Most of those who enroll in veterinary degrees go on to pursue careers as veterinary physicians, working in a surgery, local practice or within an organization such as a zoo. However, this is not the only career path open to those graduating in the field; the range of veterinary careers you may consider includes:
Veterinary Physician Careers (Vet)
The most obvious choice is a career as a veterinary physician, caring for animals as a doctor would for humans. However, there’s significant variation in the type of animals you could be responsible for, and the associated range of tasks. You may be based in a surgery caring for the needs of domestic animals such as cats, dogs and hamsters. You could go out on calls to farms to help manage livestock such as cows, sheep, bison or camels – depending on where in the world you are! Or you may work at a zoo or conservation center, overseeing the wellbeing and reproduction of rarer animals.
To practice as a veterinary physician, you’ll usually need to gain accreditation from an official national body, which may meet sitting an exam such as the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).
Animal Nutritionist Careers
Another possible pathway is a career as an animal nutritionist. In this role, you will be responsible for designing special diets, and provide advice for healthy animal nutrition. You may work with livestock in the field of agriculture, oversee the feeding of animals in zoos, or advise owners and breeders of domestic animals. You will have the opportunity to specialize in certain types of animals, or have a general practice. As well as providing advice about nutrition, you may also more generally provide specialized guidance on animal welfare and behavior.
Veterinary Careers In Research
Alternatively, you might pursue a career in veterinary scienceresearch, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in this area to improve animal (and in some cases also human) health and healthcare. Research roles are available within pharmaceutical companies, academic labs and universities, private research institutes, government agencies, charities and even international organizations such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Your time may be spent designing experiments and clinical trials, gathering and analyzing data, writing reports and publishing papers, attending conferences and other events, and providing guidance for official bodies and policy makers.
Veterinary Careers In Education
Another option is to pursue a career in the field of veterinary science education, working as a teacher or lecturer in a college or university. Your role will to educate the next class of veterinary students, sharing your knowledge through lectures, seminars, lab sessions and practical demonstrations. Alternatively, you may train as a secondary school teacher, specializing in a related subject such as biology or anatomy.