How to Become a Veterinarian in New Jersey

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The guide below contains all the key points and considerations needed to become a veterinarian in New Jersey. We start by providing an overview of the steps involved in the process, from the preparatory stages in high school to securing a bachelor’s degree and finally gaining admission into an accredited veterinary college.

We also provide a list containing the best colleges for aspiring veterinarians in the state to consider in terms of educational quality and proximity. Candidates will also learn the mandatory licensing and certification requirements and the conditions for renewing their licenses.

Lastly, we look at the possible salary projection for veterinarians in New Jersey.

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in New Jersey

Below are all the steps to starting a career as a veterinarian in New Jersey.

Step 1: Graduate College

Aspiring veterinarians in New Jersey must acquire a bachelor’s degree before entering vet school. Typically, time spent in an undergraduate program is used to develop foundational knowledge while building up a solid resume to gain an advantage in the highly competitive space securing veterinary school admission.

Candidates may also use this time to improve their interpersonal and communication skills and showcase their leadership potential.

Step 2: Graduate Vet School

There are slightly more than 30 veterinary schools in the country, with tens of thousands of candidates desiring admission. Competition is fierce.

Candidates who successfully secure admission into vet school and complete the program will graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

It is also imperative that while seeking admission, candidates consider ONLY vet schools that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). We list some of the most prominent options in one of the upcoming sections below.

Step 4: Pass the NAVLE

Before graduating from vet school, veterinary students apply for a national examination known as the North American Veterinary License Examination (NAVLE). Obtaining this license is compulsory to practice as a veterinarian in any state.

Most students choose to take this exam during their final year in vet school.

Step 5: Specializing

There are various reasons for a veterinarian in New Jersey to choose an area of specialization. For one thing, specializations offer the luxury of focusing on one field and becoming a master in that area.

It also helps professionals take advantage of fields with more demand than others based on current circumstances. The most common specialty areas include exotic, small animal, large animal, and mixed-practice veterinary medicine.

Licensure & Certification Requirements

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners stipulates the conditions needed to practice as a veterinarian in New Jersey.

The board specifies that candidates must receive a state license valid for 2 years and require 20 hours of continuing education every other year to renew.

To apply for this license, candidates must pay a $325 fee, including $75 for application and $250 for licensure. Candidates must also submit their transcripts along with professional references.

They may also be required to go through a background check.

Learn about licensing and certification in neighboring states:

Top Veterinary Schools in New Jersey

New Jersey has no accredited veterinary school. Candidates may, however, look to several neighboring institutions for high-level training.

Cornell University

Going through a list of the best veterinary colleges globally is almost only possible by coming across Cornell University. Located in Ithaca, New York, the school is close enough to New Jersey and offers a valid DVM anywhere in the country.

Long Island University

Another accredited veterinary school in New York, Long Island University in Brookville, boasts experienced faculty and rigorous training for future veterinarians nationwide. Candidates in New Jersey may earn their DVM here and start the process of launching a successful vet career in the best possible way.

Consider exploring schools in neighboring states:

Salary & Career Outlook

In New Jersey, veterinarians earn an annual average salary of $115,508, basically the same as the national average. This figure was obtained from a survey of almost 500 veterinarians in the state. The same survey revealed that those in the top 10% earn an annual average salary of $192,315, while those in the bottom 10% still take home an average yearly salary of $69,377.

Veterinarians who wish to move from the lower to the higher end of the salary spectrum in New Jersey may consider improving criteria such as experience, location, specialization, and their establishment of employment.

The highest paying cities to be a veterinarian in New Jersey include Summit, Edgewater, and Plainfield, with annual average salaries of $194,114, $146,519, and $142,302.

Mount Laurel and Newark are among the top five with annual average salaries of $136,424 and $126,885, respectively.