Veterinarians are responsible for the prevention and treatment of illness, and for any other medical and surgical treatment of animals; from wildlife in captivity to injured animals in the wild; through to pets, working animals and farm animals.
Opportunities exist in practices that specialise in small animals, food producing animals, equine work or in mixed practices dealing with both small and large animals. Many veterinary surgeons working in practice choose to further their knowledge by studying for additional qualifications.

How to become a veterinarian
There is high level of competition and relatively few places in veterinary degrees, but having some prior experience or studies can be a big advantage.   Many people start by studying a shorter course; although eventually a university degree course will be needed to be registered as a veterinarian In most countries.  

  • Some people go straight into a university course from school to train as a vet
  • Some will work as a volunteer, or in a paid capacity, for a year (or several years) and undertake some lower level training (eg. short courses or certificates); before going on to study veterinary science at university.
  • Some will start on an altogether different career path, and eventually return to study veterinary science
  • Some who study veterinary science will change their career path whilst studying and never end up becoming a vet anyway. 

Today's world is changing rapidly; and new opportunities are developing all the time; as old ones disappear. 
It can be not only time consuming, but very expensive to qualify for and set up a veterinary practice.  It may be more advisable to  start off with shorter courses such as a certificate or diploma, and gradually move your career toward becoming a vet.. The path to becoming a veterinary surgeon may be a long one, which may begin long before getting accepted into a university.

Few people are accepted straight into a veterinary degree straight from school, many have to find alternate routes. It is recommended that you gain experience and skills in handling a wide variety of animals either through volunteering or finding employment in the industry such as an animal attendant or veterinary nurse etc. It is recommended to take introductory or foundation courses into animal husbandry, behaviour and health care . 

Related jobs
A knowledge of veterinary science will never go astray, if you are working with animals, in any capacity.

Whether you study a certificate, diploma or degree first up is not so important as it is to just learn about animals, and develop a knowledge and ability to better care for animal health.
There are lots of related jobs where this knowledge can be used, from teaching and research to animal breeding and media jobs.

Veterinary researchers play a vital role in advancing our understanding of diseases. Research in veterinary sciences enhances the health, welfare and usefulness of both food producing and companion animals. Veterinary surgeons may also work for the government in the public sector.


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