Veterinarians don’t just save the lives of pets and exotic animals; they also bring happiness to the lives of many pet owners everywhere.
Becoming a veterinarian in Texas involves significant education and other requirements that can get tricky. You don’t have to worry, however, because, in the guide below, we lay down all of these steps in a succession of simple yet comprehensive passages.
We also look at some of the top veterinary programs in the state for interested individuals to consider, along with the possible salary to expect and the career projection for the field over the coming decade.
And hey, if you’re interested in other related careers, consider considering becoming a veterinary assistant in Texas. It’s another excellent way to work with animals and make a difference.
Steps To Become a Veterinarian in Texas
Below are the necessary steps for becoming a veterinarian in Texas:
Prerequisite - High School and College Requirements
Veterinarians usually have to enroll in a college before moving on to a veterinarian school. The four years they spend in college obtaining a bachelor’s degree typically go a long way in preparing them for the journey that is to come in vet school.
This is also not to mention that most vet schools require applicants to have taken courses in college involving biochemistry, microbiology, and various animal sciences.
Classes in English, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities also extensively prepare them for the job’s business, human relations, and interaction aspects.
Veterinary School Requirements
After completing their college programs, aspiring veterinarians can then get on with the significant issue of enrolling in a veterinary school. Currently, there are only around 30 AVMA-approved vet schools in the country, which makes it very competitive to secure admission into this program.
Having a bachelor’s degree helps a lot, as does having a strong GPA.
It is also advisable to get a very high score in the graduate record exam, a standardized test that also helps increase chances of admission. Additionally, having letters of recommendation, a strong personal statement, and around 100 hours of volunteer experience in a veterinary institution can also be a significant advantage.
Veterinary Licensing & Specialization
Before graduating from veterinary school, aspiring veterinarians must earn a general veterinary license by passing the North American Veterinary License Exam (NAVLE).
This exam is mandatory and includes 360 multiple-choice questions that are all computer-based. After graduation, veterinarians will also want to pick a specialty to help them stand out. Some of the most popular specialty fields include small animal, large animal, exotic, and mixed-practice veterinary medicine.
Additionally, joining a professional organization should also be considered, as it often offers many benefits such as connection, networking, publication, and continuing education resources.
Texas State Requirements: Licensure and Certification
After completing the above steps, the next important thing for an aspiring veterinarian in Texas to consider is the state requirements.
The state board responsible for licensing veterinarians in Texas is the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. The board requires proof of graduation from an approved college of veterinary medicine along with the candidate’s NAVLE score.
From there, candidates must officially apply for their license by paying a $515 application fee.
After completing the jurisprudence exam, a license will be issued, which must be renewed every year through 17 hours of continuing education. Candidates must also pass a background check before being given a permit.
Top Veterinary Schools in Texas
The following are the two AVMA-approved Colleges of vet Medicine in Texas:
1. Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University offers rigorous training in several veterinary specializations, including large animal clinical sciences, small animal clinical sciences, veterinary integrative bioscience, and veterinary pathobiology.
The school also boasts of a world-class veterinary medical teaching Hospital.
2. Texas Tech University
Another AVMA-approved option for residents of Texas to consider is the School of Veterinary Medicine at Texas Tech University. The school is known for its high-quality training facilities and excellent instructors.
Texas Veterinarian Salary and Job Outlook
In Texas, veterinarians earn an annual average salary of $126,000, practically the same as the national average for other states. The top 10% of veterinarians in the state earn an average yearly salary of $185,350, while the bottom 10% earn an annual average wage of $85,643.
Factors that can influence how much a veterinarian earns in Texas include their experience level, company, area of specialization, and location within the state.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area remains the highest-paying location for veterinarians in Texas, with an annual average salary of $134,379. Katy and Cedar Park follow with an average salary of $126,888 and $125,880 per year respectively.
Houston and Fort Worth round up the top five with annual average salaries of $125,622 and $123,554, respectively.