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Core Information

Time Comittment
Time Commitment

Work day hours numbers are taken from the Average Time Association. Hours greatly vary depending on the company and work factors.

Job Outlook
Job Outlook

Annual projected openings

Salary growth Rate


Hiring Increase Rate

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Communication skills. Strong communication skills are essential for veterinarians, who must be able to discuss their recommendations and explain treatment options to animal owners and give instructions to their staff.

Compassion. Veterinarians must be compassionate when working with animals and their owners. They must treat animals with kindness and respect, and they must be sensitive when dealing with the animal owners.

Decision-making skills. Veterinarians must decide the correct method for treating the injuries and illnesses of animals.

Manual dexterity. Veterinarians must control their hand movements and be precise when treating injuries and performing surgery.

Problem-solving skills. Veterinarians need strong problem-solving skills because they must figure out what is ailing animals. Those who test animals to determine the effects of drug therapies also need excellent diagnostic skills.




Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree.

Generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components.

Veterinary School

  • Competitive admissions
  • Applicants typically have a bachelor's degree in biology
  • typically require applicants to have taken many science classes, including biology, chemistry, and animal science.
  • Most programs also require math, humanities, and social science courses.


Prospective veterinarians in all states must complete an accredited veterinary program and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.

Additional Skills
Additional Training

Training will vary based on three major veterinarian categories.

Companion animal veterinarians treat pets and generally work in private clinics and hospitals. They most often care for cats and dogs, but they also treat other pets, such as birds, ferrets, and rabbits. These veterinarians diagnose and provide treatment for animal health problems; consult with animal owners about preventive healthcare; and carry out medical and surgical procedures, such as vaccinations, dental work, and setting fractures.

Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep, which are raised to be food sources. They spend their time visiting farms and ranches to treat ill and injured animals and to test for and vaccinate against disease. They may advise farm owners or managers about feeding, housing, and general health practices.

Food safety and inspection veterinarians inspect and test livestock and animal products for major animal diseases. They also provide vaccines to treat animals, enhance animal welfare, conduct research to improve animal health, and enforce government food safety regulations. They design and administer animal and public health programs to prevent and control diseases transmissible among animals and between animals and people.

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Veterinarians serve the healthcare needs of animals, including pets, zoo animals and livestock, which can include diagnosis, surgery, vaccination, prescribing medication, communicating needs and treatment to owners and unfortunately euthanizing animals.

Day In The Life

In this video, you will see what its like to be a Veterinarian by following Dr. Niccole Bruno around where she shows viewers what a typical day for her is, why she chose the field, and tips for the aspiring Vets.

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