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Career as a Veterinarian

Who is a Veterinarian?

A veterinarian (vet), also known as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary physician, is a professional who practicesby treating diseases, disorders, and injuries in non-human animals.

What does a Veterinarian do?

They Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Veterinarians also conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals. Veterinarians treat illnesses and injuries, conduct surgical and medical procedures and dental work, and vaccinate animals against diseases. They also teach owners preventive healthcare.

Types of Veterinarians?

1. Companion-animal veterinarians

While they’re just one segment of the veterinarian population, those who work with companion animals are the largest group. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports about 75 percent of all veterinarians in private practice work mostly or exclusively with companion animals. Veterinarians who work with pets are sort of like primary care physicians who work with humans. Their day-to-day tasks can vary significantly depending on the patient. A companion-animal veterinarian may treat wounds, diagnose illnesses, perform surgery, administer vaccines, and prescribe medications. They also euthanize animals nearing the end of their lives. Small-animal practitioners can even work with pets in need of homes at animal shelters, which is a relatively new branch of medicine. While the most recent median salary estimate for veterinarians is $90,420, companion-animal practitioners have historically exceeded this figure.

2. Veterinary specialists

Just like doctors who work with people, veterinary physicians can pursue countless specialties. Some career options are anesthesiology, dentistry, pathology, and surgery. Veterinarians can also opt to specialize in a particular species or group of animals like cats, dogs, poultry, or wildlife. Veterinarians refer their patients to specialists when a particular type of equipment orexpertise is required. Because each role calls for different skill sets, daily duties will vary substantially across specialties. A veterinary pathologist, for example, may examine tissue samples, perform biopsies, and assist with drug development. Salaries for different specialties can vary just as much as the duties performed. Specialists go through additional training to gain the knowledge and skills that set them apart, so they typically fall on the higher end of the salary spectrum.

3. Food-animal veterinarians

Most people who purchase a package of ground beef from the grocery store don’t spend much time thinking about whether the meat is safe to eat or what type of life the animal led. Food animal veterinarians, on the other hand, address these issues every day by working with animals raised for human consumption. These types of vets diagnose and treat illnesses, provide preventive care, maintain sanitary conditions, and more. Food-animal veterinarians primarily work on ranches and farms. They typically spend a fair amount of time traveling. Though the BLS does not feature specific salary information for food-animal veterinarians, the AVMA has compiled data in past reports. In 2011, the median income for these types of veterinarians was $100,000.

4. Food safety and inspection veterinarians

While both food-animal veterinarians and food-safety veterinarians play a role in keeping edible products safe, they’re not necessarily the same. The latter often work for the US Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, or the US Food and Drug Administration to help enforce regulations. These types of veterinarians may inspect livestock and animal products like eggs, dairy, and meat to ensure they meet sanitation standards. In some cases, they might need to quarantine infected animals to prevent illness from spreading to other animals and humans. Still others are involved in testing the safety of medications and additives. As you can see, these veterinarians do a lot to improve public health. You can gain an understanding of a typical salary for food safety and inspection veterinarians by examining wage estimates for veterinarians who are employed by the government. The median salary for veterinarians who work for the government is $89,010.

5. Research veterinarians

While every veterinarian needs to have strong scientific knowledge, it’s even more important for those devoted to research. Veterinarians who conduct research may find themselves working for government organizations, biomedical research firms, or universities. Vets who work at education institutions are often faculty members who teach veterinary students. Veterinarians employed by schools and government agencies may review past findings and techniques to work toward better methods for diagnosing, treating, and preventing health conditions. Those who work with biomedical or pharmaceutical firms develop and test drugs and other biomedical products. Research positions can be among the most lucrative veterinary roles since they often require specialized education beyond a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree. Like the specialists we mentioned above, research veterinarians can expect their income to be higher on the salary spectrum.

What is the work place of a veterinarian like?

Most veterinarians work in veterinary clinics. Most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals. Others travel to farms or work in settings such as laboratories, classrooms, or zoos. Veterinarians who treat horses or food animals travel between their offices and farms and ranches. When working with animals that are frightened or in pain, veterinarians risk being bitten, kicked, or scratched. Veterinarians often work long and erratic hours. Some work nights or weekends, and they may have to respond to emergencies at any time.

Knowledge areas that need to be acquired

Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment,alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction

English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


Attention to detail: Veterinarians need to be methodical and analytical. They must be able to interpret data and think logically to diagnose illness and injury.

Compassion: Veterinarians deal with people who may be distraught about a beloved pet's death or illness. They must be able to empathize with an animal's suffering and show care and compassion.

Physical strength and stamina: Veterinarians need to lift and move animals during examinations and surgeries and stand for long hours.

Technical and scientific aptitude: Veterinarians use technical machinery and have to interpret information from X-rays, reports and blood tests.

Excellent communication skills: Veterinarians have to be able to describe sometimes complicated information to members of the public when they may be emotionally upset. They have to clearly explain home care instructions for medicine doses and follow up care in a way that pet owners will understand. They need to write detailed notes and often give their expert opinions in presentations, speeches and reports.


Medical software

· American Data Systems PAWS Veterinary Practice Management

· InformaVet ALIS-VET

Data base user interface and query software

· IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX VPM

· Microsoft Access

Spreadsheet software

· Microsoft Excel



· communicate by speaking

· listen and understand what people say

Ideas and Logic

· make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information

· notice when problems happen

Hand and Finger Use

· keep your arm or hand steady

· put together small parts with your fingers


· pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.

They do well at jobs that need:



Attention to Detail

Stress Tolerance

Concern for Others

Self Control


· Accountability, take responsibility for our actions and attitudes.

· Compassion,we act with kindness, sensitivity, and professionalism.

· Diversity. We act purposefully to attract and retain talented students, faculty, and staff who reflect the diversity of the populations we serve.

· Excellence.

· Innovation. .

· Integrity.


Admission to most veterinary colleges is done on the basis of marks obtained in the entrance examination conducted by the university concerned. Those who want to pursue master degree in veterinary science or animal husbandry must have completed Bachelor's degree in respective branch with good percentages of marks. Veterinarians are required to complete a four-year Doctor of Medicine (DVM) program, in addition to undergraduate school. These professionals are also required to obtain licensure to practice in the profession.

Job outlook

The number of people working as Veterinarians (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years: from 10,500 in 2018 to 12,100 by 2023. Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving). There are likely to be around 7,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,400 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.

  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.

  • Location: Veterinarians work in many regions of Australia.

  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Education and Training; and Public Administration and Safety.

  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,384 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.

  • Full-time: Many work full-time (72%, higher than the average of 66%).

  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).

  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).

  • Gender: 61% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Veterinarians in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Veterinarians

Most frequently asked questions

I. What makes you a good veterinarian?

A great veterinarian has excellent communication skills and explains your pet's health issues in layman's terms that you can understand. They are able to answer your questions and give clear, concise details about treatment options, test results, medications, at-home care and other things relating to your pet's health.

II. How do I prepare for a veterinary interview?

1. Know yourself by reading your own résumé and cover letter to remind you of your qualities and skills. ...

2. Research the company. ...

3. Dress professionally and neatly.

4. Be on time for your interview.

5. Turn off your cell phone during the interview.

III. What are the benefits of veterinarian?

Benefits for salaried veterinarians include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and pension plans. Self-employed veterinarians must provide their own benefits.

IV. What are the cons of being a veterinarian?

· Potential burnout and compassion fatigue.

· You will see animals in pain and suffering from every ailment, and will likely perform euthanasia.

· Long hours in the office and on-call during weekends and evenings.

· Revenue a discretionary expense for caretakers.

V. What skills does a veterinary assistant need?

You will need compassion, good communication skills, fine attention to detail, and empathy for animals and their owners. As a vet assistant you will interact with pet owners and work with veterinarians and technicians.

VI. What do vet assistants make an hour in India?

In India, the remuneration of a vet exists in between Rs 10,000 to 50,000 per month depending upon the type of practice and experience.

VII. Can you work at a vet clinic with no experience?

The job you want is Kennel Attendant, ideally at a vet hospital. This is the entry level position, whereas some clinics will hire Vet Assistants with no experience, many will want an assistant to have previous experience at least working with animals.

VIII. What are the dangers of being a vet?

· Bites, Scratches and Other Injuries. Animals don't always make the most compliant patients.

· Infections and Illnesses.

· Malpractice Suits and Licensing Actions.

· Physical and Mental Stress.

IX. Why is a veterinarian important to the community?

Veterinarians are very important people in our society. The reason they are important to me is because they save many animals' lives every day. They are not only heroes to animals, but they are also heroes to people, too. Veterinarian’s help animals get better by giving them medicine or performing surgery on them.

X. Is it worth it to be a veterinarian?

Veterinary medicine is an extremely popular career choice in the animal industry, even though it requires a challenging, demanding education. It can be difficult to get accepted to vet school, but it can be well worth the effort in the long term.

XI. What are the courses available for veterinary in India?

Bachelor Courses:

· Bachelor of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry (B.V.Sc & AH) – 5 years · BV. Sc. in Animal Genetics and Breeding · BV. Sc. in Animal Production & Management · BV. Sc. in Veterinary Surgery & Radiology · BV. Sc. in Veterinary Medicine, Public Health & Hygiene

Master Courses:

· Master of Veterinary Science (M.V.Sc) – 3 years · MV. Sc in Veterinary Medicine · MV. Sc in Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology · MV. Sc in Veterinary Surgery & Radiology

Doctoral Courses:

· Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Veterinary Medicine · Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Veterinary Pathology · Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology


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