Veterinarians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. There are currently 30 colleges with accredited programs in the United States. A veterinary medicine program generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 18% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- Veterinarians must be licensed in order to practice in the United States. Licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require prospective veterinarians to complete an accredited veterinary program and to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Veterinarians working for the state or federal government may not be required to have a state license, because each agency has different requirements.
- Median pay: How much do Veterinarians make?
- $88,770 Annual Salary
- $42.68 per hour
Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.
What do Veterinarians do?
Veterinarians typically do the following:
- Examine animals to diagnose their health problems
- Treat and dress wounds
- Perform surgery on animals
- Test for and vaccinate against diseases
- Operate medical equipment, such as x-ray machines
- Advise animal owners about general care, medical conditions, and treatments
- Prescribe medication
- Euthanize animals
Veterinarians treat the injuries and illnesses of pets and other animals with a variety of medical equipment, including surgical tools and x-ray and ultrasound machines. They provide treatment for animals that is similar to the services a physician provides to treat humans.
The following are examples of types of veterinarians:
Careers for Veterinarians
- Animal doctors
- Animal pathologists
- Animal surgeons
- Companion animal veterinarians
- Doctors of Veterinary Medicine
- Equine veterinarians
- Food animal veterinarians
- Food safety and inspection veterinarians
- Large animal veterinarians
- Poultry pathologists
- Public health veterinarians
- Research veterinarians
- Small animal veterinarians
- Veterinary medicine scientists
- Wildlife veterinarians