By: Camryn McGee

Basic Information

A veterinarian is a physician who has been educated and trained by an accredited institution to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in animals.

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Career Research

Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals. Job duties range from cleaning teeth and inspecting hooves to major surgery and animal euthanasia. In addition to an undergraduate degree, veterinarians must hold doctoral degrees in veterinary medicine, pass a national licensing examination and meet any other state-specific requirements for licensing/certification. You can get these in college and it usually takes 4 years. At least three preferred job skills are: science, active listening, and speaking. The job outlook is 12%. The average salary for each hour is $40.61, and the average salary for each year is $84,460. You would find this work in a hospital building or any medical building. The working conditions can be scary because you can see animals in very bad condition. It can be emotional and even more emotional for the owner of the pet. I contacted two people that work in this field. Here is one quote said by one of the workers about their job: “The best thing about our jobs is helping the clients and their pets to get well and feel better. To have a client come in with a very sick animal is heartbreaking so if we can do something to help that pet get better and get to go home with their families that is most rewarding.“
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High School Preparation

Two related courses at my school that I can take to help me prepare are:
  • Medical careers: The curriculum covers the topics of medical terminology, infection controls, vital signs, medical ethics, applies math, interpersonal communication, and vocational planning.

  • Biology: Application to life and work in a contemporary technological society as well as their implications on social issues.

Two clubs or activities that I can join at my school are:

  • Principia: Principia is a club whose goal is to help students deepen and broaden their understanding of science.

  • Skills USA: Skills USA is a national organization for students enrolled full-time in industrial, technical, and health organizations.

To help me get an idea of how people in my career field I can get a internship at my local vet, walk dogs, babysit animals, or shadow a vet for a summer or even a day!


Three references I have are...

  • Mrs. Dembkowski - Sophomore Volleyball Coach at East Leyden

  • Mrs. Divitto - Freshman Basketball Coach at East Leyden

  • Mrs. Gorzynski - Digital Literacy Teacher at East Leyden

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    College PLans

    I chose 3 colleges I would like to attend to become a vet. Three of these colleges are: Stanford, University of Illinois, and lastly UCLA. I chose these colleges because I researched and it says they are very good medical/vet schools. I would rather prefer to go to UCLA or Stanford because I would like to attend college in California but University of Illinois is a better vet school. The top two college majors to become a vet are:
    • Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

    • Veterinary Sciences/Veterinary Clinical Sciences, General (Cert, MS, PhD)

    One training program I can do to help me out before college is NAVTA. NAVTA welcomes anyone is the veterinary industry.

    "The mission of NAVTA is to represent and promote the profession of veterinary technology. NAVTA provides direction, education, support and coordination for its members and works with other allied professional organizations for the competent care and humane treatment of animals."

    I can get an internship at any local vet and help around and see what goes on. My local vet asked me if I wanted to shadow them for the summer to see what work is like for vets and they can help me learn. If I go to a school in California I can get an internship at a zoo and be a zookeeper for a summer. Any of three would be a great opportunity. Here is a video of a San Diego Veterinarian and how their every day life is at work.

    A Day in the Life of a San Diego Zoo Veterinarian


    The most important thing I learned is that Vets do tons of harder work than they get credit for. They work really hard and love what they do. They can have very emotional days because their jobs can go from helping an animal getting an ear infection to putting an animal asleep. They can see very bad conditioned animals and it can get very emotional. I am very happy I contacted Dr.Fox because he is giving me the opportunity to shadow at his work one day. That is such a great opportunity! I've learned so may things and I got all of my questions answered from the people I contacted and I am very thankful for that.