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What Does it Take to Be a Veterinarian?

Career Description Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

Life As a Veterinarian: What Do They Do?

  • Provide care to a wide range of animals or specialize in a particular species, such as horses or exotic birds.
  • Perform administrative or business management tasks, such as scheduling appointments, accepting payments from clients, budgeting, or maintaining business records.
  • Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or performing surgery.
  • Euthanize animals.
  • Examine animals to detect and determine the nature of diseases or injuries.
  • Determine the effects of drug therapies, antibiotics, or new surgical techniques by testing them on animals.

Veterinarian Required Skills

These are the skills Veterinarians say are the most useful in their careers:

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Animal Surgeon
  • Animal Pathologist
  • Animal Chiropractor
  • Horse Doctor
  • Small Animal Veterinarian

Are There Job Opportunities for Veterinarians?

There were about 79,600 jobs for Veterinarian in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 18.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,000 new jobs for Veterinarian by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,500 positions for Veterinarian per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Veterinarians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Veterinarian are Utah, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Maine, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Veterinarian Average Salary

Veterinarians make between $56,540 and $162,450 a year.

Salary Ranges for Veterinarians

Veterinarians who work in New Jersey, Maryland, or Delaware, make the highest salaries.

How much do Veterinarians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $92,930
Alaska $121,010
Arizona $98,680
Arkansas $82,060
California $121,750
Colorado $92,710
Connecticut $105,380
Delaware $115,640
District of Columbia $103,840
Florida $103,580
Georgia $91,270
Idaho $102,450
Illinois $108,280
Indiana $89,060
Iowa $88,690
Kansas $98,260
Kentucky $86,160
Louisiana $87,200
Maine $89,340
Maryland $117,100
Massachusetts $109,520
Michigan $100,380
Minnesota $95,060
Mississippi $77,790
Missouri $90,580
Montana $79,380
Nebraska $82,040
Nevada $119,590
New Hampshire $106,680
New Jersey $120,700
New Mexico $96,440
New York $117,800
North Carolina $104,540
North Dakota $92,200
Ohio $103,970
Oklahoma $82,950
Oregon $109,450
Pennsylvania $109,580
Rhode Island $105,780
South Carolina $111,100
South Dakota $100,050
Tennessee $93,520
Texas $124,060
Utah $76,980
Vermont $96,350
Virginia $125,360
Washington $93,010
West Virginia $92,510
Wisconsin $90,120
Wyoming $83,420

What Tools do Veterinarians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Veterinarians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX Cornerstone

How do I Become a Veterinarian?

Learn what Veterinarian education requirements there are.

Veterinarian Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Veterinarian?

Veterinarian Work Experience

Where Veterinarians Are Employed

Veterinarian Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Veterinarian Industries

Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Veterinarian may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Shelby R. Orozco via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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