How to Become a Veterinarian in Virginia

Veterinarians in Virginia look after and save the lives of animals. They also ensure that these beautiful creatures remain in good health and are well-taken care of to avoid future preventable diseases.

Rigorous education is required to perform these duties at a very high level.

The guide below outlines the steps involved in receiving such education while meeting additional requirements needed to start a legitimate veterinary career in Virginia. We also examine a few top veterinary schools in the area, emphasizing accreditation by the AVMA and a high-quality curriculum.

Lastly, we estimate the annual average salary for veterinarians in Virginia depending on a few factors, including experience, location, and establishment of employment, among others.

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Virginia

Below are all the steps involved in starting a career as a veterinarian in Virginia.

Quality Preparation in High School

Future veterinarians in Virginia are advised to set and start working towards their goals from high school. Candidates must focus on math prerequisites, English, biology, and physical sciences.

Maintaining a high GPA, of course, is always a good thing as well.

Entering into College

During the first four years spent in a regular college, aspiring veterinarians in Virginia will have a bachelor’s degree in sight. This will be needed to gain admission into a veterinary school, wherein the final four years of training will be spent.

Focusing on physical and biological sciences during their undergraduate programs is a common approach for aspiring veterinarians in Virginia. However, many veterinary schools are okay with a candidate’s undergraduate major.

It is essential to consult with a prospective vet college to ascertain their preferences and requirements before entering an undergraduate program.

Entering into Veterinary School

After completing their undergraduate studies, the next step for future vets in Virginia is to enroll in an accredited veterinary school. The organization responsible for such accreditation is the American Veterinary Medical Association.

During that time here, candidates will receive classroom instructions and hands-on experience through clinical rotations.

North American Veterinary Licensing Exam

The NAVLE is integral to pursuing a career as a veterinarian in Virginia and everywhere else in the country. All state veterinary boards ask for it and official transcripts from an accredited program.

To give themselves the best chance to pass the NAVLE, veterinary candidates usually take the exam during the senior year of vet school – possibly in the fall or spring.

The fall is regarded as the better option as it makes it possible to do a retake if necessary.

Licensure & Certification Requirements

As a veterinarian in Virginia, the NAVLE is not the only licensing category to concern yourself with. You will also have to fulfill state requirements for registering veterinarians in Virginia.

The organization to pay attention to in this record is the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine. To register, candidates must pay a registration fee of $200, valid for one year.

The organization also mandates continuing education requirements, including 19 hours of training every year. Candidates must provide their transcripts and active practice verification.

Future veterinarians in Virginia may be glad to know that neither a jurisprudence exam nor a background check is involved.

Learn about licensing and certification in neighboring states:

Top Veterinary Schools in Virginia

The following are some of the best accredited veterinary schools in and around Virginia for future veterinarians to consider.

Virginia Tech - Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Blacksburg, VA Online + Campus

Virginia Tech - Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is the primary AVMA-approved institution for residents in Virginia looking to obtain high-quality training.

Read more
$548 - $1,432 per Credit
  • (540) 231-6267


Washington State University

Pullman, WA Online Only

Even though it is not in Virginia, Washington State University is close enough. It has a high enough educational standard to serve as a veritable alternative for aspiring veterinarians in Virginia looking for a beautiful AVMA-approved institution to obtain their education.

Read more
$5,777 - $13,815
  • (509) 339-8105


Consider exploring veterinarian schools in neighboring states:

Salary & Career Outlook

The annual average salary for veterinarians in Virginia is $117,022. This figure aligns with the national average and is more fitting for those in the midpoint of certain conditions, such as location and experience level.

Those in the upper end of these conditions can earn as high as $170,054, while those in the lower end will fall closer to the bottom 10% average of $80,501.

Concerning location, Williamsburg is the highest-paying city for veterinarians in Virginia, with an average annual salary of $140,434. Newport News and Fairfax follow with yearly averages of $139,685 and $23,495 respectively.

The five highest-paying cities for vets in Virginia are Haymarket and Portsmouth, with annual average salaries of $121,291 and $120,413, respectively.

Veterinarians in Virginia Beach and Richmond earn annual average salaries of $117,404 and $110,858 respectively.