People love their pets, and they’re willing to pay a lot of money to take care of them. If you’re a compassionate person that loves working with animals, becoming a vet may be the best career for you.
Preventing disease and healing animals is at the heart of what veterinarians do. But they also do so much more.
In this article, we explore veterinary as a fast-growing career of the future. We also explore the education requirements and take a look at the job outlook for the profession as a whole.
Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to protect public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, zoo inmates, and other animals.
Aside from treating individual animals, they play a role in public health by developing and enforcing standards for living conditions for livestock.
Veterinarians provide a wide range of services in private practice, teaching, research, government service, public health, military service, private industry, and other areas.
When taking the veterinarian's oath, a veterinarian solemnly swears to use his or her scientific knowledge and skills "for the benefit of society, through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge."
If you're keen on exploring a career in veterinary, you can lay a solid foundation for it in high school by paying attention to subjects like advanced math, life science, and general education.
Prospective veterinarians should earn a Bachelor's Degree in Pre-Veterinary Science or a related discipline, such as Animal Sciences, Zoology, or Biology.
Many veterinary schools require that applicants have some experience working with animals. Therefore, while earning their bachelor’s degree, it is quite common for undergraduates to pursue college internships that fulfill this prerequisite. These opportunities may exist with zoos, animal farms, research facilities, and veterinary hospitals and clinics.
After graduating from a bachelor's degree program, the next step is applying and attending a veterinary school program to obtain your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).
This degree usually takes four years to complete and consists of courses from basic science to disease, animal anatomy and physiology as well as treatment methods. The last year can consist of intern experience.
Finally, DVM program graduates must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) before they are permitted to practice. They must also take the veterinarian’s oath.
Veterinarians need several technical and interpersonal skills to strive in the field. If you make a good fit for the archetypes mentioned below, you may be well suited to be a veterinarian.
Respect for animals: The foremost prerequisite for being an excellent veterinarian is love and respect for animals. As a veterinarian, you should have a deep respect for animals, as much of your job will consist of caring for them humanely.
Empathy: As a veterinarian, you might face difficult situations such as informing pet owners about a pet having to be put down due to injury or illness. For this reason, you should be empathetic to each client's situation and help them feel supported.
Communication skills: Veterinarians should have superb communication skills, as they need to speak with pet owners and listen to their concerns about a pet's condition. They might also be working alongside veterinary assistants or technicians who follow their instructions.
Investigative: Veterinarians tend to be predominantly investigative individuals, which means that they are quite inquisitive and curious people that often like to spend time alone with their thoughts.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for veterinarians will increase 17% by 2030. As there are currently more than 86,000 veterinarians employed in the United States, these projections suggest that employment will increase to over 100,000 positions within the next 10 years.
Increases in consumers’ pet-related spending are expected to drive employment in the veterinary services industry, which employs most veterinarians.
In the US, Veterinarians earn an average yearly salary of $99,250. Wages typically start from $60,690 and go up to $164,490.