Veterinarians

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Also known as:
Animal Pathologist, Animal Surgeon, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Equine Veterinarian, Large Animal Veterinarian, Poultry Pathologist, Public Health Veterinarian, Small Animal Veterinarian, Veterinary Medicine Scientist

ABOUT VETERINARIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Veterinarians are doctors who diagnose and treat illnesses in animals and protect the public from animal diseases. Most vets are in private practice and treat small pets, like dogs, cats and birds. Other vets treat large animals like horses, cows and pigs. Some veterinarians care for zoo, aquarium or laboratory animals.

Veterinarians also work for government agencies as veterinary inspectors. These specialists use their skills to protect humans against diseases carried by animals. Some inspectors work in meat processing plants and slaughterhouses to ensure that animal carcasses are disease free and that the plants follow proper sanitary regulations. Many vets work out of animal hospitals and clinics and often travel to farms and stables to treat large animals or to inspect herds.

Vets put in long hours and are often on call in the evenings and on the weekends. They run the risk of being bitten, kicked or scratched by a frightened animal.

If you're thinking about becoming a vet, you must graduate from an accredited four-year veterinary school. Admission is highly competitive. All vets must be licensed in order to practice. The earnings potential for this job is high. Although animals can't say "thank you," veterinarians know that their patients appreciate their care.

SNAPSHOT
Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Conduct postmortem studies and analyses to determine the causes of animals' deaths.

Attend lectures, conferences, or continuing education courses.

Perform administrative or business management tasks, such as scheduling appointments, accepting payments from clients, budgeting, or maintaining business records.

Educate the public about diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.

Plan or execute animal nutrition or reproduction programs.

Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or performing surgery.

Counsel clients about the deaths of their pets or about euthanasia decisions for their pets.

Inoculate animals against various diseases, such as rabies or distemper.

Train or supervise workers who handle or care for animals.

Advise animal owners regarding sanitary measures, feeding, general care, medical conditions, or treatment options.

Collect body tissue, feces, blood, urine, or other body fluids for examination and analysis.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.