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What does a Veterinarian do?

A veterinarian is a medical doctor who examines, diagnoses and treats animal diseases and health issues. Veterinarians often work in a clinic with an assistant or technician, though they might also work in a zoo, at a racetrack or with farm animals. They regularly interact with owners, obtaining medical histories and giving advice on the care of their animals.


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Working as a Veterinarian

A typical day for a veterinarian can involve:

  • Performing surgery, which may be minor or more complicated depending on the veterinarian's training
  • Administering medication to animals, sometimes by injection
  • Setting fractures, and treating and dressing wounds
  • Performing tests, including the use of x-ray and ultrasound, as well as examining blood, urine and fecal matter
  • Euthanizing animals
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How much does a Veterinarian make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $123,222
Low $81,308
High $186,743
Non-cash benefit
View more benefits

The average salary for a veterinarian is $123,222 per year in the United States. 30.2k salaries reported, updated at September 21, 2023

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Where can a Veterinarian earn more?

Compare salaries for Veterinarians in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Veterinary Technician

Job openings

Average $20.23 per hour

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Common questions about for a Veterinarian

What degree should I take to be a veterinarian?

Aspiring veterinarians must hold a bachelor's degree focusing on animal behavior, chemistry, biology, zoology, physiology, microbiology and anatomy before moving on to veterinary medicine school.

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Where do veterinarians work?

Most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals. Some are field veterinarians where they travel to farms, ranches or laboratories or zoos.

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What are the different types of veterinarians?

The different types of veterinarian are:

  • Mixed Practice Veterinarian
  • Lab Animal Medicine Veterinarian
  • Small Animal Veterinarian (domestic pets)
  • Large Animal Veterinarian (livestock including cows, sheep, etc.)
  • Specialty Veterinarian (animal cardiologist, ophthalmologist or dentist)
  • Wildlife Veterinarians
  • Research Veterinarians
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Is it hard to become a veterinarian?

What are the working hours for veterinarians?

Does it take longer to become a veterinarian compared to becoming a doctor?

What does a veterinarian do on a daily basis?

Can I enroll in veterinary schools without an undergraduate degree?

Do all veterinarians perform surgical procedures?

Can someone enroll in a veterinary school immediately after high school?

Is it stressful to work as a veterinarian?

What is the job outlook for veterinarians?

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