CVM Career Planning
A career in veterinary medicine provides a variety of choices with flexibility in work settings. While 75% of the graduates of N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine accept employment in small or large animal clinical practice, veterinarians apply their knowledge of science and medicine in various occupations. Veterinarians who are not interested in traditional veterinary practice might consider positions in corporate veterinary practice, industry, consulting, housecall practice, publishing, research and development, media, sales, government (federal, state and local), the military, and non-profit organizations such as animal shelters.
Veterinarians employed in public health careers contribute to the eradication of both animal and human disease. In government agencies, they help to shape regulatory policies at the national, state and local level. Laboratory animal veterinarians work to insure the health and well-being of research animals. In private industry, veterinarians have opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, and food companies.
- 4 Year Career Plan
- AAHA Career Center
- AAHA Externship Directory
- AAVMC Career Portal
- AVMA Career Center
- AVMA Student Externship Locator
- Career Assessments
- Career Development Center
- Career Information
- Career Shift
- Curriculum Vitae Example for PhD students
- Curriculum Vitae Samples
- Get Veterinary Jobs on Twitter
- Graduate School
- Internships and Externships
- Job Guide
- Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
- Preparing Future Leaders
- Veterinary Career Network
- Veterinary Corps
- Veterinary Salary Statistics
NCSU Vet Med Library Resources
- Resumes and Cover Letter Writing for the Health Care Field
- Veterinary Career Options
- Veterinary Salary Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
"When do I start looking for a job?"
The answer to this question depends on your needs and limitations, such as geographic requirements, financial expectations, practice type, program requirements, and employer expectations. A lot depends on your comfort level and schedule. Many students feel uncomfortable postponing the process and prefer to get an early start.
Your schedule will also affect your decision. Do you have vacation blocks scheduled for interviewing or will you have to interview on weekends? Location is important. Is travel time required? Is the "law of supply and demand" in effect? For example, the triangle area has many new graduates looking for jobs.
Remember to check license requirements for the state in which you wish to practice. The AAVSB Directory of Veterinary License Requirements is available in the Student Services Office, A242
"Resume or Curriculum Vitae?"
Your resume is usually requested by potential employers, and a curriculum vitae (CV) is often requested for advanced training or academic programs. The resume is a brief summary of your experience and qualifications. The CV also documents your work history, but it generally grows with your experience and has categories such as "Research," "Teaching," "Presentations," and "Publications." For young professionals, the CV and resume often look similar. To see examples or to request a review of your CV or resume design and content, contact Jeff Huckel at 513-6205.
"What will the interview be like?"
Interviews can take many formats, including informal discussions, working interviews, and structured question and answer sessions. Be prepared for any type of interview. Dress professionally. You may choose to bring along a change of clothes in case the interview becomes a working interview. Be clear and capable of explaining your own strengths, developmental needs, expectations, and information goals. Have specific examples ready to support your claims. Ask for specific information regarding the "must haves" on your criteria list so you can make the best choice among a list of alternative job offers. Relax, take a deep breath, and listen carefully. Some questions you might want to ask during the interview are: (courtesy of Dr. Janine Sagris) Ask the veterinarian:
- Are vets given freedom to diagnose and treat and perform surgery as they see fit?
- Are there any protocols that the vets are required to follow?
- Will another veterinarian be present to answer any of my questions and to consult with on difficult cases? (Will I ever be left alone? When will I be left alone?)
- How often do the veterinarians here consult with each other?
- Are veterinarians allowed to refer cases to referral centers or veterinary specialists?
- Which specialists do you refer cases to regularly?
- Which controlled drugs are in stock and which are used frequently?
- Are syringes and/or needles recycled?
- What is your Rabies protocol if someone is bitten?
- Are the technicians trained in venupuncture techniques?
- What are the technicians trained to do in the room with the client?
- Who performs dental prophylaxis?
- How many veterinarians have held this position in the past five years?
- Why do you think those veterinarians left this position?
- How many people have negotiated to purchase this practice in the past five years?
- What do you like least about this practice? What would you like to improve about this clinic?
- Where is this practice going in the future?
- Where do I fit in those future plans?
Ask the Technicians:
- How long have you been with this practice?
- Do you enjoy working here?
- Do the staff members get along with each other? With the vets?
- Do the veterinarians get along with each other? With the staff?
- Do you feel you are allowed to do skills that show your potential? (Are you allowed to do what you can do?)
- What are the things you don't like about this clinic?
"What salary can I expect?"
According American Veterinary Medical Association, in 2005, the mean average first-year salary for veterinarians in small animal exclusive private clinical practice was $53,796. For those in large animal exclusive private clinical practice, it was $49,157. For more information and statistics on the veterinary market, see the "Market Statistics" section under "Public Resources" at the AVMA web site.
"What if I need help with an employment contract?"
Registered students have access to NC State University's student legal services.