Home Explore Job Ideas Vet (Veterinary Surgeon)

Job Description

Vets diagnose and treat sick or injured animals.  These are often pets, but also animals involved in sports or attractions, those in agriculture or the framing and food industry, even wild and or marine creatures - depending on your specialisation.

A Veterinary Surgeon works to safeguard the health and welfare of animals, this could be small, equine or agricultural animals. The job of a vet is to combine a knowledge of animal physiology, nutrition and medicine with practical skills to diagnose illness, prescribe medicines, treatments and to perform surgery.

Entry Requirements

You'll need to:

Full-time veterinary degrees usually take 5 years. If you already have a degree in a subject related to veterinary science, you may be able to take a 4-year degree course.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry

Career Tips

You'll need to get experience of working in a veterinary practice, plus experience of handling different animals from small domestic pets to larger livestock.

You could volunteer with a vet, a local kennel or animal welfare centre, or with animal charities like the PDSA or RSPCA.

The RCVS has information on a career as a vet.

Career Path and Progression

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Animal technician
  • Pharmacologist
  • Veterinary nurse

Required Skills

  • to love working with animals
  • be interested in science
  • to have patience and empathy for both animals and their owners
  • to be assertive and able to make difficult decisions
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions

Salary Range

£30,000 to £50,000

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