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Career profile Veterinarian

Also known as Companion Animal Practitioner, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Emergency Veterinarian (Emergency Vet), Large Animal Veterinarian (Large Animal Vet), Mixed Animal Veterinarian (Mixed Animal Vet), Small Animal Veterinarian (Small Animal Vet), Veterinary Medicine Doctor (DVM), Veterinary Surgeon (Vet Surgeon), Veterinary Surgical Specialist (Vet Surgical Specialist), Zoo Veterinarian (Zoo Vet)

Veterinarian

Also known as Companion Animal Practitioner, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Emergency Veterinarian (Emergency Vet)

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$60,690 - $164,490 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Active Learning
Knowledge Areas
  • Biology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or performing surgery.
  • Inoculate animals against various diseases, such as rabies or distemper.
  • Examine animals to detect and determine the nature of diseases or injuries.
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What does a Veterinarian do?

Veterinarians diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals.

In addition, Veterinarians includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

What kind of tasks does a Veterinarian perform regularly?

Veterinarians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or performing surgery.
  • Inoculate animals against various diseases, such as rabies or distemper.
  • Examine animals to detect and determine the nature of diseases or injuries.
  • Collect body tissue, feces, blood, urine, or other body fluids for examination and analysis.
  • Operate diagnostic equipment, such as radiographic or ultrasound equipment, and interpret the resulting images.
  • Educate the public about diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.
  • Counsel clients about the deaths of their pets or about euthanasia decisions for their pets.
  • Euthanize animals.
  • Advise animal owners regarding sanitary measures, feeding, general care, medical conditions, or treatment options.
  • Attend lectures, conferences, or continuing education courses.
  • Train or supervise workers who handle or care for animals.
  • Perform administrative or business management tasks, such as scheduling appointments, accepting payments from clients, budgeting, or maintaining business records.
  • Plan or execute animal nutrition or reproduction programs.
  • Conduct postmortem studies and analyses to determine the causes of animals' deaths.

The above responsibilities are specific to Veterinarians. More generally, Veterinarians are involved in several broader types of 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.

What is a Veterinarian salary?

The median salary for a Veterinarian is $99,250, and the average salary is $108,350. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Veterinarian salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Veterinarians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Veterinarians earn less than $60,690 per year, 25% earn less than $79,430, 75% earn less than $126,260, and 90% earn less than $164,490.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Veterinarians is expected to change by 16.7%, and there should be roughly 4,400 open positions for Veterinarians every year.

Median annual salary
$99,250
Typical salary range
$60,690 - $164,490
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
16.7%

What personality traits are common among Veterinarians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Veterinarian are usually higher in their Investigative and Realistic interests.

Veterinarians typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Veterinarians typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Veterinarian tend to value Achievement, Independence, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Veterinarians very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Veterinarians very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Veterinarians very strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Veterinarians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, attention to detail, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Veterinarians, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Veterinarians need?

Many Veterinarians have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Veterinarians may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Veterinarians

  • 2.5% earned a Master's degree
  • 97.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Veterinarians

Veterinarians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as biology, medicine and dentistry, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Veterinarians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Veterinarians

Veterinarians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Veterinarians need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Veterinarians, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Veterinarians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Veterinarians frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and active learning to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Veterinarians, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
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.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.