There is no doubt that veterinary school is expensive. Tuition for a Texas resident at our vet school is over $10,000 per semester. Luckily, there are many scholarships and loans available to vet students to help offset the cost of our education. Another avenue to help earn money for vet school is having a part-time or summer job. These jobs often help equip vet students with clinical, communication, and leadership skills, while offering some extra cash.
One job opportunity is to work as a VetMed Student Ambassador. As part of my job, I get to talk about veterinary medicine to people of all different ages and backgrounds who visit our College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Giving tours to visitors also familiarizes me with our teaching hospitals where fourth-year vet students spend most of their time. Applications for being a VetMed Ambassador for 2016-2017 are currently available for biomedical sciences undergraduates and vet students at Be an Ambassador.
Many of my classmates work part-time as technicians at our small animal or large animal teaching hospitals. These students work closely with board-certified specialist veterinarians. They also get to see many interesting and complicated diseases that we learn about in our curriculum, and they practice skills such as placing catheters, prepping for surgery, taking radiographs, and many other clinically important techniques. Other students gain this clinical experience through working or externing in other veterinary practices or participating in summer job programs.
Another part-time job opportunity is working as a student representative for a pet food or medical companies. Student representatives arrange for speakers to come present information about their companies’ therapeutic diets or new diagnostic tests. Thanks to student representatives, veterinary students are aware of new products that come on the market. Next year, I am looking forward to being the student rep for a company that sells food and toys for small mammals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Since I want to be a small animal and exotics vet, I will treat many of these small mammals after I graduate.
An additional category of part-time veterinary jobs for vet students are teaching positions. Third-year vet students are hired to teach cow, horse, or ostrich husbandry to first year vet students as part of the first year clinical correlates class. Some second-year students work with the summer anatomy workshop, teaching basic canine anatomy to incoming vet students. These types of jobs help vet students review the information they learned in previous years while getting to help other vet students learn.
These are just a few of the many job opportunities available to vet students. Although it can sometimes be challenging to balance classes, studying, and student organizations with a part-time job, employment during vet school can be a rewarding, fun, and educational experience!