Have you always had a love for animals? Then perhaps you should consider a veterinary career. Many people choose to become veterinarians, not only because of the rewards that come along with helping animals, but due to the versatility that the veterinary career provides as well.
Step One: Getting Into School
It is common to know early on that you want to be a veterinarian, and due to the competitiveness of the field, it is also extremely helpful to know this as well. Veterinary school is very competitive; in the United Kingdom, for example, there are a mere seven veterinary colleges. What do you have to do to get in? Well, there is more to it than simply having a love for animals. It is important that anyone considering a veterinary career show a natural aptitude for science, especially biology and chemistry.
You should also try to gain experience working with animals. Maybe you can obtain an internship at a local practice, or volunteer at your local zoo. Whatever experience you are able to get will be looked favorably upon. It is also important that, as an aspiring veterinarian, you have formed opinions on certain moral issues. For example, are you a vegetarian? How do you feel on the topics of hunting and fishing? What is your opinion on the use of animals for scientific experimentation? These opinions will shape your character as a veterinarian.
What Does a Veterinarian Do?
If you are considering a veterinary career, it is important to know what exactly your responsibilities and duties would be. A veterinarian provides medical care for livestock, pets, zoo, sporting, and lab animals. Most veterinarians work with small animals, like dogs and cats, in a lab clinic setting. However, other people with a veterinary career work with much larger animals at zoos. Still others are on call at horse races in case of any injuries that might occur to a race horse. A veterinary career provides a lot of versatility for the types of animals that you will be working with.
In a typical day, a veterinarian will diagnose animal health problems, administer vaccinations against diseases, give medications to animals with infections or illnesses, treat wounds and set fractures, perform surgery, and give advice to pet owners about all aspects of animal care. Veterinarians typically begin their career as an employee of a local practice. Then, however, as they gain more experience, they establish their own practice elsewhere. The typical salary for a veterinary career in 2004 was $66,590.