Just like human doctors, some veterinarians choose to specialize in a specific type of veterinary medicine. Veterinarian specialists specialize in a specific type of animal that they treat, a specific type of medicine or a specific type of surgery. Currently, there are over 20 different specializations recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, ranging from zoo medicine to anesthesiology.
What are the different types of veterinary specialists?
There are 22 specializations of veterinary medicine certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinarians choose to be specialists in eye diseases, behavior, internal medicine, surgery, dentistry and other areas. There are also veterinary practitioners who specialize in treating a specific species of animal, such as birds, horses, cats and dogs.
How do you become a veterinary specialist?
In order to become a standard veterinarian, you must complete a four-year undergraduate degree program, typically in a science-based program such as zoology or pre-med. Admission to veterinary schools is extremely competitive, and applicants often apply to multiple schools. After graduating from vet school, you must undergo extensive training in your preferred area of specialization in order to become a veterinarian specialist.
Where do veterinary specialists work?
The location where veterinary specialists work depends on their specialization. Veterinarians who specialize in treating a specific species of house pet, such as dogs, cats, or birds often work at veterinary clinics with other specialists. Specialists who are experts in wild animal behavior or surgery often work at zoos or wildlife research foundations.
What is the average salary of veterinary specialists?
Although veterinary specialists just starting out in the field earn about half of what non-specialists do, they far surpass them in long-term income. While going through their two to three-year post-graduate internship program, veterinary specialists earn an average of $27,782 per year. However, when veterinary specialists have gained experience in the field their average salary is above $100,000 per year.
Veterinary specialists are essential to the well-being of animals. If you are looking into becoming a veterinary specialist, there are plenty of openings in the field, although it is a long and difficult road to affluence.