Don't you just love animals?

Veterinarians take care of animals, but they also do much more: They protect the safety of our food supply by inspecting livestock, promote public health by fighting animal-borne diseases, and help foster healthier relationships between people and their animal companions. .


A Veterinarians salary will vary depending on the location and the setting. Area of specialization also plays a part in how much they earn. A Veterinarian median salary is $43.87 per hour. The lowest 10% earn $24.27 per hour and those in the upper 10% earn more than $68.11 per hour. On an annual basis the average Veterinarian salary is $91,250 The lowest 10% earn less than $50,480 per year while the upper 10% earn more than $141,680 per year. These salaries are calculated as a mean or average. The lowest paid Veterinarians earn less, with mean or average wages below $25.00 per hour. The highest pay levels are found in metropolitan areas where the mean or average wage is over $76.00 per hour. the wage was $82,040 a year which is about $39.44 an hour. To be a professional Vet you will need a doctoral / professional degree to get to this level and salary amount.

Benefits for veterinarians

Anyone who loves nurturing and caring for animals can understand the draw to becoming a veterinarian. Vets have the opportunity to work with animals and save the lives of dogs, cats, horses, and other creatures, but they must also have the emotional fortitude to overcome difficult situations when they are unable to treat a particular creature. Nevertheless, the opportunity to save the lives of countless animals, and be surrounded by them on a daily basis, is one of the most rewarding benefits associated with becoming a vet. Vets have the opportunity to incorporate plenty of variety into their work lives. Whether they work with multiple species of animals or perform a wide variety of treatments and surgeries, their days are often diverse and exciting. They’re also responsible for making rapid decisions, which can determine the fate of a particular animal. This can lead to a sense of accomplishment over time as their judgment improves, and as they’re able to increase the number of procedures they can perform and the number of lives they’re able to save. Surveys indicate that most vets are extremely satisfied with their career choices. In addition to having careers that they’re passionate about, vets have the opportunity to open their own practices, select areas in which to specialize, and set their own schedules and hours. Experienced vets with successful professional track records can usually choose to live almost anywhere in the country, from rural locations to a large metropolis, and still find clients for their practices. Additionally, saving the lives of animals is considered a very respectable career choice, and the high societal regard can make vets feel appreciated. With the recent economic downturn, many people are in search of growing career fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for veterinarians was predicted to grow by 33% between 2008 and 2018. Additionally, the competition for these sought after jobs is limited, because there are only 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the US. If you’re able to gain admission into one these educational institutions, you will have tremendous career possibilities, and opportunities to specialize in a wide variety of areas, such as working with a particular species, treating a certain type of disease, or performing research in a specific area

Required Education

  • Earning a doctor of veterinary medicine degree typically takes four years. Although it is sometimes possible to gain acceptance to a college of veterinary medicine without first earning a bachelor’s degree, most students have completed their undergraduate degrees before enrolling. Admission is highly competitive -- fewer than 50 percent of those who applied for admission in 2010 were accepted, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- so students might want to consider whether earning their four-year degrees would increase their chances for acceptance.
  • As of publication, there were 28 accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the U.S. Course requirements and options vary, but certain basic courses are standard. Students typically study animal physiology and anatomy, biology, zoology, animal science, chemistry and microbiology. Some colleges also require courses in the humanities, social sciences or mathematics. Typically, the first three years are spent in classroom instruction, laboratory work and clinical practice. The fourth year is normally spent at an animal hospital or clinic, where students rotate among different specialties and types of patients. Many veterinary colleges require courses in English composition and public speaking. Genetics and nutrition are also mandatory at some schools.
  • Every state requires licensing of veterinarians. The requirements vary by state but all require graduation from an accredited college with a doctorate in veterinary medicine and a passing grade on the national test, the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. Some states also require veterinarians to pass a state exam to demonstrate through knowledge of the regulations and laws that apply to the specific state. The BLS advises that few states have reciprocity agreements, which means veterinarians licensed in one state who move to another state must normally pass any required state exams in the new location before being allowed to practice.
  • Once a veterinarian earns his license, he can begin his practice immediately. Some recently graduated veterinarians choose to enter an internship, though, which typically lasts one year. The most common reasons for doing so, according to the BLS, are to gain practical experience if planning to apply for a competitive job or to help prepare for certification in a veterinary specialty. There are 40 veterinary specialties, including surgery and internal medicine. Depending on the specialty, veterinarians need to meet the requirements for experience and education before sitting for the certification exam.

Working conditions

  • Small Animal Practices:

Veterinarians are responsible for the health and well-being of their clients’ cats, dogs and other assorted pets. The veterinarian works in a sterile clinical setting, seeing patients in a manner similar to a medical doctor. During the day, the veterinarian sees patients, conducts routine lab tests on them and performs routine surgeries, such as spaying and neutering. Veterinarians in both small and large animal practices are on-call for emergencies.

  • Large Animal Practices:

A veterinarian who works exclusively with large animals may work for a single employer or with a specific type of animal. Alternatively, the veterinarian may spend several hours a day traveling from farm to farm and work with a variety of animals. Large animal veterinarians perform routine tasks, such as vaccinations and de-worming, and are often called to help deliver a newborn calf. Veterinarians who work with large animals risk injury.

  • inspectors and Consultants:

Veterinarians may work as inspectors or consultants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture employs veterinarians to act as food inspectors to keep the nation’s food supply safe. These inspectors work in meat-processing plants. Other veterinarians serve as industry consultants. They may work from an office setting, or they may travel to the farms to work directly with farmers. Veterinary consultants, hired by corporate owners, may visit concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, to ensure the animals are receiving humane treatment as well as receiving prescribed care. These veterinaries may perform laboratory tests on the animal herd inside the CAFO to check for diseases.

  • Research Setting:

A veterinarian who conducts research works in a sterile laboratory. Work conditions are clean and tools are readily available for the research. A veterinarian who works in research may have minimal contact with animals, except for those used in testing.


You are less likely (compared to other doctors) to be sued.

You won't have much difficulty finding a job.

It pays well

There are many types of jobs to choose from.


You have to attend school for several years.

You have to deal with agitated animals.

You will encounter upset pet owners.

You might have to work Saturdays and be on call

Promotion Advancements

Veterinarians tend to not have defined career ladders or promotions like you would see in a corporation or large business. In this regard, many private practice veterinarians don't so much as advance or promote as they do increase their salaries and get a better benefits package.

However, veterinarians can broaden their scope of responsibilities through several methods: working towards a board certification in a specialty, working with non-veterinary groups like shelters and rescue organizations, and by buying into a practice.