How to Become a Vet in Canada

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veterinarian job

Animals are considered family when we bring them inside the house and take care of them day and night. That’s why their health and safety are so important. When it comes to protecting our pets and animals, we always turn to veterinarians for help, especially if it concerns their health and well-being.

Veterinarians have adequate skills and experience in taking care of animals since it is their specialty, and most veterinarians have a deep love for animals. They are known as doctors to our furry friends, but they are also a part of our family as they keep our pets safe and secure. Without them, we wouldn’t know how to take care of these animals ourselves, especially when facing emergency situations.

If you love animals and are dedicated to taking care of them, this job is for you. Here are the things you need to know about becoming a veterinarian in Canada.

Educational Requirements for Veterinarians

Those who want to become veterinarians in Canada must have a bachelor’s degree in science or any other related fields such as medicine, biology, or chemistry. Veterinarians in Canada are not required to have a specific bachelor’s degree, just like any other profession. Still, these fields are mostly recommended since they would help them understand the critical components in veterinary science.

Both courses require them to have at least years of studies in veterinary science and a related discipline. They must have at least two years of pre-veterinary university studies, as mentioned above. However, veterinary medicine is also offered, and most people who want to become veterinarians usually take this route.

Licensing and Other Professional Requirements for Veterinarians

Veterinarians have regulated professions in Canada. Thus, they must get a certification from their jurisdiction’s regulatory authority before they can practice their profession and provide services to clients. Also, they must complete the national certification examinations and gain a license to practice as veterinarians.

This is called a Certificate of Qualification. The processes may vary depending on the situation. Those who earned their DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) through any accredited program can get their Certificate of Qualification upon passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.

Alternatively, they must pass the Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination and the Clinical Proficiency Examination as well as the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.

Veterinarian Skills, Knowledge, and Other Requirements

Aside from the licenses, registration, and educational requirements, veterinarians must have other skills and knowledge that would be very useful in their practice of the profession.

First, they must have a lot of experience handling animals and doing essential duties for veterinarians under the immediate supervision of a registered and licensed veterinarian. They don’t need to complete a strict number of hours, but it is recommended that they gain as much experience as they can possibly get.

With enough experience, they can become more competitive and highly competent compared to other veterinarians and this is also the best way to ensure the dedication of an aspiring veterinarian to veterinary medicine and taking care of animals even more.

Those who intend to enter any research positions in veterinary medicine must attend postgraduate studies before they can pursue the research positions they wish to enter.

Veterinarians must do many varied tasks for their patients, so having several skill sets can help them advance their careers. Some of these tasks include treating sick or injured animals through prescribing medications, dressing wounds, performing surgery, or setting bones.

They should also diagnose diseases or abnormal conditions in animals through physical examinations or laboratory tests and be able to administer vaccinations to prevent animals from getting sick and treat diseases accordingly.

Veterinarians should also have extensive knowledge of medicine, therapy and counseling, client service, business administration, law, government, jurisprudence, public safety and security, biology, and chemistry.

Additional requirements include having fluency in both English and French, especially in Quebec.

Salary and Wages

Veterinarians working in Canada earn similar wages to those who are also in the medical field. The average hourly salary figures are not available as of this writing, but average yearly salaries are public.

A typical veterinarian working in Canada earns from $30,229 a year to $85,074 a year. However, some senior and more experienced veterinarians earn all the way up to $139,667 a year.

Please note that the figures mentioned above are only rough estimates, and not every veterinarian earns the same amount each year. It does not include incentives, bonuses, and other perks and benefits that they receive each year.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.