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.
Sample of reported job titles: Companion Animal Practitioner, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Emergency Veterinarian (Emergency Vet), Large Animal Veterinarian (Large Animal Vet), Mixed Animal Veterinarian (Mixed Animal Vet), Small Animal Veterinarian (Small Animal Vet), Veterinary Medicine Doctor (DVM), Veterinary Surgeon (Vet Surgeon), Veterinary Surgical Specialist (Vet Surgical Specialist), Zoo Veterinarian (Zoo Vet)
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds, or performing surgery.
- Inoculate animals against various diseases, such as rabies or distemper.
- Examine animals to detect and determine the nature of diseases or injuries.
- Collect body tissue, feces, blood, urine, or other body fluids for examination and analysis.
- Operate diagnostic equipment, such as radiographic or ultrasound equipment, and interpret the resulting images.
- Educate the public about diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.
- Counsel clients about the deaths of their pets or about euthanasia decisions for their pets.
- Advise animal owners regarding sanitary measures, feeding, general care, medical conditions, or treatment options.
- Euthanize animals.
- Attend lectures, conferences, or continuing education courses.
- Train or supervise workers who handle or care for animals.
- Perform administrative or business management tasks, such as scheduling appointments, accepting payments from clients, budgeting, or maintaining business records.
- Plan or execute animal nutrition or reproduction programs.
- Conduct postmortem studies and analyses to determine the causes of animals’ deaths.
- Specialize in a particular type of treatment, such as dentistry, pathology, nutrition, surgery, microbiology, or internal medicine.
- Direct the overall operations of animal hospitals, clinics, or mobile services to farms.
- Inspect and test horses, sheep, poultry, or other animals to detect the presence of communicable diseases.
- 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.
- Research diseases to which animals could be susceptible.
- Provide care to a wide range of animals or specialize in a particular species, such as horses or exotic birds.
- Determine the effects of drug therapies, antibiotics, or new surgical techniques by testing them on animals.
- Inspect animal housing facilities to determine their cleanliness and adequacy.
- Drive mobile clinic vans to farms so that health problems can be treated or prevented.
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- Data base user interface and query software — IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX VPM; Microsoft Access
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — American Data Systems PAWS Veterinary Practice Management; InformaVet ALIS-VET; Sneakers Software DVMax Practice; Vetport (see all 11 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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- 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
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- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Operate on patients to treat conditions.
- Prescribe medications.
- Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
- Immunize patients.
- Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
- Communicate health and wellness information to the public.
- Counsel family members of clients or patients.
- Manage healthcare operations.
- Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
- Treat animal injuries or illnesses.
- Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
- Supervise medical support personnel.
- Train medical providers.
- Determine protocols for medical procedures.
- Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
- Provide care for animals.
- Maintain medical facility records.
- Perform clerical work in medical settings.
- Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
- Inspect facilities for cleanliness.
- Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
- Develop medical treatment plans.
- Drive vehicles to transport individuals or equipment.
- Analyze medical data to determine cause of death.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 86% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 82% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 76% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 67% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 71% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 47% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 45% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Time Pressure — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 58% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Radiation — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 39% responded “More than half the time.”
- Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 56% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 28% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 30% responded “Never.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 27% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: IR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
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|19-1042.00||Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists|
|25-1071.00||Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary Bright Outlook|
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$47.72 hourly, $99,250 annual|
|Employment (2020)||86,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||4,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Animal Hospital Association
- American Association of Bovine Practitioners
- American Association of Equine Practitioners
- American Association of Feline Practitioners
- American Association of Swine Veterinarians
- American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges
- American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
- American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
- American College of Veterinary Surgeons
- American Heartworm Society
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Association of Avian Veterinarians
- Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Veterinarians
- Society for Theriogenology
- Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society
- Veterinary Orthopedic Society
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