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Become a Relief Veterinarian in Illinois

Illinois vet relief services

Veterinarians looking for more flexibility and better conditions should consider becoming a relief veterinarian in Illinois. The majority of relief vet positions are in the Chicago metropolitan area, which covers not only Chicago and its suburbs but also southern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana. The St Louis metro area also has high demand for relief vets, and rural areas may actually need Illinois relief veterinarians the most.

Working as a Relief Veterinarian in Illinois

As an Illinois relief veterinarian, you’ll see a variety of diseases and conditions. The climate is moderate in spring and summer, with cold, snowy winters. Some common issues may include:

  • Flea and tick treatment
  • Heartworm
  • Ringworm
  • Bites and scratches from other animals
  • Dentistry

There is a low risk of heat-related illnesses and a medium risk of cold-related conditions. 

Licensing Requirements for Relief Veterinarians in Illinois

If you are in a border state and looking to expand into Illinois, or if you’re relocating, Illinois has pretty standard licensing requirements. As with many other states, you can receive your Illinois veterinary license through examination or endorsement. In the case of endorsement, there is no minimum time that you have to have been in practice, unlike other states. 

The fee is only $100 for your veterinary license, and another $5 for your controlled substances license. Your veterinary license is valid for a maximum of 2 years – it expires in January of every odd-numbered year.

Wage and Tax Information

Map of pay rates for relief veterinarians in Illinois.

The mean salary for veterinarians in Illinois was $102,550 in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Illinois’s state income tax rate is 4.95%. Illinois pays the most out of the bordering states. The next highest average annual wage is Indiana at $99,210. Indiana does have lower taxes, at 3.23%. 

Looking at metropolitan areas, there’s a neat surprise. The Chicago metro area does not lead the pack in wages. Rockford, IL, boasts an average wage of $118,500 vs Chicago’s $106,960.  The lowest average salary is $89,980 in east central Illinois, along the Indiana border southeast of Springfield. 

Of course, areas outside of the Chicago metro area are going to have, generally, lower costs of living, especially housing costs. Also note that relief rates are often higher than salaried veterinarians, and we’re looking at on-staff vets in this data.

Special Notes for Chicago Relief Veterinarians

Relief veterinarians in Cook County, IL, and the Chicago metro area will have issues pertaining to pets kept in urban and suburban conditions. In addition to the issues common to the state, Chicago relief veterinarians can expect to see high levels of obesity in their patients.

With a diverse population, Chicago relief veterinarians can expect to hear a variety of languages from their pet parents. Common languages in the Chicago metro area include:

  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese)

Knowledge of or fluency in one of these languages may help you clinch a veterinary relief job in Chicago or increase your wage.

Finding Work-Life Balance in Illinois

Whether you’re in the urban jungle of Chicago, or you’re on the go in the rest of the state, here’s our Illinois relief veterinarians’ favorite off-work places to get away from it all.

Get Your Illinois Relief Veterinarian Career Started!

Holiday Vet is actively filling shifts at animal hospitals and veterinary clinics in Illinois, especially in the Chicago metro region. We have placements at privately-owned clinics as well as corporate hospitals, allowing you to find the right placements for you.