How to become a Vet

Vet

£50,000

estimated salary
What do they do?

Do you love animals? Do you have a strong aptitude for science? If the answer’s yes, then you could make a great Veterinary Surgeon.

A Vet might work with farm animals, domestic pets, zoo animals or a combination of all three, but the common denominator is that you’ll be responsible for looking after their health and welfare. This is a challenging yet consistently popular job that allows you to pursue a varied and enjoyable career in medicine.

No two days are ever the same as a Vet, but some general responsibilities would be:

  • Diagnosing and treating sick and injured animals
  • Carrying out health checks and advising people on how best to look after their pets
  • Operating on animals that need it
  • Neutering creatures like cats and dogs for responsible population control
  • Putting animals to sleep that are beyond further treatment
Is it right for me?

If you’re too frightened to hold a hamster and faint at the sight of blood, then this is definitely not the role for you. A Vet needs to like animals but also be firm and calm around them, as well as ready for any type of ailment.

You will also need to be empathetic towards owners when an animal is not going to get better (and strong enough to not let any unfortunate events affect you).

A great Vet should be:

  • Patient and sympathetic with animals and owners alike
  • Interested in animal welfare
  • Knowledgeable about all kinds of animal biology and willing to constantly learn
  • Reasonably physically fit
  • Decisive enough to make difficult decisions (or advise owners to make them)
What's it really like?

My job is fantastic because I can help both pets and people (although I definitely prefer the former). It is sad when animals have come to the end of their lives, but I'm always comforted by the fact that I have provided the best possible treatment and can assure their owners their family member was shown love right to the last. I could never see myself doing anything else.

Get qualified

To enrol on a Veterinary Sciences degree course, you’ll generally need five GCSEs (A to C) three A-levels, (including chemistry and biology, physics or maths) and some experience of working with animals, e.g. at a farm or veterinary surgery. You will then go on to get a degree from a veterinary school, and finally register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

Veterinary Support Assistant - Level 3 CPD Accredited Course

The online Veterinary Support Assistant Course from Oplex Careers has been designed to help learners understand the skills involved in caring from animals in the veterinary team.

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