How to Become a Veterinarian in Georgia

Programs near you

The resources below contain everything that an aspiring veterinarian will need to know to start a successful career as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in Georgia. First, we look at the essential prerequisites and the foundations required to secure admission into an accredited veterinary medicine program before moving into more advanced educational requirements and licensure specifications.

We also dive into the factors to look for when enrolling in a veterinary training program while highlighting a few of the best alternatives in the state.

Lastly, we provide a broad overview of the annual average salary for veterinarians in Georgia, sorted by a handful of factors that tend to influence these figures.

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Georgia

Below is what is usually regarded as the optimal pathway to becoming a veterinarian in Georgia.

Preparatory Steps

The preparatory steps to become a veterinarian in Georgia involve candidates ensuring they are sound in relevant subjects such as mathematics, laboratory sciences, and animal science courses. It is also essential to maintain a good grade point average and a high score on SATs.

College Program

College programs prepare candidates for their time in veterinary colleges. Here, they will earn a bachelor’s degree, acquire some experience working with animals, and develop other non-cognitive skills, including interpersonal and communication skills.

Veterinary School

Once candidates secure admission into accredited veterinary colleges, they must be ready to spend three years immersing themselves in classroom instructions regarding parasitology, food animal medicine, animal behavior, animal anatomy, and veterinary physiology, among others.

They must also be prepared to spend the last year acquiring real-world experience.

Veterinary Licensing Exam

Another essential part of attending a veterinary college is passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE). It is only possible to start a veterinary career in the country by doing so.

Candidates often sit for this exam during the senior year of their veterinary college programs.

Choosing A Specialty

Veterinarians may specialize to improve their expertise and chances of career growth. There are different options in this regard, including canine practice, feline practice, and swine health management, among others.

To specialize, veterinarians often undergo a residency and acquire certification. Although the latter is not mandatory, certification brings about numerous career advantages as well.

Explore other careers with similar paths:

Licensure & Certification Requirements

In Georgia, veterinarians must register with the state after earning their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Candidates must go through a background check and submit their transcripts for proof of graduation.

The application fee for registration is $100 plus a processing fee of $5 for those who apply online and $10 for those who send a mailed check. Candidates must renew their license every two years by going through 30 hours of continuing education.

The state offers temporary licenses to military spouses and transitioning members of the United States Air Force. The state of Georgia has no reciprocity agreement for veterinarians from other states.

Top Veterinary Schools in Georgia

These are some of the most prominent veterinary schools most suitable for candidates in Georgia.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia boasts of having the only veterinary program in the state that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.

According to the program website, successful applicants must have a well-rounded undergraduate education with majors in biology, animal sciences, business, or art. They should have hours of veterinary experience and show leadership potential while being able to speak and write excellently.

Other Notable Mentions

Candidates looking for alternatives must look to neighboring states, such as the accredited veterinary program offered by the University of Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee.

Candidates may also consider the accredited program offered by North Carolina State University in North Carolina and the University of Florida in Florida.

Consider exploring veterinarian schools in neighboring States

Salary & Career Outlook

The state of Georgia boasts an annual average salary that is in line with the yearly national average. This figure of $120,317 is pertinent to those in the midpoint of optimizable factors such as experience, location, area of specialization, and establishment of employment.

Veterinarians in the state can earn as high as $174,300 if they fall on the favorable side of these factors, while they can make as low as $83,053 if they fall on the less fortunate side.

For veterinarians looking to optimize their earnings through location, the highest-paying city in Georgia is Rincon (with an annual average salary of $143,121). This is followed by Savannah and Atlanta, with average yearly salaries of $120,893 and $120,169 respectively.

Griffin and Rockmart round up the top five with annual average salaries of $118,247 and $117,787.