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Colorado is a great place to be a veterinarian if you love outdoor living and adventure. Whether you’re a new graduate or a highly experienced veterinarian surgeon, you can expect excellent salaries and a laidback lifestyle.
Colorado – like much of the United States – has a well-documented veterinarian shortage, and there are opportunities across the state in urban and rural locations. Colorado has high standards of animal welfare and opportunities to work with small domestic animals or with livestock.
Veterinarian Salaries in Colorado
- The average salary for associate veterinarians in Colorado is $124,479.
- Entry-level salaries start at $81,962.
- Highly experienced Colorado veterinarians can expect to earn, on average, $189,053.
What’s it like to live in Colorado?
Colorado is known for its spectacular mountains, making it an attractive destination for lovers of the great outdoors. Winters are mild, and summers hot, and there are plenty of adventurous escapes in the Rocky Mountains. Colorado residents enjoy world-class skiing, hiking and climbing, amongst other outdoor pursuits.
Sports fans will find plenty to cheer for with Denver’s numerous sports teams. And there are year-round festivals, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Salida’s FibArk. Colorado also hosts the country’s largest beer festival, and there’s a dynamic food and drink scene with plenty of high-class produce.
However, the arid climate and living at altitude won’t suit everybody. And the cost of living has risen steadily as outsiders discover the attractions of living and working in the Centennial State.
What are the Best Cities/Areas to Work as a Veterinarian in Colorado?
There’s a big shortage of veterinarians in rural areas, with around one-third of the 64 counties lacking care for livestock, including dairy and beef cattle, hogs and sheep.
Domestic animal veterinarians should head for the larger cities of Denver and Colorado Springs. If you’re seeking an excellent work-life balance, Telluride and Aspen offer a laidback lifestyle with plenty of opportunities for veterinarians of all levels of experience.
What are the Licensing Requirements for DVM Jobs in Colorado?
Colorado veterinarians need to be licensed before practicing in-state. Your license has a two-year validity, and you’ll be expected to undertake thirty-two hours biennially of continuing education.
There’s no reciprocity in licensing arrangements, and no temporary licenses are available. However, foreign undergraduates are accepted, and you’ll be expected to provide transcripts of your qualifications.
To get licensed as a veterinarian in Colorado, you’ll need to provide:
- Proof of citizenship or status
- AVMA, ECFVG or PAVE for foreign graduates
- Your diploma
- NAVLE or NBE & CCT – VIVA scores
- License verification letter of good standing
- Licensing fee
Why Work as a Veterinarian in Colorado?
- Above-average salaries and opportunities for a fantastic work-life balance
- Vets are highly in demand across the state, particularly in rural areas with opportunities for livestock care.
- Excellent quality of life with a laidback lifestyle and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure.
- Highly ranked for animal welfare and excellent veterinarian schools offer opportunities for personal development and training.
- World-class skiing, climbing and hiking, plus the US’s biggest beer festival and a vibrant cultural scene.