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Las Vegas is a great place for a relief vet in Nevada

Life as a Relief Vet in Nevada

The Battle Born State has a nice variety in landscape and animal owners. Outside of the major cities of Las Vegas and Reno, there’s a surprising amount of farms and horse ownership. A relief vet in Nevada can find a good variety of opportunities to both work and play.

The licensing process for veterinarians in NV is relatively simple and can be done at any time. Pay ranks around the industry average, and application fees are low. If you want to fund a trip to Vegas or your lifetime goal of going to Burning Man, getting your license may be the easiest and cheapest part of the trip.

Getting your veterinary license in NV requires many of the industry standards, and a few small surprise qualifications. You must also pass an exam on state veterinary law and protocols. The fee for your license is $200. You’ll need to provide:

  • NAVLE passed within the last 5 years
  • DVM degree from an accredited school of veterinary medicine
  • Letters of good standing from any other states you are licensed in
  • Child support information form (if applicable)
  • Photograph

The Nevada State Board exam is a take-home exam and can be done at any time.

Most relief vet work in NV is small animal with a mix of privately owned hospitals and corporate practices. A common job description can include:

  • Radiology
  • Dentistry
  • Endoscopy
  • Spay/neuter
  • Internal medicine
  • Pet emergency care

There are a few other options in the field of rescue and large animal.

The average salary for a relief veterinarian in Nevada is around $100,000, or around $50/hour, according to Indeed and This estimate varies wildly, as pay rates vary between cities and rural areas. Experience is also a large factor in pay. It’s significantly lower than veterinarian rates in California and other bordering states, only beating out New Mexico from it’s neighbors. However, Nevada has no state income tax, compared to 9.3% income tax for this salary range in California. How does that net out?

StateSalary Before TaxesNet Salary
New Mexico$95,110$90,450

If you’re a relief vet in Nevada, taking shifts in California could be worth it for the higher rates. You will have to pay taxes on any income earned in the state of California, even if you’re a Nevada resident. A veterinary staffing service like Holiday Vet will consolidate the tax forms for each state you work in for you.

Yes – if you want it to. Veterinary relief work means that you can work as much or as little as you like. While most relief vets don’t have a comprehensive benefit package, a doctor of veterinary medicine who chooses relief work usually has enough shifts to meet their needs. Relief work also allows you to focus exclusively on patient care, and not politics among the veterinary team.

Providing relief services to overworked DVMs can bring a positive impact to any clinic. Providing a break from the hectic work of pet health care helps your fellow practioners lead healthier lives. Consider it preventative care for the medical director’s mental health.

There’s more to NV than meets the eye. In popular culture, it’s either desert or neon lights. Both desert and neon exist, but the Sagebrush State also has stunning mountains, wild festivals, and unique small towns that bring history to life. Where else are you going to find ostrich racing?

Neighboring Utah gets all the glory for red rock sandscapes, but the Battle Born state hosts a stunning array of sandstone vistas, along with ancient rock art made by native tribes thousands of years ago.

Near Las Vegas, Red Rock National Recreation Area is the most popular hiking and rock climbing spot. Its stunning sandstone formations make every trip an adventure. Lake Mead, also part of the National Park system, has slot canyons, historic trails, hot springs and more.

Nevada’s only National Park is Great Basin, located on the eastern edge of the state. Home to Lehman Caves and the highest independent mountain in NV, Great Basin is wonderful in spring and summer. Due to its high elevation, it can be tricky to access in winter.

Kershaw-Ryan State Park

The State Parks are a real treat for DVMs in their spare time. With relaxed pet rules and stunning scenery, NV State Parks are often less busy and just as beautiful as the national lands that get all the press.

Valley of Fire State Park, less than 2 hours from Las Vegas, boasts similar landscapes to Arizona’s famous “The Wave,” and even has a hike called “The Wave.” It’s also famous for its role as a movie set, including scenes from “Star Trek” films.

Kershaw-Ryan State Park, pictured here, is a miniature Zion National Park, without the massive crowds. It’s also much smaller and boasts a manicured flower garden. Nearby Cathedral Gorge features rock formations eroded by water that look like the rock is melting.

Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park features a full ichthyosaur skeleton and the ghost town of Berlin, once a mining mecca. This odd combination of historical eras is sure to intrigue and delight veterinarians in your spare time.

Nevada’s cities are nothing to sneeze at. Las Vegas is a world of its own. While dominated by casinos along the Strip, there’s niche offerings for almost any interest. From a museum dedicated to neon signs to a massive collection of playable pinball machines, Las Vegas caters to the weird and wonderful.

Reno bills itself as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Close to Nevada’s capitol, Reno’s casinos take a more historic turn. However, it’s become a high tech city with investments from Apple and Tesla nearby.

Reno has demand for Nevada relief vets

History still lives closeby in Virginia City. This tiny mining town has maintained it’s turn-of-the-century homes and celebrates the pioneering wild west spirit today. It’s especially famous for its camel and ostrich races, a tradition started by a newspaper rivalry.

A DVM might take on shifts to fund a trip to the Black Rock Desert. Burning Man doesn’t allow pets on the playa, which leads to high boarding rates in Reno, the closest city to the party. When there’s a sudden burst of animals, local clinics can be overwhelmed, and patient care and customer service suffer. Look for post-festival shifts in Reno and Sparks to assist with critical care as well as chronic medical conditions after the festival.

Because we started in Nevada, we have long-standing relationships with animal hospitals and clinics throughout the state. We’ve been able to work with most hospitals in the state in some capacity. Our primary purpose is to help doctors of veterinary medicine find their perfect work-life balance. Let our 10 years of personal relationship building work for you.