What They Do:

Veterinarians care for the health of animals. They diagnose, treat and/or research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, zoo animals, racetrack animals, and animals in laboratories.

Veterinarians are obviously animal doctors, but their work does help people as well. By inspecting livestock, vets help to protect our food. They promote public health by fighting animal-borne diseases. And vets also educate people on how to have healthy relationships with animals.


  • Bachelor’s Degree

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree, which usually takes 4 years

  • Obtain a state license to practice veterinary medicine

  • Half of new graduates will also pursue additional training or degrees in specialties, such as epidemiology, nutrition, or surgery

  • Business training can be very helpful for vets planning on running their own practices

Keep in mind that coursework is science heavy, so if this is not your thing, a career as a veterinarian may not be for you. 


What They Make:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for veterinarians was $95,460 in 2019. 


Where They Work:

  • Private clinics/hospitals
  • Farms
  • Laboratories 

Career Outlook:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 16% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. 

For more information visit the AAVMC (Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges) website.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinarians,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm 

Updated February 2021