A career as a veterinarian

There's more to being a Veterinarian than treating sick animals!

Being a veterinarian is more than just treating sick animals! Providing great customer service, assisting with the personal and professional development of colleagues and nursing staff, consoling owners and assisting in the development of a sustainable business are just a handful of the activities that Veterinarians are expected to do today.

When a graduate Veterinarian finishes at university they have been trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent health problems in not only pets, but native wildlife, exotic animals, and domestic livestock. Once qualified a veterinarian can enjoy an above average salary between $40,000 - $90,000. 

There are two main duties of a veterinarian. One to examine and assess the illness or injury suffered by the animal, then to decide on a possible treatment. And two, to educate and medicate animals with preventative treatments such as vaccines, special diets, and more.

To assist in diagnosis, the collection and examination of tissues, faeces, blood, urine and other fluids is often carried out. They treat their patients using a range of general medical techniques, such as vaccination, acupuncture and/or surgery.

Talking to the Humans - Not Just Talking To the Animals

As well as being able to relate to humans, a good small animal veterinarian needs to be able to communicate and relate with people effectively. Much of a veterinarian's time is spent discussing pet wellness with owners and working in a tight-knit team of healthcare professionals.

Every day is different, whilst some may run smoothly and efficiently a Veterinarian also needs to be able to manage unpredictable workflow. When the waiting room is filled with clients, and an emergency case walks through the door, or you need to spend extra time with a grieving client, a Veterinarian needs the patience, organisation and decision making skills to make critical decisions with little room for error.

Hard work and perseverance!

Entrance into the university degree is highly competitive. Due to the difficult nature of entry into this course, it is beneficial to undertake work experience as it shows interest and commitment to the course.

Becoming a Vet in Australia

A Bachelor of Veterinary Science is offered at the following universities in Australia:-

  • University of Melbourne - Victoria
  • Murdoch University - Perth Western Australia
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Adelaide
  • James Cook University - Townsville

On completion of the Bachelor's degree, you are eligible to register with the Veterinary Surgeons' Board to practise as a fully qualified veterinarian.

University of Melbourne

A Bachelor of Veterinary Science is offered at the University of Melbourne. The course is five years of full-time study - the pre-veterinary year or one year of Science, plus four years of veterinary science. VCE or Australian Year 12 equivalent should have the following pre-requisites:- Units 3 and 4. A study score of at least 35 in each of English, Chemistry, and one of Mathematics or Physics. You will find more detailed information at Veterinary Science Undergraduate Entry at University of Melbourne.

For general information visit University of Melbourne Veterinary Studies

Murdoch University

A Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery is offered at Murdoch University in Western Australia. It is a five year course as it combines both a science and a veterinary biology degree. Minimum requirements for entry are completion of Year 12 with a high TER (Tertiary Entrance Rank). Murdoch University recommends that applicants take Mathematics, Chemistry and either Physics or Biology.

Find out more by visiting Murdoch University Veterinary Studies

University of Queensland

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is offered at The University of Queensland and is a five year course. Minimum education requirements for entrance include sound achievement or higher in Queensland Year 12 or equivalent English, Chemistry, Mathematics B and Physics.

For more information visit University of Queensland

University of Sydney

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is offered at the University of Sydney and is a five year course. Admission is based on student performance, NSW Higher School Certificate or equivalent level Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Science. Biology would be a distinct advantage.

For more information visit University of Sydney

University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide, has introduced a new 6-year program in Veterinary Science in 2008.

For more information visit University of Adelaide

James Cook University - Queensland

Located in Townsville, Queensland the James Cook University introduced a veterinary science program in 2006.

For more information visit James Cook University