Marine Vetrinarian

By Dana M

Career Description

Marine Veterinarians typically deal with marine mammals such as otters and dolphins, although they additionally help fish and other underwater invertebrates. Marine vets are usually hired by aquariums and zoos. They perform frequent checkups and immunizations on all aquatic creatures. Marine veterinarians also help nurse beached animals or those hurt by boating accidents back to health. They also perform autopsies on unexplained/sudden deaths of the creatures to investigate if there will be future problems with the other animals.

Why I chose this career

After I moved away from my best friends in Illinois, we bought the Wii

game to kept in touch.

In the "Endless Ocean" video-game we can both swim together as ocean divers. I eventually ended up playing the game so I could watch the dolphins swim. I was fascinated by it.

When we went to Florida, I told my parents I would rather go to SeaWorld than Disney or the beach. I sat and watched the dolphins for a straight hour. It wasn’t a show or anything, the dolphins weren’t doing any tricks. That was how I got interested in marine life.

When I went back to Illinois to visit my friends this year, we went to a little zoo that had a dolphin show. I loved it. I found out that only three months after I saw the show, my favorite dolphin had died during one of it’s shows. The dolphin had some mental issues and eventually freaked out and began swimming like a raging bull with a matador. The dolphin ended up cracking it’s skull open by ramming into the pool’s walls. I felt horrible. If they could have treated the dolphin’s mental problems it wouldn’t of happened.

I chose this career because veterinary care has lots to do with science. Science has lots of advanced technology and anatomy in it and that is why I thought it would be a great pick for this class. I chose a marine veterinarian because you have to have a extensive knowledge on chemicals in the water. Marine life also has a lot to do with science just because you have to understand how the animals move and how some of them rely on aerodynamics.

Skills Needed

They typically have steady hands because most aquariums can’t afford having a vet and a surgeon. They need to endure a broad spectrum of opportunities in schooling because unlike doctors, they aren't specialized on any one specific organ. They need an extensive knowledge of the organs and skeletal structure. They also need to understand the chemical breakdowns of the water and know what kind of animals need what kind of water. Marine vets also need to be able to handle blood and death well. Of course, it would be quite necessary to not vomit at the smell of fish.

Education needed

It is typically required to have bachelor's or master's degree to be a Marine Vet. Getting a doctorate is best for getting a serious full time job. Although you can be a marine veterinarian in as few as four years, currently a 7-8 year degree is what's being expected. Frequently required courses would include oceanography, marine biology, physics, ichthyology and numerous science and math courses. Marine veterinary schools are only available in a few states, making it very difficult to get into them.

Below is some pictures of what marine vets do on a daily basis.

Branch of Science

Marine Veterinarians falls under the life science category because, like most health and anatomy related careers, it deals with living things. To become a marine vet you need to have taken some/lots of marine biology courses. Since “Biology” means life, we can all easily say that the career of being a marine veterinarian falls under the life category of science. Yet, physical science is a true aspect of being any kind of veterinarian because chemistry is often used when medicating and treating animals.

Interesting Facts

I found that it was kinda strange how marine veterinary students must receive a four-year degree in dog, cat, horse and cow medicine. I also found that the average pay for a marine vet was around 72k. Apparently, they usually start out at 40k which I found really weird. Then as you continue to work, you can get up to 105k, depending on where you work.

Reviewed By Jenna P, Emilee G. and my mom