If you’re a resident of Rhode Island with a love for animals and a passion for caring for the sick, a career as a veterinarian can be a very fulfilling career path. Not only do veterinarians in the state enjoy a highly competitive salary and opportunity for growth, but they also get the constant satisfaction of bringing joy to the lives of numerous pet owners daily.
To start the journey, you must understand the critical processes involved in becoming a veterinarian anywhere and the specific requirements to become a veterinarian in the state.
You don’t have to worry. However, all of these are what we discuss in the upcoming sections.
Steps To Become a Veterinarian in Rhode Island
Below are the steps required to become a veterinarian in Rhode Island:
Prepare for High School
Veterinarians in Rhode Island are expected to start their preparation from high school. They can do this by taking preparatory English, mathematics, and animal science classes. They would also do well to keep their grades and GPA high.
Enroll in a College & Earn a Degree
Veterinarians are advised to enroll in colleges with quality biology, zoology, physiology, and anatomy courses. While entering a veterinary school without a bachelor’s degree is possible, having one helps a lot.
Along with the courses mentioned above, it may also be valuable for an aspiring veterinarian to take business and social science courses to develop interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
Enter into a Veterinary School
In the end, the ultimate educational goal of any future veterinarian is to secure admission into an accredited veterinary school. Considering the limited number of these colleges, it is usually very competitive.
Among the things that can help make your admission into an accredited veterinary school easier is having a high score in the Graduate Record Standardized Examination. The exact type of examinations you’ll take will depend on the school you want to apply for.
Additionally, having solid letters of recommendation and volunteer hours in a veterinary environment can help make the whole process easier.
Successful graduates of accredited veterinary schools will leave with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Classes to expect include animal behavior, animal health and disease, radiology, veterinary practices and physiology, and more.
Pass the General Licensing Test
All veterinarians in Rhode Island must take a licensing exam known as the North American Veterinary Licensing before they graduate from vet school. This license exam is a computerized standardized examination with 360 multiple-choice questions.
In addition, veterinarians who choose to specialize often have to complete Residency programs after completing vet school. Residency programs may last between 3 to 4 years.
Rhode Island State Requirements: Licensure & Certification
The state body responsible for licensing veterinarians in Rhode Island is the Rhode Island Department of Health. Licensing requires having passed the NAVLE and graduated from an AVMA-approved veterinary College.
Also, candidates are expected to pay an application fee of $580 and a licensing fee of $200. Licensing is valid for two years, after which 24 hours of continuing education is required to renew for another two years.
Top Veterinary Schools in Rhode Island
Currently, there is no AVMA-accredited Veterinary College in Rhode Island. Thankfully, however, there are a few options to consider in neighboring cities, including the following:
1. Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Tufts University in Massachusetts is home to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, an AVMA-approved Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program known to provide world-class education in veterinary medicine.
The program has produced numerous successful veterinarians and can be a veritable destination for aspiring vets in Rhode Island.
Cornell University has a veterinary program consistently ranks as one of the best in the country. The school is known for providing rigorous education geared towards helping graduates find the best employment and thrive in their fields.
Moreover, the school constantly innovates and is responsible for numerous scientific breakthroughs through its research and clinical departments.
California Veterinarian Salary & Job Outlook
Veterinarians in Rhode Island earn an annual salary of $103,324, almost on par with the national average. On the higher end of the spectrum, veterinarians in the state who make the most take home an annual average salary of $150,526, while those on the lower end take home an average yearly salary of $70,924.
Along with experience, location is an essential factor determining what end of the salary scale a veterinarian in Rhode Island falls. For instance, in the entire state, veterinarians in Cumberland earn the highest annual salary average at $110,055 yearly, while those in Providence earn an annual average salary of $91,058.