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Become a Relief Vet in Missouri

Relief veterinarians are critical to the veterinary industry in the Show-Me State. This article will talk about how to become a relief vet in Missouri, including licensing. We’ll discuss salary and location, along with taxes, and compare them to neighboring states. Since we believe in work-life balance, we’ll also talk about some spots perfect for MO relief vets to relax.

The Nuts and Bolts of Relief Vet Work in MO

If you already have your MO veterinary license, you can add or switch to relief work at any time. Just give us a call to get started! 

If you’re coming in from out of state, licenses via reciprocity are available. You will need to have practiced for at least a year, and you’ll need to pass the state boards. The cost is $200.

There is a two-month delay between applying for your license and taking the boards, so plan accordingly. 


The average salary for a veterinarian in Missouri is $95,690 according to the Bureau of Labor, a 16% increase from 2021. With a tax rate of 5.4% for this income range, your average net salary is $90,523. That puts Missouri in the low end of its neighbors, but still better than Arkansas and Nebraska. Higher wages may be available border dwellers: relief vets in Illinois or Tennessee average higher salaries.

StateAvg SalaryTax RateNet Annual

The high points for veterinary salaries in Missouri are on the east and west sides of the state. The St Joseph metro area leads salaries at $106,310, followed closely by Kansas City and St Louis. Columbia’s average is just under the $100k mark, so relief vet jobs in that area may edge over.

Jefferson City and Joplin average in the low $90k range, and the rural parts of the state fall under $90k. Surprisingly, north Missouri veterinarian salaries, so just north of the St Louis metro area, are some of the lowest in the state, barely hitting $80k.

Relaxation in Missouri

We know just how demanding a career as a relief vet in Missouri can be. It’s important for our mental health to be able to relax and renew. Here are some of our favorite places in MO to find some of that work-life balance.

1. Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a great place to go for some green space. The garden is located in Saint Louis, Missouri, and covers over twenty acres of ground. It was founded in 1859, making it one of the oldest botanical gardens in America. You can participate in many activities while at the garden, including concerts, plays, hands-on classes with your children, day camps, special events, and festivals. Pets are not allowed, so this can be an escape from animals altogether.

Relief vets in MO can enjoy the botanical gardens

2. City Museum

Relief vet in Missouri can go to the City Museum

The City Museum is a unique experience that you should try at least once. “Museum” is almost a misnomer. While there are paintings that hang on the wall, there’s also slides and treehouses, the world’s largest pencil, a ferris wheel, and caves to explore. Getting out of your everyday rut is good for a relief vet’s mental health. There’s almost no better place to do that in Missouri than the City Museum in St. Louis.

3. Elephant Rocks State Park

For a relaxing weekend with your pet, Missouri’s state parks can’t be beat. Elephant Rocks stands out due to the giant granite boulders. Observe from a distance, walk through a mini slot canyon, or do your best Alex Honnold impersonation by giving rock climbing a try! But please use correct gear and all safety precautions when climbing. There’s plenty of ways to enjoy this unique and exciting pocket of nature in southeast Missouri.