During their careers, a veterinarian in New York would likely test, diagnose, and treat a wide range of animals, including companion pets, exotic pets, and livestock. By doing so, they would be prolonging the lives of these precious animals and helping several pet owners along the way.
Thankfully, even though it requires a lot of training and rigorous education, the path to becoming a veterinarian in New York is relatively direct — if you know what to expect.
To that end, we have provided below a comprehensive guide containing all the steps involved in becoming a veterinarian in the state and the best programs to consider.
If you’re specifically interested in helping exotic animals, do take a look at our article on how to become an exotic animal veterinarian. Alternatively, if you’re considering other veterinary careers, then becoming a vet technician in New York.
Steps To Become a Veterinarian in New York
Aspiring veterinarians in New York must pass through the following steps to begin their careers:
1. State Your Preparation from High School
The first step in becoming a veterinarian in New York is to graduate high school. This step is essential, as it is often the foundation for more complex learning.
Aspiring veterinarians in high school are encouraged to take Mathematics, English, and lab sciences classes. Topics in biology and animal sciences will also help prepare them for the journey that is to come.
2. Colleges & Vet School
Even though veterinarians in New York are not mandated to have a bachelor’s degree, many choose to do so because it offers a solid foundation to build a career. It also makes it easier to secure admission into veterinary school afterward.
The country has about 30 AVMA-approved veterinary schools, so competition is usually intense. Having a bachelor’s degree, a high entry exam score and solid letters of recommendation will make the process a lot easier.
Veterinary schools also tend to give more points to those who have completed internships and volunteer services at veterinary practices and shelters.
3. What to Expect in a Vet School
The ultimate aim of attending veterinary school is to acquire all the skills and knowledge you’ll need to carry out your duties on the job. To do so, vet schools usually focus on topics such as animal anatomy, animal behavior, health and disease, ophthalmology, pharmacology, radiology, and parasitology.
Candidates should also expect extensive training in veterinary physiology.
Graduating from a veterinary school involves attending many classes and setting aside sufficient time for personal study. Only those who graduate successfully will leave with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.
4. General Licensing
Before they graduate from a veterinary school, veterinarians are expected to have passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE).
The license obtained as a result of passing this exam will not only be necessary for securing employment, but it will also be a factor when it comes to getting a state license and officially practicing as a veterinarian.
New York State Requirements: Licensure and Certification
In New York, all veterinarians must be approved and licensed by the New York State Education Department. To obtain this license, aspiring veterinarians in the state must pay an application fee of $372.
They must also pass a jurisprudence exam and meet the requirements of having graduated from an approved college of vet medicine and passed a NAVLE.
Once a vet medicine license is issued in New York, it will last three years before it must be renewed through 45 hours of continuing education. Candidates must also provide proof of citizenship or alien status.
Top Veterinary Schools in New York
Below are the two AVMA-approved veterinary schools in New York:
Cornell University offers an AVMA-approved Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program that consistently finds a place on the list of the best programs in the country. Along with providing high training for its students, the school is also known for facilitating advancements in the field through in-depth research.
2. Long Island University
Long Island University is another option for aspiring veterans in New York to consider. The school is notable for its hands-on training, experience, research, and strong partnerships with numerous hospitals in the area.
Salary and Job Outlook
The annual average salary for veterinarians in New York is $121,024, which means that this is the salary that a veterinarian in the state can look forward to when they finally get a job.
However, an entry-level veterinarian may earn closer to the entry-level average of $82,173. Still, they can make as high as $178,243, the average salary for the state’s top 10% of veterinarians.
The highest paying cities for veterinarians in New York include the Bronx, with an annual average salary of $148,914, Elmira with a yearly average wage of $142,007; Long Island, with $131,582; Albany, with $122,503; and New York City, with an annual average salary of $121,589.