By: Jayla Jermany


A veterinary physician, colloquially called a vet, diagnose, prevent, and treat a variety of animal illnesses and diseases. They administer tests, observe conditions in animals, perform surgery, and prescribe medication or therapy to their patients. Veterinarians work in private clinics or animal hospitals.

The Outlook on 2020 - 2021

By 2020, Veterinarian's will be in the Top 30 most fastest-growing job, and pet owners will be increasingly seeking nontraditional services, such as preventative dental care. Advances in the field are also allowing veterinarians to offer procedures common for humans, including hip replacement.


The most important skill is a passion for animals and a commitment to the health and well-being of animals. All veterinarians need outstanding expertise in math, science, language and research and a commitment to lifelong learning. They need to be informed of new scientific developments, quickly understand new information on procedures and drugs, and learn how to use them appropriately when treating their patients.


Veterinarians must hold a bachelor's degree at a four-year college before moving on to veterinary medicine school, and undergraduate work should focus on chemistry, biology, zoology, physiology, microbiology and anatomy. Courses in communications, math and the social sciences can also increase the likelihood of you getting accepted into one the 28 accredited veterinary medicine schools in the United States.

Work Environment

Veterinarians work in private clinics or animal hospitals. Veterinarians who treat small domestic animals work indoors in an office and clinic environment. Veterinarians who treat large livestock, such as cattle, horses, pigs, goats, etc. will work outside at a farm or ranch.Veterinarians supervise Veterinarian Technicians and Technologists who usually assist with medical tests and treat, emergency procedures, and other duties. Veterinarians may also be employed at animal control facilities, humane societies, biomedical facilities, diagnostic laboratories, wildlife facilities, drug and food manufacturing companies, military, and food safety inspection facilities.


The BLS reports that veterinarians earned a median salary of $86,640 in 2013. The best-paid veterinarians earned $149,530, while the lowest-paid earned $53,270 a year. Veterinarians working in scientific research tend to be among the highest paid. The top-paying metropolitan areas include Honolulu, Santa Barbara, California, and San Francisco.