Nature of the work

  • take care of sick animals
  • dress wounds, set broken bones
  • perform surgery on animals
  • prescribe medicines
  • give vaccinations

Work Enviornment

  • animal clinic/hospital
  • noisy
  • large animal vets practice in mobile offices and come to their patients
  • risk of being kicked, bitten, or scratched
  • most vets work 50+ hours a week
  • people owning private practices may work nights and also weekends
  • veterinarians are mainly employed in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Public Administration and Safety and Education and Training
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Training Required

  • vets must be licensed
  • obtain a license, applicants must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree from an accredited college of veterinary medicine and pass a State board examination


  • median salary of $87,590 in 2014
  • best-paid veterinarians earned $157,390
  • lowest-paid earned $52,530

Related Occupations

  • animal trainers
  • veterinary technicians
  • zoologists
  • marine biologists
  • naturalists

Job Outlook & Employment

  • expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations
  • number of pets is expected to show a steady increase because of rising incomes and the movement of baby boomers