Relief vets in Washington State
The Evergreen State is a welcoming state for veterinarians. If you’re considering a move or a vacation to enjoy the stunning coastline of Olympic National Park, the rugged mountains of the North Cascades, or the lively city of Seattle, you’re in for a good time. With low licensing costs and high salaries, relief vets in Washington State can be hit that perfect work-life balance.
Unique Issues in Veterinary Work in WA
While Washington is best known for its rainy weather and beautiful coastline, the state also has high mountains and plenty of forest. Besides the standard risks of parasites and fleas, Washington state veterinary officials are concerned about:
- Cryptococcus gattii
- Rabies, especially through bat transmission
- West Nile Virus
Licensing for Relief Vets in Washington State
Washington requires vets from out of state to submit their NAVLE results and college transcripts. Licenses last for a year and are renewed on the veterinarian’s birthday.30 hours of continuing education are required every two years.
You’ll also have to pass an open book test on state law, which you can take at any time once you’ve paid the fees. The cost of the state exam is $210, and an initial application fee of $161 brings your total cost to $371.
If you happen to be relocating because your spouse is in the military and has been re-assigned, Washington can expedite your licensure.
Veterinary Salary and Cost of Living in Washington State
Washington state veterinarians have healthy salaries across the state, with the mean wage hitting $124,200 in 2022, growing 7% compared to 2021. Bonus – there’s no state income tax. Neighboring Oregon applies at least 8.75% income tax to salaries within this range.
The highest salaries are in the Seattle metropolitan area at $131,450, but the Bellingham and northern edge of metropolitan Portland also hit high notes. Salaries in Yakima grew the most, with over 16% wage growth.
The area with the lowest salaries is in eastern Washington, including Grant, Ferry, and Adams counties.Thurston County, home of Olympia, had the slowest growth in veterinary salaries in Washington State.
Special Notes for Relief Veterinarians in Seattle
There is still a high demand for full-time and relief vets in Seattle. With its historic downtown, easy access to delightful green spaces, and plenty of culture, it’s a great place for relief vets to earn some cash while on vacation. If you’re a local and looking to get a better work environment, talk to us!
If you’re planning on a tour of the Pacific Northwest, start with some relief work in Seattle before setting out. You can work and earn high rates, and not have to worry about filing an extra state income tax return.
There are also a few veterinary issues that are specific to King County, where Seattle is located.
The local public health department notes that relief veterinarians in Seattle should be aware of:
- Harmful algae blooms
- Salmonella in non-traditional pets
Relaxing in WA
Trails on Cougar Mountain are great for Seattle-based veterinarians, as they’re dog friendly and nearby. The state park has over 35,000 miles of trails that lead to stunning cliffside views, spooky caves, and more.
Leavenworth, WA, is a Bavarian-themed village. It’s lovely in the summer, when you can freely enjoy the quaint architecture. It really shines in the winter, with its Christmas market and winter festival that extends through January.
Palouse Falls is an excellent idea for a remote getaway. The state’s official waterfall is a remnant from the Ice Age and cascades down 200 feet into a bowl. Its history and beauty make it a fascinating place to get away from it all. However, parking is limited, and this popular destination can get full quickly on the weekends. Plan wisely to get the best views.