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Veterinarians Career

Career Description

Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

What Job Titles Veterinarians Might Have

  • Associate Veterinarian
  • Equine Vet (Equine Veterinarian)
  • Veterinarian (VET)
  • Veterinary Medicine Doctor (DVM)

What Veterinarians Do

  • Examine animals to detect and determine the nature of diseases or injuries.
  • Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or performing surgery.
  • Collect body tissue, feces, blood, urine, or other body fluids for examination and analysis.
  • Inoculate animals against various diseases such as rabies or distemper.
  • Counsel clients about the deaths of their pets or about euthanasia decisions for their pets.
  • Operate diagnostic equipment, such as radiographic or ultrasound equipment, and interpret the resulting images.
  • Advise animal owners regarding sanitary measures, feeding, general care, medical conditions, or treatment options.
  • Educate the public about diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.
  • Attend lectures, conferences, or continuing education courses.
  • Establish or conduct quarantine or testing procedures that prevent the spread of diseases to other animals or to humans and that comply with applicable government regulations.
  • Euthanize animals.
  • Train or supervise workers who handle or care for animals.
  • Research diseases to which animals could be susceptible.
  • Plan or execute animal nutrition or reproduction programs.
  • Perform administrative or business management tasks, such as scheduling appointments, accepting payments from clients, budgeting, or maintaining business records.
  • Conduct postmortem studies and analyses to determine the causes of animals' deaths.
  • Inspect and test horses, sheep, poultry, or other animals to detect the presence of communicable diseases.
  • Provide care to a wide range of animals or specialize in a particular species, such as horses or exotic birds.
  • Drive mobile clinic vans to farms so that health problems can be treated or prevented.
  • Direct the overall operations of animal hospitals, clinics, or mobile services to farms.
  • Specialize in a particular type of treatment, such as dentistry, pathology, nutrition, surgery, microbiology, or internal medicine.
  • Determine the effects of drug therapies, antibiotics, or new surgical techniques by testing them on animals.
  • Inspect animal housing facilities to determine their cleanliness and adequacy.

What Veterinarians Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Veterinarians Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Veterinarians Need to Learn

  • 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.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $88,770

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.