I decided at a young age that I wanted to be a veterinarian (and I am currently a 3rd year vet student). Unfortunately, as you are probably learning; the road to earning a DVM is not easy. Most veterinarians spend 7-8 years in college: between undergrad and vet school. As far as high school requirements, I was actually homeschooled and did not have any AP classes. So you will definitely be a leg up coming into college with credits. That is one of the biggest things I regret about homeschooling.
Job opportunities and options for veterinarians are plenty. From private practice, corporate practice, research to government - the job opportunities are basically endless. On the flip side, the amount of student loan debt recent veterinarians have is crushing. This is mainly due to the on going rise in vet school tuition. As an example, in 2000 in-state tuition for vet students at Kansas State University was $5,674 per year. Now in-state tuition at K-state is pushing $25,000. Nearly a 450% increase in 18 years! And K-state is not alone - this is occurring at every vet school in the nation.
The average student loan debt for 2017 graduates was $144,000. And over 25% have debt above $200,000. While the average starting salary for 2017 grads was $73,000. $73k might sound like a lot of money right now, however, recent graduates are finding it difficult to get approval for auto loans and housing mortgages due to their high debt burden.
While I am not trying to discourage you from attending vet school, I want to educate you on the harsh reality of the costs and financial strain most recent veterinarians face.
If you are not aware, vet school admission is based on state residency. More seats are available to in-state residents than non-residents. In addition, it is generally cheaper to go to your in-state vet school. (There are a few caveat to this but I won’t go into them here)
Shadowing a veterinarian is the best way to understand the field and know if it is something you truly want to pursue. While veterinary medicine is treating animals, the majority of the vet’s time is spent with humans. In reality it is a people job not an animal. There is a lot of time spent communicating with owners and explaining treatment options. I would also recommend that you choose a major in college that enables for a back-up plan. I did not get accepted into vet school on my first attempt and I was thankful my major enabled me a great job opportunity outside of vet med.
Best luck to you on the road ahead. It may be a long tough road but hopefully it will be worth it.