Veterinarians deal with an incredible variety of animals; from domestic pets to livestock to native wildlife. Because your daily tasks will never be the same, you must be able to move easily between the different varieties of cases and species of animals. Veterinarians usually specialise in a particular area, working out of a local clinic or practice or in research. A veterinarian must carry a qualification, usually in the form of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, taking between four to six years to complete at most universities. Once you have earned your qualification, you will need to register with the veterinary surgeon board, depending on which state you choose to practice.
A veterinarian cares deeply about the health and wellbeing of all animals, and helps animals and their owners treat illnesses and injuries through treatment and prevention programs. Depending what sort of species you would like to work with, a veterinarian can work in a clinic for domestic animals, or in an outdoor or national park setting, working with livestock or wildlife, as well as attending inspections and investigations to ensure animal wellbeing rights are being adhered to. As well as providing medical tests and treatment and surgical procedures, you may also assist with providing information on breeding behaviours and genetics.
As well as being an animal lover, a veterinarian is caring of animals that are often of high emotional value to their owner, so you will need to be able to effectively communicate with your clients in an empathetic but factual manner. Because you will be administering medication, you will need to be able to understand the chemical makeup of these medicines and how this will affect different types and sizes of animals.
Veterinarians have a wide variety of different career pathways that give you the opportunity to explore different roles, locations and challenges. Most qualified veterinarians work with domestic or unusual pets in a local clinic, or you may like to practice in a wildlife sanctuary or zoo. Veterinarians can take on further training to become qualified as a specialist in a variety of roles including surgery, dermatology and dentistry.
To work as a qualified veterinarian, you will first need to acquire an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in veterinary science.
A university degree is a long-term time commitment, so if you first want to try working in the sector, before you commit to long-term education, you can first gain a vocational qualification, starting out as a veterinary nurse.
To enrol in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, all universities require a high ranking score.
There are lots of opportunities available to you in your postgraduate careers and a well-developed resume can see you working in a high-level management-type role.
Depending on what state you wish to practice in, you will need to register with your state veterinary registration board, once you are qualified.
To give yourself a polished resume to make you stand out from the crowd, check out our sample resumes and cover letters.
Over the next 10 years, prospects for veterinarians are stable, giving you a good chance to secure full-time employment with an above-average salary of $75,000.