Many residents in Maryland would love to consider a career as a veterinarian. And why not? The field offers the opportunity to save lives and bring many pets and pet owners happiness.
However, despite being willing, most people hit a roadblock when figuring out the exact steps to kick-start a veterinary career in Maryland. Luckily, that is precisely what we’ll dive into in incredible detail below.
Among other things, we’ll look at the steps involved in the entire process, the top programs in and around the state accredited by the appropriate bodies, and the possible licensure and certification, among others.
Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Maryland
Aspiring veterinarians in Maryland should follow the steps below to begin their careers correctly.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a veterinarian in Maryland is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an undergraduate program. Most veterinary colleges accept students who major in various courses, including science and art-related fields.
However, some vet colleges have specific criteria regarding a candidate’s undergraduate major, so it is essential to consult your preferred veterinary college destination before enrolling in a bachelor’s program.
Candidates are also expected to participate in leadership and intrapersonal extracurricular activities during an undergraduate program. Receiving letters of recommendation is also essential to have an edge when securing admission into a veterinary college.
Step 2: Enroll in a Veterinary College
Aspiring veterinarians in Maryland are advised to attend a veterinary college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.
Currently, there is no such institution in Maryland.
However, candidates can attend such institutions in neighboring states and return to practice in Maryland. We list some of the most prominent options in the upcoming section below.
After graduating from a veterinary college, candidates will receive their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and be free to specialize or secure employment.
Step 3: Earning the National License
All veterinarians in the country must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam, which is necessary to secure employment. The exam contains 360 questions.
Step 4: Experience & Specialization
Experience is key for a veterinarian. Technically, candidates may start working after receiving a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, but choosing a specialty area could help them significantly boost their career.
For this reason, individuals are advised to undergo a residency to gain practical experience in a specialty area.
Some of the most popular areas of specialization for veterinarians include exotic animal veterinary medicine, research veterinary medicine, and mixed practice veterinary medicine, among others.
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Licensure & Certification Requirements
All veterinarians in Maryland must pass the NAVLE and pay a $225 fee to apply for state licensure. The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Board oversees state licensing for veterinarians in Maryland.
The license is valid for 2 years, after which candidates must go through a renewal process and show proof of completing 18 hours of continuing education every year. Candidates must also provide their resume and transcripts along with evidence of citizenship.
Top Veterinary Schools in Maryland
The state of Maryland has no accredited veterinary school. However, candidates may consider the neighboring options listed below.
Virginia - Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech
Located in Blacksburg, Virginia, Virginia - Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech is the most pertinent option for aspiring veterinarians in the state. The school offers high-quality training by an experienced faculty and the opportunity to receive real-world familiarity before graduating.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is another excellent veterinary school for future veterinarians in Maryland to consider. Accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the school has an excellent reputation and a high graduate success rate.
The school also offers opportunities for continuing education, helping candidates stay on top of significant developments in the field.
Consider exploring neighboring states for veterinarian education:
Salary & Career Outlook
As a veterinarian in Maryland, you should expect an annual average salary of $121,572 — in line with the national average. For veterinarians in Maryland who have enough experience and expertise to find themselves among the highest-paid in the state, their annual average salary is usually closer to around $184,219.
Those among the lowest-paid still earn at least $80,229 in annual average salary. Regarding location, veterinarians in Maryland may consider the following cities, which are the highest paying in the state:
Rockville, with an annual average salary of $145,987; Lexington Park, with an annual average salary of $141,605; Ellicott City, with an annual average salary of $124,839; Gambrills, with an annual average salary of $124,110; and Annapolis with an average yearly salary of $119,463.
The city of Baltimore pays veterinarians an annual average salary of $108,713.