Career Path Spotlight: Horse Veterinarian

Lacey Hawkins discusses the career path that a veterinarian must take.

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Many horse owners would love to become an equine veterinarian. These vets specialize in treating horses, which can be an ideal job for someone with a scientific mind and a passion for helping these animals. To become a horse veterinarian, you need to follow these steps.

Bachelor’s Degree

Every veterinarian needs to get a Bachelor’s Degree in order to access higher education. Usually, you will study a science, such as biology, zoology, or chemistry. If a particular scientific field piques your interest, even if it can be applied to both animals and humans, you can look into specializing in that area.


Internships are required for many undergraduate programs, and this is a great opportunity to intern with a veterinarian. Even if you can’t get an internship in equine medicine, you may be able to find a general veterinarian to work with, which will still increase your knowledge in the field.

Veterinary Medicine Degree

Just like any doctor, a veterinarian needs a specialized degree in the field in order to practice. You will typically earn your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in about four years. For the first two years, you can expect more classroom training, while the latter two years are spent getting hands-on experience in clinical clerkships and rotations.

Earn Your License

Like other medical professionals, you need a license in order to practice veterinary medicine. You will take the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam and, upon completion, will be allowed to legally practice in your state. If you wish to move to another state, you may have to obtain different licenses.

Begin Your Career

After you have completed your schooling and are now licensed, you may practice veterinary medicine. You can join a practice, or you may choose to start your own practice. Although you now should focus on building your client base, you should not neglect your studies. Any veterinarian will need to stay on top of emerging research to best help their patients.

Complete A Specialty

Finally, you can decide whether you might want to specialize in a particular area of veterinary science. For example, you may want to specialize in surgery, nutrition, or dentistry. There are a number of specialties that you can complete, although it does require additional schooling and licensure.

Once you have completed each of these steps, you are qualified to practice veterinary medicine in your state. If being an equine veterinarian is your dream, it can easily become a reality with some hard work and dedication.

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