Careers and Outcomes

Be a caretaker for animals

Student handling a horse.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Do you love science, staying active and helping animals?

Make that your living.

Our pre-vet program can lead you toward your dream job: Being a veterinarian.

What does a veterinarian do?

The work you do is like what physicians and doctors do for humans.

As a veterinarian, your top priority is to protect, promote and improve the health of animals – pets, livestock and others.

You diagnose conditions, treat issues and provide overall care. Job duties may include:

  • Dentistry
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Microchipping
  • Parasite control
  • Vaccination

You can also perform surgery, address illness and injury and prescribe medication.

It doesn’t stop there – some veterinarians also expand into research, education and public health.

How do you become a veterinarian?

You need to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree at an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine.

You do this after you complete your required undergraduate courses.

In the United States, there are 33 accredited programs that offer a DVM degree. Our pre-veterinary program prepares you to apply to these accredited programs to complete your DVM degree.

Most pre-vet students at Missouri State go on to earn their DVM degree at Mizzou.

Wherever you choose to go, our pre-veterinary program prepares you to succeed.

Your pre-veterinary curriculum (courses) have a strong foundation in science, which gets you ready for what you’ll see in veterinary school.


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Job outlook for veterinarians

Good news: If you decide to become a veterinarian, your services will be in high demand.

More and more veterinarians are reaching retirement age. Not enough new veterinarians are entering the job market.

Job growth


Jobs for veterinarians are expected to grow 17% over the next 10 years, much faster than the national average.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Average annual salary for veterinarians. Your specific salary can vary depending on where you live, work and how much experience you have.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Where can you work as a veterinarian?

The most common workplaces are hospitals and private clinics.

But you’re not limited to just there.

Potential job settings with a DVM degree include:

  • Corporations/businesses that provide veterinary care
  • Farms and ranches
  • Food health and food safety
  • Government
  • Private practices (clinics)
  • Public health/public policy
  • Research
  • Shelters and public agencies
  • Teaching and education

You can work indoors, outdoors or in remote settings.

Career options outside of veterinary medicine

An important part of our pre-vet program: It prepares you for other animal-related careers.

If you take pre-vet but end up deciding veterinary medicine isn’t for you, you’ll still have a strong backup plan to do something else.

Through pre-vet, you’re able to complete a bachelor’s degree in animal science.

Your bachelor’s degree helps you pursue other graduate programs or enter the workforce right away.