There are various specialties in veterinary medicine, including small and large animal veterinary medicine, mixed practice veterinary medicine, and exotic animal veterinary medicine.
Regardless of their prospective specialization, however, every aspiring veterinarian in Delaware must follow a handful of steps to qualify for admission into veterinary school and ultimately secure employment in their establishment of choice. Becoming familiar with these steps ensures a smooth and straightforward journey.
In the sections below, interested individuals will find in-depth instructions regarding these steps and additional considerations such as top accredited programs, licensing and certification, and possible salary figures.
Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Delaware
Future veterinarians in Delaware should follow the steps below to start their careers on the right path.
Step 1: Undergraduate Requirements
Veterinary school is a postgraduate school, meaning that aspiring veterinarians in Delaware must complete an undergraduate degree program before they can gain admission into their vet school of choice.
The particular course they go for during their undergraduate days depends on personal preference and the vet school in sight. Most vet schools accept any undergraduate major, while some have strict requirements.
Additionally, letters of recommendation and extracurricular excellence can help candidates stand out and increase their chances of admission into a reputable vet school.
Step 3: Graduate from Vet School
It is common for veterinary schools to focus on classroom topics during the first 3 years of training. Topics in this regard include animal anatomy, medicine, health and disease, radiology, pathology, and veterinary practice.
During the final year, candidates complete clinical rotations and acquire hands-on experience that will go a long way in helping them transition smoothly to their jobs once they graduate.
Those who complete veterinary school will leave with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM).
Step 4: NAVLE
The North American Veterinary Licensing Exam – also known as the NAVLE – is a mandatory exam that all veterinarians in Delaware and the entire country must pass before they can start practicing professionally. Even though, technically, candidates may sit for the NAVLE anytime in the senior year, most choose to do so during the fall to allow for a retake if necessary.
Step 5: Specialization
Fresh veterinarians in Delaware may undergo a residency to acquire expertise in an area of specialty. Once they graduate, they may start practicing as small animal veterinarians, large animal veterinarians, equine veterinarians, zoo veterinarians, or research veterinarians, depending on their desired specialty area.
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Licensure & Certification Requirements
As highlighted earlier, all veterinarians in Delaware must pass the NAVLE. However, this is not all. They must also fulfill state licensure requirements which include submitting an application, paying the licensing fee, and participating in 24 hours of continuing education every two years to keep up and improve their craft.
The licensing fee costs $190 and is valid for one year.
Candidates do not need to undergo a background check or go through a jurisprudence exam. However, they must provide transcripts and other official documents, including proof of citizenship or alien status.
Top Veterinary Schools in Delaware
There is no accredited college of veterinary medicine in Delaware. However, candidates may look to many of the surrounding world-class institutions for their training.
We list some of the most prominent of these below.
The University of Pennsylvania
The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the best in the world. Accredited by the AVMA, candidates can look forward to highly engaging classes and ample provision for hands-on training in the real world.
Virginia - Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech
An excellent vet school in Blacksburg, Virginia, is the Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. It is another incredible option for future vets in Delaware to consider. Admission may be stiff, but the school boasts a high graduate success rate with outstanding faculty.
Established veterinarians looking to continue their education to keep up with advances in the field may also consider this destination for their high-level training.
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Salary & Career Outlook
The annual average salary for veterinarians in Delaware is $117,935. The average yearly salary for veterinarians in the top 10% earning bracket is $194,198, while those in the bottom 10% earn an annual average salary of $71,621.
The factors influencing these figures are extensive, but experience and location are two of the most important. For instance, veterinarians in Delaware with more than 10 years of experience may earn as much as $167,786 based on the criterion alone.
As for locations, Dover is the highest paying city to be a veterinarian in Delaware, with an annual average salary of $140,225, while veterinarians in Lewes, DE, earn an average yearly salary of $126,317.
Veterinarians in Newark, DE, earn an annual average salary of $103,447.