Veterinary is the perfect career path for individuals who love animals. Veterinarians are the doctors for animals, they have to diagnose the health problem and find a way to treat it, either by medications, surgery, or behavioral therapy. The veterinarians have to rely on their knowledge of animal biology and what they can observe since animals cannot communicate their symptoms verbally. This makes it a challenging profession. They also rely on pet owner’s observations. This is why veterinarians usually establish a bond with pet owners as well.
Veterinary Schools By State
Veterinarians can work in private practices or as part of a team in clinics and animal hospitals. They also work in Zoos and in animal research settings, such as laboratories, farms, racetracks, humane agencies, breeders, and other settings. They can also use their knowledge in research fields to help treat human conditions. Most veterinarians have private practices.
Their knowledge is wide and they will treat diseases in animals, perform surgery, x-rays, labs, and put up a plan of care for the animal, as well as advice pet owners on dietary restrictions and other topics that are important in the care of the animal. Veterinarians can also treat a variety of animals, from domestic pets to wildlife. Most private practices will be open to birds, cats, dogs, ferrets, and other exotic animals that are domestic pets; however, some private practices may specialize only in dogs and cats. Others might decide to specialize in the treatment of horses only.
The equipment that veterinarians use to treat and diagnose animals is very similar to the equipment use by physicians to treat humans. Others work with sophisticated computer and laboratory equipment, and others work in the food security industry, to ensure that food sources are free from infections and contaminants, and may require using different equipment – this is more an inspection and safety branch, usually with the government industry.
Different work settings have different environments, and in veterinary, this is true. Some veterinarians working in hospitals, clinics, or zoos will work in noisy environments, and will have to deal with several degrees of cleanliness. Veterinarians in research or inspecting fields will work under different circumstances, and some, mostly in offices – it depends on the job setting. Many will deal with the public more than with animals.
The hours for this profession are similar to physicians/doctors hours for humans – they can be long and work on weekends, on call, emergency … (day or night).
Education and Training
Education and training for this profession requires long studies. A doctor degree in Veterinary Medicine is required; veterinarian must be licensed by the state as well. The degree is known as D.V.M. or V.M.D. This field is very competitive. Some programs require a bachelor degree for admission while other require a minimum of credits in order to be considered for admission – credit hours could be from 45-90, depending on the school. Pre-requisites are highly concentrated in the sciences; some might require other courses depending on the specialization. These could include calculus, social sciences, and business management courses. This is mostly because veterinarians must know how to run a practice. Candidates with a bachelor degree under their belt will have a better chance to be admitted into veterinary school. There are other prerequisites such as test scores.
Graduates of a Veterinary School can begin working and practicing their field as soon as they become licensed. A three to four year residency program in a specialized area must be completed to be certified by the board.
Veterinarians must be licensed and requirements vary by state; however, a doctor in veterinary medicine degree and passing the state test is required to be able to obtain a license. Veterinarians that will work for government or federal agencies might not need a license to work. If a veterinarian wants to practice on another state, he/she must pass the state examination. There are also requirements on continuing education, and that varies by state.
Salary for veterinarians varies depending on the type of job setting and practice. It ranges from the low 40s to the high 70s. Federal government veterinarian’s salary can be up to the 90s. Much depends on job setting, experience, industry, and specialization. Rural veterinarians earn less, but there is also more job opportunity in isolated areas.*
Most of the job growth is expected to be in the private practice in cities and government agencies. The most promising and better-paid careers with the government will be in the areas of food safety and security, epidemiology and public health, and the field of animal health and welfare.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
The job opportunities available for this field are many, as well as the job settings. The competition for college admission is strong and expected to continue growing, despite the fact that the amount of veterinary medicine schools has remained the same. For candidates applying for acceptance at a veterinary college, a bachelor degree with a strong background in science topped with experience in an animal related field will help. People looking into this can work as veterinary technicians to gain experience.