Career Detail


Veterinarian
“We're a dog's best friend!”
Veterinarians care for the health of pets, livestock, and animals in zoos, racetracks, and laboratories.
The Job
Most veterinarians diagnose animal health problems; vaccinate against diseases, such as distemper and rabies; medicate animals suffering from infections or illnesses; treat and dress wounds; set fractures; perform surgery; and advise owners about animal feeding, behavior, and breeding.
Work Environment
Veterinarians in private or clinical practice often work long hours in a noisy indoor environment. Sometimes they have to deal with emotional or demanding pet owners. When working with animals that ar
College Majors
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Minimum Qualifications
Veterinarians must obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a State license. There is keen competition for admission to veterinary school.
Personality traits helpful for this career
They should have an affinity for animals and the ability to get along with their owners, especially pet owners, who usually have strong bonds with their pets.
Quick Facts
  • Veterinarians should have an affinity for animals and the ability to get along with their owners.
  • Graduation from an accredited college of veterinary medicine and a State license are required.
  • Competition for admission to veterinary school is keen; however, graduates should have excellent job opportunities.
  • About 3 out of 4 veterinarians work in private practice.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of veterinarians were $79,050 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $61,370 and $104,110. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $46,610, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $143,660.
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