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Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinarians make an average of $66,590 a year. The average starting salary for veterinarians is $38,000 - $50,000 a year depending on your area of concentration. The median salary for veterinarians in the Federal Government that hold a supervisory or managerial position is $78,000 a year. Veterinary technologists and technicians made a median salary of $8.50 - $14.50 an hour.

Facts at a glance

  • Someone who wants a career in this field would need to complete a 2-4 year veterinarian program and pass a state exam.
  • People who become veterinarians have a profound love for animals.
  • Work can be unpleasant, physically and emotionally demanding, and sometimes dangerous.
  • Some veterinarians are self-employed and they usually have to work harder to build up an ample client base. Self-employed veterinarians usually work extended or weekend hours.

Summary of what this career entails

Veterinarians are the primary healthcare physicians for animals of all kind; they use the application of medical, diagnostic, and therapeutic principles to help treat animals that are in need of these services. They treat major and minor wounds, disease and infections, perform surgery, and give advice to pet owners about their pet’s behavioral problems, breeding, and proper diet. Veterinarians also use their expertise to help protect humans from animal diseases by vaccinating the animals with rabies and distemper shots. “Vets” also put animals who are considered a danger to others and/or who are suffering from pain or illness to sleep by euthanizing them. According to Dr. Laura Eirmann, a veterinarian doctor, euthanizing these animals is sometimes the kindest thing to do so the animal will not suffer any longer

Examples and or details of work

Usually, veterinarians work long hours and are dedicated to their practice; “vets” that work in a group, take turn for on call shifts during the night. When working with animals that are scared or in pain the chance of being bitten, scratched, or kicked are increased, that is why “vets” should always take precautions in all cases. To become a veterinarian, one has to prepare to spend a lot of money on their education because the price is not cheap. Most of the time students who decide to become veterinarians usually end up in debt. According to Jaclyn Houghton, the average loan debt for 2006 students was about $74,000

Degrees that lead to this career

The minimal degree you can obtain in this field includes:

  • A.S. in Veterinarian Technicians
  • A.S. in Veterinarian Technology
  • B.A. in Veterinary Science
  • M.S. in Veterinary Science
  • Ph. D. in Veterinary Science

Specific Career openings in this field

You can obtain many jobs in the veterinarian field; some specific careers available in this field include Veterinarian Technicians, technology, assistant, Federal and State Government, managerial and supervisory positions, zoology, animal nutrition.