How to Become a Veterinarian in North Carolina

Regardless of the state where they practice, aspiring veterinarians all across the country have to attend an accredited veterinary training program and pass a standardized exam before they can start their careers.

Naturally, there are also certain state-specific rules and guidelines that future vets must also be conscious of.

While many tend to get overwhelmed by all of these requirements, having a clear picture of what to expect from the start goes a long way to make the journey much smoother.

This is why we have highlighted below everything you’ll need to know to start a successful career as a veterinarian in North Carolina,

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in North Carolina

The following are the steps needed to become a veterinarian in North Carolina.

Prepare for High School

High School preparation is essential for aspiring veterinarian because that is the point where they start laying the foundation for their careers. One way to do this is by focusing on relevant courses, including physical and biological sciences.

They should also endeavor to keep their grade-point average as high as possible.

Enroll in College and Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

While the ultimate objective for all aspiring veterinarians in North Carolina is to enroll in a veterinary college, to do so, they must first enroll in a regular undergraduate college program.

During their undergraduate years, it is essential to maintain a good grade point average, participate in extracurricular activities, develop leadership and interpersonal skills, and be of good character to receive strong letters of recommendation.

Admission into veterinary colleges is usually competitive, and the above go a long way in separating candidates from the pack.

Enroll in a Veterinary School and earn a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine

Candidates who complete veterinary school will receive a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Veterinary colleges take four years to complete, including two to three years of classroom study and one to two years of hands-on experience.

Pass the National Veterinary Licensing Exam

The North American Veterinary Licensing Exam is a computerized exam that all aspiring veterinarians nationwide must pass to begin their careers. Candidates usually sit for this exam while still in vet school, typically during their senior year.

Renewing the license involves undergoing continuing education. The NAVLE differs from state licensing procedures, which tend to include the NAVLE and more provisions.

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Licensure & Certification Requirements

As mentioned above, the North American Veterinary Medical License differs from state veterinary licenses. The NAVLE applies nationwide, while state registration procedures only apply to particular jurisdictions.

For veterinarians in North Carolina, registration involves paying a fee of $170 to receive a valid license for one year. Candidates must continue to renew their license every year through 20 hours of continuing education.

The state also provides a temporary license that costs $150, but there is no reciprocity agreement for veterinarians who have already received permits from other states.

Top Veterinary Schools in North Carolina

Future veterinarians in North Carolina may consider some of the options below for their training.

North Carolina State University

For aspiring veterinarians in North Carolina, the only veterinary college in the state that the American Veterinary Medical Association accredits can be found at the University of North Carolina.

This program operates at a very high standard, and as one would expect, competition is usually high. Candidates may set themselves apart by having high-grade point averages, years of animal care experience, excellent verbal and written skills, and non-cognitive attributes such as interpersonal and communication skills.

Other Notable Options

Those who would like additional options may consider attending accredited programs offered by colleges in neighboring states. Among notable possibilities in this regard include the veterinary programs at:

  • University of Georgia in Athens,
  • Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia,
  • Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, and
  • The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee.

Consider exploring veterinarian schools in neighboring States

Salary & Career

In North Carolina, veterinarians earn an annual average salary of $110,413. This is according to data from a survey of more than 800 veterinarians in the state.

Of course, it is possible to fall above or below these figures depending on factors such as experience, area of specialization, location, and the particular establishment where a veterinarian is employed.

Those who fall on the more favorable side of these factors can earn more, with an annual average salary of around $167,667, while those who fall on the less fortunate side take home an average yearly salary of about $72,710.

Albemarle is the highest paying city to be a veterinarian in North Carolina, with an annual average salary of $149,499. This is followed by Mooresville, Charlotte, Swansboro, and Greensboro, with average yearly salaries of $134,635, $130,478, $111,516, and $108,359, respectively.