In the United States, aspiring veterinarians typically attend college for 4 years for a bachelor's degree and then spend another 4 or 5 years in veterinary school. The length of the educational program varies by school and individual curriculum needs.

In veterinary school, students become well-versed in the veterinary sciences, including courses such as biology, chemistry, animal anatomy, physiology, animal behavior and training. They also learn clinical skills such as surgery and preventative medicine practices. Veterinarians can specialize in treating specific animals, such as companion animals like dogs and cats, exotic animals like birds and snakes, horses and other domesticated species.

After school is completed, graduates are rewarded the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and must take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. After passing this examination and meeting any additional state requirements, the graduate can practice as a board-certified veterinarian.