How to Become a Veterinarian in Oklahoma

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Veterinarians in Oklahoma are trained to work with various animals, providing medical care and rehabilitation. The profession is wonderful for individuals in the state with a love for animals and a passion for helping put a smile on pet owners’ faces.

Below, we have provided a comprehensive guide detailing everything aspiring veterinarians in Oklahoma must know to start their careers properly. We have included a step-by-step outline of the process and a detailed look at some important aspects, including certification and licensure.

Candidates will also discover some top accredited programs in and around the state to consider, along with the salary projection throughout their hopefully long careers.

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Oklahoma

Below are the steps needed to become a veterinarian in Oklahoma.

Step 1: Graduating from an Undergraduate Program

Aspiring veterinarians nationwide, including in Oklahoma, are expected to graduate from an Undergraduate program and earn a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in veterinary school.

During this time, they must consider programs involving biology, chemistry, physiology, microbiology, and other related courses. It is worth mentioning, however, that certain vet schools don’t care what a candidate’s undergraduate major is.

Step 2: Complete a DVM Program

The most important step in becoming a veterinarian in Oklahoma is earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. To do this, candidates must attend an accredited school, of which there are very few nationwide.

Thanks to the competition, candidates are expected to do everything they can to stand out, including having a strong undergraduate record. The time spent in vet school will involve training in key areas such as animal anatomy, ophthalmology, pharmacology, and parasitology.

Students can also participate in clinical rotations during their final year.

Step 3: Pass the NAVLE

The North American Veterinary Licensing Exam is mandatory for all aspiring veterinarians nationwide. It is a computer-based exam consisting of 360 multiple-choice questions.

Candidates must pass this exam to be considered full-fledged veterinarians. The convention is for vet school students to take the exam during their senior year.

Step 4: Further Training

Veterinarians in Oklahoma often undergo specialty training to select a specific area of practice, including equine, zoo, and exotic animal veterinary medicine. This would also serve as a way to become certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

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Licensure & Certification Requirements

The Oklahoma Veterinary Board is responsible for issuing veterinary licenses in the state. Veterinarians here are expected to pay a $155.25 fee for their licenses, valid for 1 year. Those licensed for more than 5 years are expected to pay $647 for the licensing fee.

Renewing a veterinary license in the state will also require 20 hours of continuing education every year.

Candidates will be glad that the state does not conduct background checks for a license to be issued. However, applicants must provide their transcripts, work history, and citizenship/alien status proof.

The state also carries out a jurisprudence exam for which candidates must pay a $150 fee.

Top Veterinary Schools in Oklahoma

Aspiring veterinarians in Oklahoma may consider any accredited options below for their top-class training.

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University in Stillwater offers the only veterinary program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The program is among the country’s highest-ranked and offers comprehensive training in a wonderful environment.

By completing the program, candidates will have mastered all the classroom and real-world skills needed to secure employment and succeed.

Notable Mentions

Other notable mentions include Langston University College of Veterinary Medicine, which was previously accredited in 2014 and is regaining its accreditation status.

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Salary & Career Outlook

As a veterinarian in Oklahoma just starting, earning an annual average salary of around $88,042 is common. This is in line with the national average. Of course, some veterinarians in the state earn more than this, while some earn less.

For example, those among the highest-paid in the state manage an annual average salary of up to $142,039, while those among the lowest-paid may still expect to take home around $54,572 annually.

Concerning the best places to work as a veterinarian in Oklahoma (in terms of annual average salary), they include Edmond, with an annual average salary of $144,510; Stillwater, with an annual average salary of $128,426; and Lawton, with an annual average salary of $88,248.

Veterinarians in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are among the top five highest earners in the state, with annual average salaries of $82,584 and $74,342, respectively.