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Relief veterinarians in California enjoy the beach

Why Become a Relief Vet in Florida?

The Sunshine State is a great place for relief veterinarians to work and play. While exotic pets make the news, a relief vet in Florida will mostly work on traditional dogs and cats. Don’t let the hype about Burmese pythons and alligators scare you from considering relief work in Florida.

Becoming a relief vet in Florida is pretty straightforward. You will have to provide:

  • An active license for over 3 years
  • Proof of licensure from any other state where you have been licensed
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an AVMA-accredited school

In addition to these documents, you will need to pass a Florida rules and laws exam. The license application costs $355 and the exam is just under $20. You can get started at the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

The big question for a relief vet in Florida is how much you’ll earn. While rates can vary, a standard salaried veterinarian in Florida earns on average $115,400 annually. That’s just above the national average salary for a DVM.

Like Texas, Florida has no state income tax. That makes it a very attractive state to work in. In contrast, Georgia has a flat 5.375% income tax. The cost of living varies increases as you get closer to large cities like Orlando and Miami and lowers in more rural areas.

Veterinarians in Florida face similar types of situations as the rest of the country. Small animal practice is the leading type of work, but there’s also demand for exotic animal care.

Each clinic can have a different focus. Some veterinary practices focus on preventative care, including vaccinations and spay/neuter procedures. Emergency hospitals tend to see more surgery.

As a relief veterinarian, you can expect to perform a wide variety of relief work. At Holiday Vet, we try to optimize your preferences with the services offered by the small animal practice or animal hospital we place you with.

Tampa and Miami tie for the most veterinarians per capita not just in the state of Florida, but throughout the country. But don’t just look at those cities. Clinics in the surrounding area need relief vets, like Broward County near Miami or St Petersburg and the rest of Tampa Bay.

The largest city in Florida, Jacksonville, is home to about 400 veterinarians. That’s not a lot of doctors for a big city! Practice owners will be under pressure to stay open, even in cases of maternity leave, and relief doctors can save the day.

Rounding out the list of top places to find relief work in Florida is Orlando. The fourth-largest city in Florida swells with tourists, some of whom bring their pets. Emergency hospitals serving tourists can be an option for relief shifts.

Millions of tourists flock to Florida for sandy beaches, vibrant cities, and of course, amazing worlds of imagination and fantasy. Mild weather year-round makes Florida a lovely place to visit any time. You’ll enjoy Florida’s warm welcome and friendly people as much as the sights.

In the 1950s, Walt Disney made the dreams of his animated films reality with the opening of Disneyland in California. Twenty years later, Disney World in Orlando, FL opened to the public. Now encompassing four theme parks, Disney World welcomes more than 58 million fans per year.

A special highlight for relief veterinarians visiting Disney would be the Animal Kingdom. With more than 1,700 animals in the park, it’s great for vets and animal lovers. Unfortunately, since the Animal Kingdom requires AZA accreditation instead of a DVM, relief shifts at the park are nearly impossible to book.

Following in Disney’s footsteps, Universal Studios opened in the 1990s. They added Harry Potter’s Wizarding World in 2014. SeaWorld and LEGOLAND round out the brand name options in the Orlando area.

For veterinarians more interested in roller coasters than characters, Busch Gardens in Tampa is a nice change of pace.

Going to the parks is an adventure in and of itself, with large crowds and long lines. Funding a trip to Disney can be a challenge. Taking shifts as a relief vet in Florida can help defray the costs of these incredible experiences.

Miami is the star for hot city adventures. Known for cool white architecture and spicy international flavor, you’ll fill your days with amazing restaurants and fun at the beach. Stroll through the Wynwood neighborhood for stunning visual arts or Little Havana for a slice of Cuba right in the US.

Jobs for a relief vet in Broward County as well as Miami itself are plentiful, so it’s easy to fund your Miami vacation by covering an associate veterinarian’s maternity leave, for example.

If you like a slow pace and history, swing by St Augustine on the northeast Florida coast. The oldest continuously-inhabited city in the US, St Augustine charms visitors with Old World architecture and a laid-back pace.

Florida has a fantastic array of natural sights for relief vets looking for peace and relaxation – or a great adventure. With three national parks and almost 2,000 miles of coastline, there’s a lot of ways to get away from it all.

The most popular options are water-based: paddling, surfing, snorkeling and diving all have healthy communities and plenty of spots to indulge. Try kayaking in the mangroves of the Everglades or surfing around Palm Beach’s Reef Road.

Fishing is also incredibly popular. From a pole off the shore to deep-water hunts for marlin and tarpon, fishing is fun and accessible. Small bait shops will give you great information on tides and what’s biting, or hire a guide to give you the white-glove treatment.

Land-based activities abound as well. Search for shark teeth on the beaches near Venice, or visit manatees at one of the many parks and reserves for the what some call the inspiration for mermaids.

Do you want to fund your Florida vacation through relief vet jobs? Whether you prefer surgery or preventative care, let our relief service find the right clinic or animal hospital for you.