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What does a Vet do?

Do you love working with animals? Do you think you have a talent for treating furry creatures and four-legged best friends? Veterinarians work with animals as well as their owners. They treat diseases and dysfunctions in livestock animals, smaller pets, and sometimes, even exotic animals.

Furry friends and family pet environments

Veterinarians care for the health of pets, livestock, zoo animals, lab animals, and even racetrack animals. As a veterinarian you can work in your own office, with a group, in a laboratory, or at a university. You treat and diagnose animals similar to how physicians treat humans.

Most private practices treat family pets and smaller animals, but may also treat larger animals depending on the area. Some veterinarians use their skills in applied research, broadening the scope of medical knowledge we have on animals today. Most veterinarians work in private practice.

Animal environment

If you work in a private practice, you may work with a clinical staff in an office setting. You may often work long hours in a noisy environment. Risks associated with the field include working with frightened animals who may bite, scratch, or kick to protect themselves. If you work with livestock, you may spend time driving back and forth between your office and farms or ranches. If you work in a nonclinical environment, you will work in a clean, well-lit office, or laboratory. You may work more with people than animals if you chose a laboratory setting to apply your skills.

Education to treat animals

To become a veterinarian you must obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M) degree from a four year accredited program. There are 28 colleges that offer these programs in the United States.

Most pre-veterinary courses emphasize sciences: biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, animal biology, and animal nutrition. As with physicians, all veterinarians are required to be licensed before they can practice veterinary medicine in the state they work in.

Climbing the ladder

If you own your own practice, you will already be at the top of the field you are in. If you start in an established group practice, your goal may be to open your own practice and be your own boss. If you work for a university, you can move up into administrative positions with experience. If you work for a laboratory, you can also move up into an administrative position to advance your career.

Paid in hay

In professional, scientific and technical services, veterinarians make on the higher end. In the college and university setting, you may make a little less. California, Texas, and Florida have the highest employment level for veterinarians. Connecticut , New Jersey, and D.C. have higher pay rates for the job.

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