Food animal veterinarians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Food animal veterinarians work with farm animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep, which are raised to be food sources. They spend much of their time at farms and ranches treating illnesses and injuries and testing for and vaccinating against disease. They may advise farm owners or managers about feeding, housing, and general health practices.

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

Careers for Veterinarians

  • Animal doctors
  • Animal pathologists
  • Animal surgeons
  • Companion animal veterinarians
  • DVMs
  • Doctors of Veterinary Medicine
  • Equine veterinarians
  • Food safety and inspection veterinarians
  • Large animal veterinarians
  • Poultry pathologists
  • Public health veterinarians
  • Research veterinarians
  • Small animal veterinarians
  • Veterinary medicine scientists
  • Wildlife veterinarians

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