I would recommend going to your nearby vet clinic to see if they are hiring individuals as interns or assistants. Tell them that you're interested in becoming a vet and would like to know what the day-to-day life is like. If they can't hire you, they might let you shadow them for a day or two to see what they do. Or they could possibly tell you about their job if you have questions you would like to ask.
A similar process would apply to any job you would be interested in.
Courtland recommends the following next steps:
I hated vet school. I cried a lot. It is very competitive. It is very hard. When we finally got to rotations it was a lot more fun because we were hands on.
As a vet, the industry has changed incredibly since I first started working. Our clients are demanding, social media is a double edged sword, we don't get paid as much as people think, hours can be grueling. Beside that, the tech industry is trying to override a lot of our medical experience to monetize people's obsession with their pets. It's tough!You have to be smart and strong to succeed as a vet.
There is a high burnout rate and suicide rate in this field.
If you are considering vet med, work at clinic for a summer. Shadow at a referral hospital. Poke your head into different veterinary environments so you can see if it's worth it for you.
It sounds like I hate my job. BUT when I am in the ER I am saving a life or when I am in private practice and I can educate my clients about what is going on with their pet and how we can treat them, I feel like it's worth it.
Anyway, good luck!!!!
To become a vet you will need to first get your bachelor's degree (4+ years of college) preferably majoring in some type of science. Then you'll have to test to get into Veterinary school. If accepted, you'll spend another 4+ years getting your DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). In between all that you'll need to be doing animal related internships (vet clinics, zoos, etc). Time wise you need to be able to commit to at least 8-10 years of college to become a vet.
A Bachelor's Degree at a 4 year university or college will cost you about $120,000+, unless you get scholarships and/or grants. You can save about $50,000 by taking your basic classes (history, math, English, science, etc) at a community/junior college. But once you continue on to get your DVM, you're looking at another $120,000+. So, in addition to the time commitment of 8+ years in college, you'll be looking to pay possibly $240,000+ in tuition and other related fees.
So the question to you is, do you enjoy school enough to endure 8-10 years in college and are you willing to potentially go $240,000 into debt to get your DVM degree?
I would strongly suggest that while you are in high school, you intern at a vet clinic to make sure it is your passion. You might also consider doing an internship at a zoo while you're getting your Bachelor's degree.
I attended a career high school and was in their vet med program. I thought I wanted to be a Vet until I did an internship at a vet clinic. I found that it was mostly dealing with cats and dogs, and it was pretty much the same thing every day. I found it tedious and boring. While I was interning at the vet clinic during high school, I was also volunteering at a zoo. I found that I absolutely loved working outside and with exotic animals. I ended up becoming a zookeeper and after 2 years I'm now the Lead Zookeeper at a private zoo. I also have my own pet sitting business.
Zookeepers don't make anywhere near what a Vet makes but you can become a zookeeper with a Bachelor's Degree. I was able to bypass the Bachelor's Degree because I took 10 animal science classes and had 600+ hours internship in at at vet clinic all before graduating high school. The owner of the zoo I volunteered at considered that my high school classes and internship experience combined with the fact that I had volunteered at the zoo for 3 years during high school, was enough experience and education to replace the need for a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science. Plus I started my own pet sitting business in high school, which I have now expanded and it's very successful. But as a result of everything I did in high school, I got hired as a zookeeper straight out of high school, and ended up getting a degree in Business Management while I was working at the zoo. The Business Management degree qualifies me to supervise and manage the other zookeepers, volunteers, and interns, which is how I am Lead Zookeeper after only 2 years. I only mention this because I want you to understand that if you want something bad enough, there are always alternate routes in getting there. (Except to be a Vet...you can't do that without all that college)
Courtney recommends the following next steps: