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A veterinarian, or vet, is a person in charge of the medical needs of animals including pets, livestock and zoo animals. A vet commonly diagnoses and treats illness and injuries and performs medical procedures on animals.


As of May 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average annual salary of $96,140 for all veterinarians. Ten percent of vets made at or below $53,270 per year. At the top end, 10 percent made at or above $149,530 per year.


Become a veterinarian by taking the right undergraduate classes, keeping up a good GPA, volunteering with a veterinarian and getting letters of recommendation from professors. Taking the GRE, applying to veterinary school and finishing school are the final steps in becoming a vet.


Generally, a doctorate of veterinary medicine takes four years to complete beyond the four years of an undergraduate university degree. After earning a DVM, candidates must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam to practice veterinary medicine in the United States.


Becoming a veterinarian takes at least eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This time includes a bachelor's degree and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. It is possible to get into veterinary school without a degree, but applicants usually have a bachelor's degree.


Online veterinarians are widely available for consultation. Many offer around-the-clock consultation, seven days a week. These services are particularly useful for emergency situations that require an immediate answer.


Veterinary assistants must earn a high school diploma or equivalent to gain employment. Previous experience working with animals may provide assistants with additional employment opportunities.


Mortgage and small business loans are available for veterans, notes both Veterans United and the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loan types offer various interest rates and payment terms.


Students wishing to obtain a doctor of veterinary medicine degree must complete a four-year undergraduate degree and a four-year doctoral degree. Many of the specializations within a doctor of veterinary medicine degree may require additional coursework.


As of 2105, Evergreen Veterinary Clinic on East Capitol Expressway in San Jose, California, offers free consultations with a veterinarian by calling 408-238-0690, according to the clinic. VCA Animal Hospitals offer free initial pet health exams at their hospitals located throughout the United States