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What is a Veterinarian?

Example of Veterinarian Job Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

A Day in the Life of a Veterinarian

  • Determine the effects of drug therapies, antibiotics, or new surgical techniques by testing them on animals.
  • Establish or conduct quarantine or testing procedures that prevent the spread of diseases to other animals or to humans and that comply with applicable government regulations.
  • Specialize in a particular type of treatment, such as dentistry, pathology, nutrition, surgery, microbiology, or internal medicine.
  • Inspect and test horses, sheep, poultry, or other animals to detect the presence of communicable diseases.
  • Educate the public about diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.
  • Euthanize animals.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Veterinarian?

These are the skills Veterinarians say are the most useful in their careers:

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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.

  • Veterinarian Epidemiologist
  • Veterinary Microbiologist
  • Animal Surgeon
  • Zoo Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Dentist

Are There Job Opportunities for Veterinarians?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 79,600 jobs in the United States for Veterinarian. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 18.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,000 new jobs for Veterinarian by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 4,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Veterinarians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Veterinarian are Utah, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Maine, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Veterinarian

The salary for Veterinarians ranges between about $56,540 and $162,450 a year.

Salary Ranges for Veterinarians

Veterinarians who work in New Jersey, Maryland, or Delaware, make the highest salaries.

How much do Veterinarians make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $92,930
Alaska $121,010
Arizona $98,680
Arkansas $82,060
California $121,750
Colorado $92,710
Connecticut $105,380
Delaware $115,640
District of Columbia $103,840
Florida $103,580
Georgia $91,270
Idaho $102,450
Illinois $108,280
Indiana $89,060
Iowa $88,690
Kansas $98,260
Kentucky $86,160
Louisiana $87,200
Maine $89,340
Maryland $117,100
Massachusetts $109,520
Michigan $100,380
Minnesota $95,060
Mississippi $77,790
Missouri $90,580
Montana $79,380
Nebraska $82,040
Nevada $119,590
New Hampshire $106,680
New Jersey $120,700
New Mexico $96,440
New York $117,800
North Carolina $104,540
North Dakota $92,200
Ohio $103,970
Oklahoma $82,950
Oregon $109,450
Pennsylvania $109,580
Rhode Island $105,780
South Carolina $111,100
South Dakota $100,050
Tennessee $93,520
Texas $124,060
Utah $76,980
Vermont $96,350
Virginia $125,360
Washington $93,010
West Virginia $92,510
Wisconsin $90,120
Wyoming $83,420

Tools & Technologies Used by Veterinarians

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Veterinarians may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX Cornerstone

How do I Become a Veterinarian?

Learn what Veterinarian education requirements there are.

Veterinarian Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Veterinarian?

Veterinarian Work Experience

Where do Veterinarians Work?

Veterinarian Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Veterinarians employed by various industries.

Veterinarian Industries

Those thinking about becoming a Veterinarian might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Shelby R. Orozco via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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