside the top five, with an annual average salary of $115,906.