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Relief Veterinarian

Take control of your career and live the life you deserve

Job Description: A Relief Veterinarian is a freelance employee who provides healthcare to pets while filling in for veterinarians taking time off.

Vets love Roo, the industry-leading relief work marketplace that connects veterinarians seeking work in Boston with local animal hospitals in need. Join for free to find veterinarian jobs near you.

Roo is completely free to use and will help vets and techs earn more
Achieve Your Financial Dreams

Earn nearly 2x as much per hour than the average Massachusetts vet!

Create your own schedule with Roo to perfect your work-life balance
Perfect Your Work-Life Balance

Create your own schedule & work as much or as little as you like!

Roo is quick convenient and easy to use
Get paid fast

Hassle-free payments via direct deposit in just two business days!

Apply Today
Roo relief veterinarian with dog

What is a relief veterinarian?

A relief veterinarian (sometimes called a locum tenens veterinarian) is a freelance contract professional who fills in for veterinarians when they're sick, vacationing, or out on leave — like a substitute teacher for the animal healthcare industry.

This important work ensures every Boston area animal hospital can continue to provide a high level of care for pets and clients while allowing their staff to take time off, ensuring healthy work-life balance for all. During busy periods, employers rely on relief vets to lighten the load on their team to prevent burnout.

Explore high-paying veterinarian jobs

Vets can use Roo to quickly match with hospitals in Boston to find relief jobs one shift at a time, giving you the ability to earn more while working when and where you want.

Sign On Bonus:
New vets will earn a $300 sign on bonus when they complete their first three shifts!

How to become a veterinarian in Massachusetts

Vet student graduation

Education Requirements

Veterinary School — To become a veterinarian in the United States, attend an AVMA-accredited Veterinary College and earn a degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

Undergraduate Education — Complete veterinary school prerequisites at your undergraduate university. Recommended majors include: biology, animal science, biological sciences, and biomedical sciences.

Animal Healthcare Experience — Build your resume working with animals. You'll need around 180 hours to get into vet school. Volunteer where you can, especially at local clinics and shelters. Letters of recommendation go a long way.

GRE Exam — A high score will help you overcome tough competition to get into vet school.

Massachusetts DVM Licensing Requirements

What you’ll need: 

  • Proof of Graduation: Ask your AVMA-accredited vet school to send your transcript to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine via email to VetMedBoard@mass.gov (*not required for reciprocity candidates who have been practicing over 5 years).
    • Foreign Graduates: Vets educated outside the US will need to complete the certificate program offered by the ECFVG OR PAVE
  • Exam Requirements: New vets applying for a license in Massachusetts will need to pass the NAVLE and have their results submitted directly to the Massachusetts Board. You can have the AAVSB's VAULT service transfer your NAVLE test results.
    • Applicants in Massachusetts will also need to complete an open book Board Jurisprudence Exam covering Massachusetts's practice act. Upload the completed exam with your application documents.
  • Reciprocity Requirements: If you’re already licensed in another state or jurisdiction, upload a certified letter of licensure for each license you hold with your application. DO NOT have these letters sent/mailed from other boards.  
  • Licensing Fee: Pay $343 to the State Board. 

Updated: 6/5/23

Sign up for Roo to find veterinarian job opportunities

Roo makes it easy to find veterinarian jobs that are convenient for you

Create a Roo profile to search jobs in Boston. It only takes minutes, and once you're approved, you'll be able to request shifts near you at the click of a button.

Requirements to Join Roo

Roo is quick convenient and easy to use
Free to join!

Roo costs nothing to join and there are no commitments. It's completely risk free.

Roo is quick convenient and easy to use
MA DVM License

We'll review any DVM licenses you hold in Massachusetts and any other states you’d like to practice in.

Optional: Some clinics require a DEA license.

Roo is quick convenient and easy to use
Veterinary Experience

You won’t need to submit a resume. Instead, we’ll schedule a brief call to review your skills and previous veterinary experience.

How Roo Works for Veterinarians

Create your free profile
Search & select shifts
Work your shift & help pets
Rate your experience
Get paid in just 2 days!
Roo app map view search for relief vets - find the perfect veterinarian shift
Relief veterinarian buys first home by earning more with Roo

Earn more with Roo

How much does a veterinarian make with Roo in Boston

Roo gives you the opportunity to earn as much or as little as you want. It’s up to you to balance your scheduling priorities with your income goals.

The average full-time veterinarian in Boston earns $94.37 per hour and $196,294 per year (source: Ziprecruiter, May 27, 2024).

The average Roo shift in Boston pays $1,459 at a rate of $158 per hour.

Roo relief vet Dr. Andrew Findlaytor DVM treating dog

Define your work-life balance

What are my hours as a relief vet in Boston?

The average shift in Boston is 9 hours, but you can search for shifts that are shorter or longer. You'll always know how long a shift will be before you commit.

Whether you work relief part-time or full-time is entirely up to you — use Roo however works best for your schedule to obtain the salary you desire.

Unlimited Vacation: You'll never be penalized for taking time off. In fact, we encourage it!

Save big with our tax resources

Taxes as a Relief Vet

As a 1099 contract employee, when you get paid, you'll receive every penny. However, you'll be responsible for paying taxes on any Roo income you earn so we recommend planning ahead by setting some money aside for taxes.

Roo offers a wide variety of tax resources to help relief vets manage their taxes while saving as much as possible through a variety of tax write-offs.

Why Vets Love Roo

Supplement your full-time income with part-time relief work

Roo vets earn nearly twice as much per hour than the average full-time vet, making it an efficient way to boost your earnings. Grabbing a shift here and there is a great way to earn additional income to help pay down student loans or save for larger financial goals such as buying your first home.

Work relief part-time for maximum work-life balance

Is work-life balance really important to you? Maybe you're a new parent, need to care for a relative who needs medical assistance, or want to wind down your hours as you prepare for retirement. Roo gives you the option to practice how you want, when you want so you can make time for what's important.

Become a full-time relief vet and earn more on your schedule

The best of all worlds! Top your current annual income and reach new heights while working less! Take your work-life balance into your own hands and earn as much as you need, taking time off whenever you want.

Use relief to keep your skills sharp and learn new techniques

Relief work is the ultimate way to try new things. With Roo, there's never a long term commitment, so you're free to work with a variety of employers and sample different ways to practice. Your unique perspective as a vet who has practiced in multiple hospital settings will make you a valuable contributor wherever you go.

Plus, Roo is a great way to try out a variety of hospitals to find your ideal full-time hospital home.

Become a travel vet and take relief work on the road

One of the coolest perks of relief work is how easy it is to become a travel vet. Roo can help you find jobs across the country, even places you’ve never been. All you need is the right license.

The career of your dreams on your terms

As a relief vet with Roo, you'll enjoy total freedom over your career, your income, and your life. Work when you want, where you want, with who you want.

Thinking about taking the leap? Here's what other Roo Vets had to say!