All careers
Veterinarian

Veterinarian

Diagnose, prevent and treat injury and disease affecting animals.

What's it like to be a Veterinarian?

Veterinarians (Vets) are trained medical professionals who diagnose, prevent and treat disease and injury affecting animals. Vets usually specialise in a specific area of work such as small animals, horses or livestock, and advise members of the public on best practices in diet, hygiene, care and breeding to promote better health in their pets and livestock.

Tasks and duties

  • Advising clients on health, nutrition and feeding, hygiene, breeding and care of animals.
  • Treating animals medically and surgically, and administering and prescribing drugs, analgesics, and general and local anaesthetics.
  • Determining the presence and nature of abnormal conditions through physical examination, laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging techniques including radiography and ultrasound.
  • Performing surgery, dressing wounds and setting broken bones.
  • Performing obstetric and gynaecological procedures on animals.
  • Participating in government programs designed to prevent the occurrence and spread of animal diseases.
  • Testing animals for disease and inoculating against infectious diseases and notifying authorities of outbreaks of infectious animal diseases.
  • Euthanising animals in a humane fashion when necessary.
Vets in metropolitan areas work mostly with pets such as cats and dogs, while Vets in rural areas often work closely with farmers to treat livestock and prevent the spread of disease and improve health and productivity.
Vets generally work in small practices or may be employed by government departments to monitor and control animal disease, perform research or provide consultation on the regulation of hygiene standards, quarantine procedures and agricultural and food production processes.

What can I earn as a Veterinarian?

The most common salary  for a Veterinarian is between $95k and $110k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Veterinarian

SEEK Learning
To become a registered Veterinarian in Australia, you need to study for 6-7 years. Complete a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at an accredited university program, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Science. Upon graduating you need to register with the Veterinarian board of the state(s) in which you wish to practice.
  1. Complete a Bachelor degree majoring in Veterinary Science in an accredited university program.
  2. Complete a Doctor of Veterinary Science in an accredited university program.
  3. Register with the Veterinarian board of the state(s) you wish to practice in upon graduation.

Explore veterinary science qualifications

Embark on a career as a Veterinarian with a bachelor degree in veterinary science.

Duration 5 yrs
1 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logo
Duration 3 yrs
1 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logo
Powered bySEEK Learning
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Written skills
  • Communication skills
  • Microsoft excel
  • Self motivation
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Veterinarians rate their role?

Latest reviews from 7 Veterinarians surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

5 out of 5Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Small animal practitioner but I also prefer to swine and dairy industry.
The good things
As a veterinarian beholds a great responsibility. It is one of most challenging but surely most diversed and fulfilling career which you will treat, diagnose and even analyze diseases of a species whi...
The challenges
The challenges of every veterinarian is that the one that you are treating are cannot speak or allocate where part of their body has been damage or in pain. But it fulfilling when your patient got be...
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Science
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Livestock Farming
The good things
As a farms animal Vet, is exciting to work in variety of roles including animal health, interactions with the community and travelling across the country enjoying the scenery of Australian Flora and F...
The challenges
Challenges include understanding and addressing the patients’ owners psychology as part of treatment plan and being on the roads travelling to patients for extended times.
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Veterinarian
The good things
Assisting sick animals and their concerned owners
The challenges
Corporatisation of the industry. Power of Practice Managers to control important aspects of normal practice based on budgets rather than good medicine
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Small Animals (dogs/cats)
The good things
Varied work. Opportunities to work part-time plentiful. Really depends on the team you work in as to work conditions
The challenges
Often deal with people and animals in distress. Unexpected things happen frequently.
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Veterinarian
The good things
It is rewarding to help the helpless. It is a delicate job to balance clients and patients.
The challenges
It is often not financially rewarded. Compared to the human medicine or dentistry, the reward wage is a joke, does not reflect inflation. Also the public prejudice on the career is depressing
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Small animal medicine
The good things
The role is centered around client communication and building relationships; great if you are a people person and enjoy talking to people. There is also plenty of variety with a mixture of consultatio...
The challenges
The salary is less than what you would expect and there is often an expectation for overtime, late nights and weekend work.
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Veterinarian
The good things
Can be rewarding and fair amount of variety in day to day.
The challenges
Not well paid profession, not enough respect for amount of study you do, and many clients always complaining about cost. Also quite a stressful job for the work you do.
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Veterinarians?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Veterinarian jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
15%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Veterinarians
Latest Veterinarian jobs on SEEK
The Lost Dogs Home
Melbourne > CBD & Inner Suburbs
Work with the largest animal welfare organisation in Australia!
Jet Pets Animal Transport P/L
Brisbane > CBD & Inner Suburbs
Fantastic opportunity for a veterinarian who wants to escape the daily routine and pressures of work in private practice.
The University of Sydney
Sydney > CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs
Internship designed to further develop the appointee’s skills in a range of disciplines, with a goal of preparing appointees for a future residency
Company logo
The Lost Dogs Home
Melbourne > Northern Suburbs
Work with the largest animal welfare in Australia!
Company logo
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Explore similar roles

Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Articles related to this career

Read more from SEEK