Posted May 29, 2014 by

What career options await you as a veterinarian?

Veterinarian holding a puppy dog

Veterinarian holding a puppy dog. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The most common notion that people tend to have when it comes to vets is the fact that they have possibly, just a single career option available at their disposal and that involves working in a clinic environment as private practice catering to the sick animals that get brought in by their owners. However, there is a lot more to the career of a vet than simply working in private practice and you will be surprised at the scope that these career options have. These options involve conducting research to come up with new and inventive medicines as also working on animals of exotic origin and many others, some of which have been listed in detail below.

1.   Private practice:

This is the most common career option that is open to anyone who has acquired Doctor of Veterinary Medicine {DVM} and has the required experience and specialization to work in the clinic. If you plan to work in a clinic as a private practitioner, then you will be required to also study the business aspects of the practice in order to not only work but also maintain the administrative aspect of your job. As a private practitioner, you will not only be the owner of your clinic but at the same time, you will also be managing the entire clinic on your own along with some help in the administrative department if required.

As a private practitioner, you can decide the kind of animals that you would like to treat like pets, cattle, exotic species or all of them. This decision is largely made on the basis of the specialisation that you pursue.

2.    Veterinary research:

As a veterinary researcher, you do not directly interact with the animals but instead, as the name suggests, you make efforts to come up with viable solutions and methods to better improve the health of not only the animals but to also come up with solutions for human health issues. You could either work in the pharmaceuticals’ department to develop and test different chemicals that may work in the betterment of animal and human life. Your job as a veterinary researcher will also involve coming up with solutions to the most common human illnesses including malaria and yellow fever. Besides, you will also be required to work with dairy and poultry and come up with innovative and health friendly products.

3.    Working with the government:

If you believe that you’d rather not work as a private practitioner or researcher, you have another option available at your disposal and that involves working with the government. As part of the government services, you have several options to choose from; you could either consider working with animal hospitals that are run by government authorities or you could also assist the animal husbandry department. Besides, you can explore a whole new arena of a career as a vet by working in wildlife and national parks as also stud farms and piggeries. It can help you get an immense amount of exposure and extend your help to the needy animals that cannot take care of themselves.

The career scope of a veterinarian is extremely favourable as the income reports of 2013 show an impressive average median salary of $96000 +. There is also a steady rise in the number of people who are opting for veterinary as a career option when compared to other popular career options. Therefore, if you believed that as a vet, you will be limited to simply one career option, you need to take a long hard look at the aforementioned details and decide what works best for you.

Author’s bio:

Charles Winters is a veterinarian working for a government based hospital for animals. He has a professional education in animal medicine and has worked for nearly 10 years as a private practitioner before he made the switch. Also he works for

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