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Blog>Guides>Guide to Veterinary Continuing Education in 2024

Guide to Veterinary Continuing Education in 2024

Article index


  • Continuing education (CE) is essential for veterinary students and veterinary professionals on an annual basis.
  • Veterinary profession program requirements and deadlines for completion will vary by state.
  • On top of staying current on the latest practices and methodologies, veterinary continuing education is also a great way to advance your job outlook by equipping your practice (and your resume) with new certifications.


The field of veterinary work is constantly evolving. Your professional development as a veterinarian requires consistent upkeep to stay current on the latest scientific advances and innovative technology. The best way to keep your veterinary practice at optimal efficiency in its care and treatment of furry patients is to ensure that you and your veterinary colleagues stay educated with continuing education (CE) courses throughout your career.

The trend of increased online academic curricula has continued into 2024. Online learning options can empower you to learn at your own pace without hampering your career and professional development.

Online veterinary continuing education is a great option. Enrolling in an online program is an efficient way to complete your CE at your own pace and usually at a lower cost. There are many affordable program options from the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE).

This article will help you prepare for annual veterinary CE accreditation in your practicing state.

The Importance of Veterinary Continuing Education

Veterinary continuing education is critical to ensuring you stay knowledgeable and updated with the latest practices and developments in veterinary work. This industry-specific continuing education entails expanding your knowledge of expertise in veterinary practices and methodologies.

A vet working at a computer with a cat on her lap.

Academic options can range from online certificate programs to university opportunities around the country, such as the Penn Vet programs offered at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, education credit options are endless, ranging from live webinars to interactive symposiums. Before enrolling in a program, do some research to determine which is the best fit for you and your professional goals.

Learn more about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) veterinary training platform for curriculum options accredited by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

Is Veterinary Continuing Education Mandatory?

Yes, veterinary continuing education is mandatory. In fact, veterinary professionals are required by law to meet continuing education (or continuing education credit) requirements of their practicing state to remain licensed. To continue practicing veterinary medicine, the requirements for continuing education and annual deadlines for completion will differ by state.

Before enrolling in a program, you will want to ensure that the CE courses will satisfy legal requirements when you submit evidence for your veterinary license, as these requirements will vary by state.

Training at vet school.

For example, annual deadlines for states like Florida, Wisconsin, and Kansas occur between May and July. On the other hand, it is not a requirement to submit evidence of completing continuing education hours to reactivate a veterinary license in Virginia. However, Virginia-based veterinarians are required to complete renewal applications on an annual basis. Refer to the Virginia General Assembly statutory authority website for more information.

That being said, all veterinary practitioners are encouraged to complete continuing education to some degree annually to ensure they stay up to date on the best practices of care and methodologies.

Also, it should be noted that continuing veterinary education is not legally required for certain positions in veterinary work. However, this will also differ by state requirement. Check with your state professional licensing agency to confirm the necessary CE to practice in your area.

Types of Veterinary Continuing Education

The most common veterinary continuing education programs or certifications can include educational courses, webinars, and podcasts from participating industry experts. Depending on your program, there are also options for attending annual conferences, professional workshops, national conferences, and scientific symposiums. Relative to your state of practice and its requirements, participation in each will equate to a certain number of credit hours contributing toward CE completion for a given year.

Check out the list below of RACE-approved online content that can help you complete your veterinary continuing education requirements:

Visit Clinician’s Brief CE for more RACE-approved online continuing education options. Additional RACE-approved online learning curriculums can also be found on the American Association of Veterinary State Boards website. Refer to this online resource for additional information on selecting your veterinary continuing education curriculum.

RACE-Approved Veterinary Continuing Education

Before enrolling in a veterinary continuing education program, make sure to confirm that it will be in accordance with local practicing requirements and that it will be constituted as RACE-approved veterinary CE. (This means that the AAVSB accredits it.) AAVSB RACE accreditation can make a world of difference in the quality of education you receive from a prospective educational opportunity. You want to ensure that you and your veterinary team have received the best and most recent information in the field.

Benefits of Veterinary Continuing Education

There are numerous professional development benefits of participating in continuing education opportunities. This demonstrates that you take your work seriously, ultimately making you worth a higher salary to employers or potential employers. On top of staying current on the latest practices and methodologies, veterinary continuing education is also a great way to advance your job outlook by equipping your practice with new certifications.

How to Include Continuing Education on Your Resume

Do not forget to include your continuing education on your resume. Many seasoned veterinarians opt to create a separate “Continuing Education” section to exhibit the various CE courses, certifications, etc.

A vet using a tablet.

Typically, this section is placed toward the end of your resume, following sections on education, academic honors (if applicable), veterinary work experience, and research and publications. Depending on your range of participation, you can even divide this section into separate categories to include more specific information on professional presentations, teaching experiences, volunteer experiences, and an “other” section for curriculum experiences that might not fit standard categories.

And remember to italicize when appropriate, such as with publications. It is a good practice to update and revise your resume on an annual basis, as your continuing education participation will only continue to increase over your years of veterinary practice.

Find the Best Veterinary Jobs on Joblist

As a veterinarian, it’s important that you continue educating yourself. It’s also a good idea to put yourself out there to ensure you’re finding the best jobs possible. Joblist makes it much easier for you to find the best veterinarian jobs. All you need to do is take our Joblist quiz, and you’ll get back personalized job matches that you can apply to or save for later. We also have a comprehensive blog that provides career advice across a wide variety of industries, among other things.

Check out Joblist to discover your next career opportunity to advance your professional career!

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