Professional Training

A world-class teaching hospital for wildlife medicine, rehabilitation, and education

working with students

As a teaching hospital, the Wildlife Center offers hands-on training opportunities for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, wildlife rehabilitators, and wildlife education and outreach professionals. Through our annual Call of the Wild conference, and online course offerings in our Wildlife Care Academy, professionals worldwide teach, learn, and share best practices in wildlife medicine. Scan the information below for an overview of our educational offerings, and click through for more detailed information.

Internships and Externships


The Wildlife Center offers a variety of professional training programs for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, including veterinary and veterinary technician externships for senior students, as well as post-doctoral internships for veterinarians and internships for newly graduated licensed veterinary technicians. In addition, opportunities are available for those interested in volunteering with our veterinary staff.


Wildlife rehabilitation is the process of rescuing, raising, and arranging for the veterinary medical care of orphaned and injured wild animals, with a goal of releasing them back to their natural habitats. The Wildlife Center offers on-site training opportunities, including externship and internship programs, for those interested in gaining hands-on experience in the field of wildlife rehabilitation.

Public Outreach

The Center’s outreach department currently offers a training externship available to students and others interested in gaining in-depth practical experience in the fields of public outreach and conservation education.  

The outreach department presents  hundreds of programs each year to thousands of participants—in schools and libraries in Virginia, at the Center, through streamed online programs, and through the Center’s Critter Cams and Moderated Discussion.

outreach streaming program

Call of the Wild Conference

call of the wild in person
cow online

The Wildlife Center of Virginia's annual Call of the Wild conference is one of the premier continuing education opportunities for wildlife rehabilitators and other "first responders." Co-sponsored by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, the conference features both online and in-person components, drawing nearly 400 participants from across the United States. Wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary professionals, wildlife biologists, environmental educators, and wildlife enthusiasts from Virginia and beyond share ideas and knowledge that can benefit wildlife, the environment, and the continually evolving field of wildlife rehabilitation. 

Call of the Wild is an excellent learning opportunity for rehabilitators of all skill levels—and a chance for members of a stressful profession to relax, rejuvenate, and be mutually inspired by the work we do!   

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Wildlife Care Academy

Still screen shot of training video
Opossum photo

The Wildlife Care Academy provides online, self-paced academic programs in the fields of wildlife rehabilitation, medicine, and conservation education.

Our training classes and programs provide comprehensive instruction on a wide array of topics, including wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife medicine and diagnostics, capture and restraint, as well as related disciplines regarding conservation education and organization management. The Wildlife Care Academy offers training and continuing education courses for wildlife rehabilitators, licensed veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal control officers, biologists and law enforcement professionals, and others who may have reason to capture, transport, or care for any wildlife animal in a captive situation, either short-term or long term.

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Careers Working with Wildlife

Working in the Wildlife Center office
Bat rehabilitator holding a small bat in gloved hand
a rehabilitator feeds a tiny baby opossum

There are many ways for people to get involved in working with wildlife. The Careers Working with Wildlife page organizes an abundance of information about how to get started, what to expect, where you can go, and how to advance in a career in conservation medicine and education.

Features of the page include: “Day in the Life” photo essays with Wildlife Center colleagues; a set of “Where Are They Now” links to information on Wildlife Center alumni who have gone on to extended careers; an overview of the steps required to become a wildlife rehabilitator; as well as links to training and education opportunities.

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