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Marine vets, also referred to as aquatic veterinarians, are expert healthcare professionals who deal with marine life like sea turtles, fishes, cephalopods (like squid, and octopus), and other kinds of marine wildlife as well as aquatic mammals.
What does the job of a marine vet involve?
While the job profile of a marine vet might vary compared to a regular mobile vet in Portland who treats your pets at home, it is no less exciting. The work of marine or aquatic vets involves a variety of responsibilities like treating both wild and domestic aquatic animals, addressing the medical needs of animals that live in fresh and saline water, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, dressing injuries and wounds, and carrying out surgical procedures. Marine vets also need to be prepared for emergency responses, like other vets.
How do you become a marine vet?
The demand for trained and expert marine vets is always high, with a projected growth rate of almost 16 percent, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you aspire to become an aquatic veterinarian, you need to complete certain steps in terms of academics.
Step 1: You need to acquire some academic experience in subjects like marine biology or zoology so that you can secure a seat in a reputed marine veterinary college. An undergraduate degree might not be necessary for this. Make sure to check out the prerequisites for applying to an aquatic or marine veterinary institution under the Veterinary Medical College Application Service and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
Step 2: Complete your Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from a college that offers the relevant program.
Step 3: Follow up your degree with a residency or internship program. You might consider applying to marine zoos and aquariums for this. Internships are generally available easily for those who have earned their Degree in Veterinary Medicine. But some institutions also accept final-year veterinary candidates. Internships can be for 3 years.
Step 4: You must procure the certification or license mandatory for veterinary practice, irrespective of your specialization. For that, you have to crack the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Going for relevant or additional certifications boosts your employment prospects.
Step 5: Once you have your marine vet degree and license, you can apply for jobs. You might also consider some on-the-job training to hone your expertise before you land your dream job as a mobile vet.
Step 6: You should maintain your credentials through continued studies or education. Staying updated about the latest developments and research is crucial to excelling in the field of marine veterinarian practice.
You can find plenty of suitable study programs in marine veterinary medicine, offered by top colleges in the US; so pick and choose according to your aspirations and needs. Make sure to check the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements for the complete list of medical schools and how to apply.
Qualified marine vets are in much demand among reputed organizations globally. You can not only look forward to lucrative earning potential as a marine vet but also expect a highly fulfilling and prestigious career path.