Explore Online Veterinary Colleges

Online veterinary colleges offer high job placement potential. Read how to explore top online U.S. veterinary colleges and start your dream career today.



Are you considering a career as a veterinarian but do not know where to start the process? The COVID-19 pandemic created an online learning environment protocol for many colleges/universities, including those teaching veterinarian skills. Taking time to explore available online veterinary colleges is the best place to start your research. What areas of specializations are taught in online veterinary colleges? What are projected job growth ratings and career options for veterinarians through 2029?

Projected salaries and career growth rates for trained veterinarians are strong and trending upward. Competition for entry into the top online veterinary colleges is intense, however. Are you pursuing a career as an environmental toxicology veterinarian? Is your interest in aquatic medicine? Read ahead for valuable information on how to explore top online U.S. veterinary colleges and start you career path today.

About Veterinary Colleges in the U.S. Today

Enrolling in a veterinary college is competitive because fewer schools are available in the country than exist actual U.S. states. Moving out of state to get into the best school available is a probable necessity. Top veterinary colleges in 2021 are located both stateside and in various locations internationally. At the time of this writing only thirty accredited veterinary colleges are operational in the U.S. and another nineteen abroad. This means there is fewer top accredited veterinary colleges in the entire world than existing U.S. states.

Top U.S. veterinary colleges are accredited via the American Veterinary Medical Association – Council on Education (AVMA-COE). The AVMA-COE also shares a reciprocity agreement with top international veterinary colleges in other countries. Degrees obtained at any AVMA-COE-accredited veterinary college (stateside or abroad) are therefore usable to attain employment in the U.S. regardless of where you studied. 

What are other important factors to know about veterinary colleges in the U.S. today? Certain schools focus on educating students in specialized fields in addition and/or as opposed to teaching general veterinary medicine. Ratings and job placement percentages also vary from school to school. Training and educating your self to become a professional veterinarian takes a minimum of four years (bachelor’s degree) and most commonly eight-ten years total to achieve a licensed, practicing status. Choosing the right veterinary college for your preferred career field or area of specialization is absolutely essential.

Small Animal Surgery – Specializations

Veterinary surgery specializations are separated into two main categories, one for large and small animals each. Veterinary surgery for larger animals involves more comprehensive training and is sometimes even particular to specific breeds of animals. Small animal surgeries are more common perhaps due to the sheer amount of smaller animals owned by Americans as domestic pets. Veterinary surgeons are required to initially obtain a bachelor’s degree. It is then required to also pursue subsequent four years of education, which includes a one-year internship and three-year residency program. Both the internship and residency programs are required to meet American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) regulatory guidelines. Residency requirements include caseload studies and research published in an official scientific journal. Residencies are successfully completed upon the passing of a comprehensive final examination.

Types of veterinary specializations are vast in number. Small animal surgery specializations are broken into two primary categories. Orthopedic surgeons perform surgeries on an animal’s skeletal system. Orthopedic surgery also deals with repairing tendons, ligaments and broken bones. Joint replacement surgery is also part of this specialization category. Soft tissue surgery deals with repairing non-skeletal areas of the body, with a primary focus on the animals’ internal organs. Internal organ issues repaired by surgery involve a wide range of operations including the removal of tumors/lesions through organ transplants.

Environmental Toxicology

Veterinary-based environmental toxicology is a highly important specialty field within the overall practice of veterinary medicine. Environmental toxicology is an extensive area of veterinary science, which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of poisoned, intoxicated and/or (environmentally) infected animals. Poisons/intoxicants range from pesticides through pollution-based to xylitol, the latter of which is a sugar-replacement (artificial sweetener) product especially dangerous to dogs. Veterinary medicines in the environment are also part of this field of specialization. Veterinary environmental toxicology also focuses on understanding poisonous plants in relation to their impact on livestock and other animals.

Aquatic Medicine

Aquatic medicine is another popular specialty area of veterinary practices. The International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM) describes aquatic medicine practitioners as veterinarians who specialize in managing the health of invertebrates and multiplicitous breeds of marine animals. Sea turtles, fish and even government-protected marine mammals (such as the Florida manatee) are all treated by aquatic medicine specialists today. Because the specialization of aquatic medicine is unique/particular, competition to get into the limited amount of applicable available schools is strong. For example, Cornell University only accepts approximately eleven percent of applicants overall. The University of Florida, which also has a top aquatic medicine program in 2021, admits a little more than thirty-four percent of applicants.

Top College Career Placement Ratings & Options

Career options for trained, educated and licensed professional veterinarians are trending upwards and projected to do so for almost a decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. BLS) states the median pay for licensed veterinarians as $99,250 per year, with a growth rate of sixteen percent through 2029. Type of career options in various veterinary fields include:

  • General veterinary practitioner.

  • Epidemiologist.

  • Swine health management specialist.

  • Reptile amphibian.

  • Anatomic/clinical pathology.

  • Radiation oncology

Top Vet Universities Today

The Royal Veterinary College in London and Utrecht University in the Netherlands are two of the top vet international universities in 2021. Choosing your school wisely based on your career path and area of specialization is necessary for your ultimate success, which might mean studying abroad. Many of the top vet colleges in the world are also located right here in America, however. A list of top stateside vet universities today includes:

Types of Associate Degrees

Countless types of associate degrees are obtainable online in 2021. The type of degree you pursue is largely dependent on your chosen career path. Is your goal to work in cyber security? An associate degree in Information Technologies (IT) might be the place to start. Are you planning to become a registered nurse (RN)? An associate degree in nursing is required. What other types of associate degrees are popular and valuable in 2021?

  • Medical assistant.

  • Business administration.

  • Education/teaching.

  • Counseling/substance abuse.

  • Psychology.

  • Social work.

When considering your career path and applicable associate degree program it is also advisable to look at ranges for starting and median salaries in your vocational field of choice. For example, the average median starting salary for an RN is listed at over $61,000 per year on the ZipRecruiter website. Salary.com lists the average median starting salary for a social worker at approximately $42,000 per year. Knowing the income potential for various careers helps you choose the best type of associates degree program for you. 

How to Get and Apply for Financial Aid & Grants

Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for government-funded financial aid. Federal Pell Grants and a vast amount of other financial aid options are available to potentially pay for some or all of your school-related expenses. It is crucial to submit your financial aid applications prior to the deadlines as mandated in your state.

Online Resources to Find More Information

Additional online resources to find more information about obtaining an associates degree online are available. Resources include various ways to acquire financial aid as well as general information pursuant to obtaining an online associates degree. Additional online resources to find more information include: