5 Great Careers in Veterinary Science

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Five Veterinary Science Jobs

  • Research Careers
  • Zoo Veterinarian
  • Small Animal Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Large Animal Veterinarian

There are a number of excellent veterinary science careers students may choose to pursue. In fact, there are quite a few different specializations within the veterinary profession itself, in addition to important support roles. Below are some of the varied careers in veterinary science available to students.

1. Research Careers

Many veterinarians do not work directly with animals at all. Instead, they hold research positions, which can be at universities or private companies. They perform research relating to products or pharmaceuticals that are consumed by animals, such as feed, toys and medications. Students looking for great veterinary science careers in research should gain as much research experience as they can while in college. This will help them best appeal to hiring managers for these positions. These vets can also specialize in food safety and inspection, where they test for diseases, enforce regulations and conduct research for improving animal health.

2. Zoo Veterinarian

Zoo veterinarians specialize in medicine for exotic animals and are usually employed by zoological parks or other facilities that keep these animals. The skillset of an exotic vet is very specialized and there are few veterinary programs that teach it. Zoo vets must have knowledge of a much wider variety of animal species than small or large animal vets do. To become a zoo vet, you will need four years of veterinary school following your undergraduate work as well as a three-year residency and year-long internship. Zoo vets can become board certified in zoo medicine for greater prestige and to open up new job opportunities.

3. Small Animal Veterinarian

A small animal veterinarian is the image that comes to most peoples' minds when they envision a veterinarian. These vets usually work in a private clinic and treat companion animals – most commonly dogs and cats. Some small vets specialize in treating exotic pets, which is usually defined as anything that isn't a dog or a cat as opposed to the exotic animals that zoo veterinarians see. Exotic small animal vets see pets such as bearded dragons, hamsters, guinea pigs and rats. Becoming a small animal vet specializing in avian medicine is yet another option.

4. Veterinary Technician

If being a doctor of veterinary medicine is not for you, you might consider the role of a veterinary technician. They work as assistants to veterinarians by weighing patients, running tests, doing nail trims, prepping animals for surgery and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that vet techs can specialize in certain areas, such as dentistry or anesthesia. Many employees are content to remain in this role, although going back to school and advancing to a doctor of veterinary medicine is a career growth option.

5. Large Animal Veterinarian

Large animal veterinarians work with livestock and horses, as opposed to the dogs, cats and other household pets small animal vets see. These vets may work in a practice but more commonly spend their time visiting farms and ranches to treat their patients. Like small animal vets, large animal vets advise owners on the proper care of their animals, such as feeding and housing. Some large animal vets specialize in equine sports medicine, where they see to the care of equine athletes.

Related Resource: 15 Best Universities for Master's Degrees in Equine Studies 2018

The veterinary field is growing and offers many exciting careers. These veterinary science careers are all great jobs for any animal lover to aspire to.