For anyone who would like to make a living saving the lives of animals and giving them the much-needed care they require, a career as a veterinarian is one of the most appealing options.
In Nevada, veterinarians are well-rewarded for their efforts and are always in demand. The state also boasts respectable training programs in and around it to make the journey as smooth and straightforward as possible for interested candidates.
Below, we look extensively at everything you need to start a successful veterinary career in Nevada, including the essential requirements and the possible salary projections.
Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Nevada
The following steps are needed to kick-start a successful veterinary career in Nevada.
Step 1: Starting from High School Preparation
As most practicing veterinarians would advise, the best time to start preparing for a career as a veterinarian is straight from high school. Grades are important, so good grades from high school should be a priority.
Students should also pay special attention to critical mathematics, biology, and chemistry classes. As for extracurricular activities, any club or event focusing on leadership and animal experience will also be highly beneficial for extracurricular activities.
Step 2: Enrolling in a Degree Program
Veterinary school is a four-year program AFTER college, meaning that candidates must first earn a bachelor’s degree before gaining admission into an accredited vet school. To prepare for their journey after college, candidates are advised to participate in extracurricular activities and acquire some form of experience working in a veterinary setup before graduating.
Additionally, veterinary schools can require candidates to major in specific courses before admission can be given. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges records the course preferences of some notable veterinary colleges in the country.
Step 3: Enrolling in a Veterinary School
The veterinary school takes four years to complete and is the final training step in the journey to becoming a veterinarian in Nevada. The state of Nevada does not have any Veterinary College accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
However, candidates may consider neighboring alternatives outlined in one of the upcoming sections below.
During their time in a veterinary college – particularly in the final year – vet students must pass a national licensing examination known as the North American Veterinary License Exam (NAVLE). This is mandatory to practice as a veterinarian anywhere in the country.
When choosing a vet college, it is imperative to choose one that the American Veterinary Medical Association accredits.
Step 4: Choosing a Specialty
Veterinarians can practice in several specialty areas, including small animal veterinary medicine, large animal veterinary medicine, equine, zoo, and exotic animal veterinary medicine.
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Licensure & Certification Requirements
As a veterinarian in Nevada, the NAVLE is not the only license to worry about. Candidates must also pay a $200 fee to receive a state license from the Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
This license is valid for one year, after which it has to be renewed through 20 hours of continuing education. Receiving the license does not require a background check but involves providing transcripts and proof of citizenship. Candidates must also pass a jurisprudence exam.
Top Veterinary Schools in Nevada
While Nevada has no accredited veterinary school, candidates may consider the neighboring options listed below.
University of California, Davis, is one of the top veterinary schools in the country. Accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, candidates in neighboring Nevada may consider the school one of their top destinations.
Western University of Health Sciences
Another accredited vet school in California, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, offers rigorous education and access to expert faculty and local veterinary establishments.
Other neighboring options include the Oregon State University in Oregon, Midwestern University, and the University of Arizona in Arizona.
Consider exploring veterinarian schools in neighboring states:
Salary & Career Outlook
The annual salary for veterinarians in Nevada is $131,130 — the same as the national average. Veterinarians in the state who are among the highest paid will earn even more at an average of $190,223 annually.
Those among the lowest paid still earn no less than an average of $90,395 every year. What’s more, by optimizing factors such as experience, specialization, location, and establishment of employment, they can also climb the salary ladder and find themselves among the highest paid.
Concerning location, Elko, Henderson, and Winchester are the highest-paying cities to be a veterinarian in Nevada. These locations boast annual average salaries of $142,350, $139,441, and $136,935, respectively.
Among the top five are Las Vegas and Spring Creek, with annual average salaries of $132,488 and $129,617, respectively.