Veterinarian About

A good job description starts with an attention-grabbing summary of the position and its role within your company. Your summary should provide an overview of your company and expectations for the position. Outline the types of activities and responsibilities required for the job so job seekers can determine if they are qualified, or if the job is suitable for them.

A large veterinary clinic specializing in dogs, cats, and birds seeks an experienced, highly reliable Veterinarian to join our practice. We’re interested in talking to you if you genuinely love animals, if you have your own dogs and cats at home and if you’re as committed to pet parent education as you are to treating animals. Our clinic focuses on preventive medicine as well as surgical intervention, particularly for spaying and neutering animals. We’re looking for an experienced vet who wants to work in a friendly, supportive atmosphere with other dedicated professionals.

Career Roles & Responsibilities
  • Examine and treat animals on a first-come, first-serve basis as well as by appointment
  • Cultivate positive relationships with customers and their animals through regular communication and excellent record-keeping
  • Prioritize traumatic injuries and serious illnesses to ensure that all animals receive time sensitive care
  • Educate clients on the importance of vaccinations, heart worm treatments, flea and tick treatments and other aspects of preventive care
  • Perform or assist with surgeries
  • Train new veterinary assistants and other members of the support staff
Career Education Path Summary

Step 1: Is this for me?

Some say that veterinarians are not made, they are born. Indeed, most veterinarians have a special love for animals that begins its expression in childhood. You should have such a love for animals and a passion for their health and welfare. This is not to say that you must be an animal rights activist, but you should still have a fantastic, even uncanny, rapport with animals to work in veterinary medicine. You must also have a great facility for science, and a passion for healing. There are many ways to qualify this drive, so it's most important to have the personal confidence that this career is for you.


Step 2: Pre-Veterinary Medical Education

You'll start your veterinary medicine education in an undergraduate Pre-Veterinary Medicine program. These veterinary medicine programs are often pre-planned for you so that you stay on track with your core curriculum as well as your major field. You should be aware, however, that your courses might or might not meet the requirements for your desired Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Thus, you should pre-plan for this by determining your ideal veterinary school as well as your specialty area(s). That's not to say that all is lost if you change your mind. It is always possible to take the extra courses you need to suit your desired program, it will just take you a bit longer.

During your studies, you might take Veterinary courses such as:

  • Animal Breeding
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Organismal Biology
  • Animal Feeding and Nutrition
  • Pertinent, Prescribed Electives

Keep in mind that Organic Chemistry is a course that is notorious for causing trouble for medical and veterinary students alike. If you can get a head start on the material, you should do so at your earliest convenience. You might also find a solid group of fellow Pre-Vets who would like to form a study group to tackle Organic Chemistry, and other courses.

Step 3: Veterinary Medical School & Veterinary Educational Assessment

Now you're on your way to becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. When you choose a DVM program, you will want to investigate their courses and specialty courses. After all, those will determine much of your career path. You should also check out what percent of their graduates are able to pass their NAVLE examinations. They should also be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education (COE).

Your DVM program will likely take up to four years to complete and the curriculum is bound to be fairly restricted to the courses you need. A few courses you might be required to take include:

  • Large Animal Medicine
  • Practice Management
  • Gross Anatomy
  • Immunology
  • Veterinary Virology
  • Principles of Surgery

After your second year, your program might ask that you take the Veterinary Educational Assessment (VEA.) This test codifies your general medical knowledge and is a checkpoint that covers science and pre-clinical subjects such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology

In your fourth year, however, you will be able to investigate specialty areas. You might take specialty courses such as:

  • Clinical Cardiology
  • Pet Practice
  • Equine Dentistry
  • Wildlife Safari
  • Ornamental Fish Medicine


Step 4: Licensure Exam & Licensure

Examinations are a huge part of most any professional path that requires state or federal licensure. To become a licensed veterinarian, you must pass the NAVLE exam. This test contains 300 items. 280 of the items are divided equally between Data Gathering and Interpretation, and Health Maintenance and Problem Management. Specific test areas include:

  • Recording Pertinent Information – 11 items
  • Differential Diagnosis List – 47 items
  • Implement Plan of Action – 47 items
  • Assess Outcome – 29 items
  • Professional Behavior, Communication, and Practice Management – 20 items

The NAVLE is offered at two times per year: spring and autumn. The testing windows are rather narrow, so make sure to clear your schedule for this extremely important part of your veterinary career.

Once you pass the NAVLE examination, and submitted your scores to the state board, you will need to make sure that you satisfy all of your state's specific requirements. Some states might ask that you take a rather short ethics exam. Other states require four hours of HIV/AIDS training. You will also need to submit your transcripts, and possibly include a letter of recommendation.

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Career Pros Details

1. High earning potential

A compelling reason to become a veterinarian is the high earning potential. The average national salary is $120,529 per year, which allows many of these professionals to pay off student debt while living a comfortable lifestyle. You can earn even more if you live in certain areas or specialize in a particular field, and your level of experience, education and employer may also affect your potential salary.

2. Positive job outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19% increase in veterinarian employment from 2021 to 2031. This positive job outlook assures veterinary students that they can find jobs after graduation. Many of these professionals work in independent clinics that care for domestic pets, but other opportunities are available at zoos, aquariums, government hospitals and poultry farms.

3. Good work-life balance

Veterinarians typically have a good work-life balance, as many practices operate during normal business hours. Standard 40-hour workweeks allow them to spend the evenings and weekends with loved ones. Veterinarians may also pursue jobs with irregular schedules if they prefer these types of hours. For instance, a position at an emergency clinic would allow you to work nights and weekends.

4. Opportunity to open your own practice

Some veterinarians decide to open their own practices because of the increased earning potential and freedom to create their schedules. This entrepreneurial endeavor also allows you to develop skills like management, budgeting and marketing. Other responsibilities that tend to be rewarding include training new employees and developing relationships with clients.

5. Daily variety

Many veterinarians appreciate the daily variety that their profession offers. They see many different clients in one day and perform several procedures. For instance, they might complete an ovariohysterectomy on a dog after performing a routine checkup for a cat. They also communicate with patients, collaborate with office staff and complete paperwork. A veterinarian may even have the opportunity to travel if it's easier to treat clients at an off-site location.

6. Rewarding work

One of the most popular reasons people become veterinarians is because of the rewarding work. It's fulfilling to use your analytical skills and medical knowledge to recommend the appropriate medications and procedures. With your treatment plans and approach to preventative care, pets can have healthy and comfortable lives. Your job also allows you to console owners who are worried about their pets. If you work in an organization like a zoo, you can use your skills to rehabilitate injured animals and return them to their natural habitats.


Career Cons Details

1. Rigorous education requirements

You might hesitate to become a veterinarian because of the rigorous education requirements. After earning a four-year undergraduate degree, students pursue a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree that takes an additional four years to complete. Students also complete post-graduation internships, obtain licenses and pursue optional certifications to specialize in fields like surgery or toxicology. These qualifications require you to complete many advanced science courses, but they're attainable with a good work ethic and consistent study habits. It's also helpful to remember that the rigorous requirements prepare you to offer the best care possible.

2. Cost of veterinary school

Veterinary school can cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars, but it's often worth it as it leads to a high-paying career. You can make veterinary school more affordable by getting good grades during your undergraduate studies. These credentials can help you qualify for scholarships and grants. Additionally, consider applying for loans and attending an in-state school to lower tuition costs.

3. Emotional challenges

Veterinarians can experience many emotional challenges, as they consistently see sick and injured animals. They also communicate with distraught pet owners and help them cope with challenging decisions like euthanasia. High emotional intelligence can help you show compassion while ensuring your emotions don't interfere with your work. You can also promote good mental health by meditating, eating well and exercising.

4. Allergy concerns

Animal fur can trigger sneezing, breathing problems or itchy skin in some people. If you experience these symptoms around cats and dogs, you may be uncomfortable working in a clinic. Fortunately, many people find relief through over-the-counter medications or treatment via an allergy specialist. You can also choose a different work environment. For instance, a marine veterinarian works with fish that are less likely to cause allergic reactions.

5. Physically demanding

Though many veterinarians work indoors, their jobs can be physically demanding. For instance, they restrain large animals and lift them onto examination tables. They also spend many hours standing and walking around. This activity can leave you tired at the end of the day, but you can increase your stamina through regular stretching and exercise. Additionally, it helps to appreciate that the job allows you to be active instead of requiring you to sit at a desk all day.

6. Job hazards

Bites from aggressive animals can put veterinarians at risk of injury and infection. They also may encounter exposure to waste anesthetic gases, ionizing radiation and airborne contaminants. While these job hazards are important to recognize, proper training reduces the chance of harm. For instance, veterinarians who use the proper restraining techniques can prevent injuries while caring for aggressive animals. These professionals also benefit from knowing how to use medical equipment and safety gear.

  • 3+ years’ experience as a veterinarian
  • DVM required
  • Working knowledge of digital radiography
  • Dedication to long-term employment with our clinic
  • Friendly, helpful personality
  • Experience working with birds preferred
  • Willingness to participate in continued education courses every five years
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