Vet

Vets diagnose and treat sick or injured animals.

Potential salary
£30,000 to £50,000
Working hours
40 to 45 a week
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • knowledge of biology
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

In general veterinary practice you could be:

  • diagnosing and treating sick and injured animals
  • performing operations
  • carrying out tests such as blood analysis, X-rays and scans
  • providing care for an animal in veterinary hospitals
  • carrying out regular health checks and giving vaccinations
  • checking farm animals and advising how to stop diseases spreading
  • supervising veterinary nurses and support staff
  • keeping records of treatments
  • communicating with pet owners and insurers
  • neutering animals to stop them breeding
  • putting severely injured or terminally ill animals to sleep
  • following public health and hygiene laws

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

You could work at a veterinary practice, in remote rural areas or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors some of the time.

You could focus on treating particular animals, or specialise in areas such as dermatology or cardiology, by taking RCVS-approved postgraduate courses.

Experience in veterinary surgery could also help you to get a job in environmental conservation.

You could also move into a career in research and teaching with a university or research body.

You can find out more about becoming a vet from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and British Veterinary Association.

Data from National Careers Service.
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