Careers in Veterinary Science: A Comprehensive Guide

It’s a simple, basic question you need to ask yourself – do you love animals and want a career in caring for them? If it is, then this is for you.

Here’s a look at veterinary science career, a course that deals with the health and well-being of animals.

What we look at today

  • What is veterinary science?
  • What does a degree in veterinary science offer?
  • A look at the skills required to master veterinary science
  • Top universities to study veterinary science
  • Job and Career Scope in Veterinary Science
  • Reasons to pursue a degree in Veterinary Science
  • Salary and pay-scale
  • The future of veterinary science

What is veterinary science?

Veterinary Science, put simply, deals with the treatment, prevention of disease and disorders in animals. It also plays a vital role in educating people about animal welfare and how to care for their pets. It encompasses everything from preventive care, to complex surgeries in animals.

This is a job that calls for absolute passion and dedication towards animal well-being. A veterinary doctor will have to take care of all the animals, from dogs to cats to cows and even wild animals if required. Veterinary science is not just about the treatment of animals alone, but it also plays an essential role in developing medicines, ensuring safe food supplies, and developing new medical equipment that is required for the treatment of animals.

What does a degree in veterinary science offer?

An undergraduate course in Veterinary Science is for a duration of five to six years, and many subject areas covered in this course crossover with subjects of medical degrees. In a few countries, Veterinary Science is offered as an undergraduate course. In contrast, it is offered as a postgraduate level course with an undergraduate education in animal science or biology-related programs in some other countries. Topics such as psychological analysis, neurology, preventive care, pharmacology are also part of medical science, and few essential areas covered by the course are as follows :

  • Breeding
  • Ethics and animal welfare
  • Animal behaviour
  • Livestock breeding
  • Infectious diseases veterinary gynaecology
  • Pet animal management and healthcare
  • Veterinary immunology
  • Veterinary osteology
  • Cell biology
  • Scope and importance of biochemistry
  • Animal histology
  • Veterinary myology
  • Animal husbandry

By the end of the fifth year, the student will complete a work placement that provides the required practical knowledge related to animals and taking care of them. Usually, the work placements occur in clinics, zoos, farms, and organisations that work towards animal welfare.

A look at the skills required to master veterinary science

  • Love for animals
  • Understanding of scientific literature
  • Dedication towards animals and their well-being
  • Diagnostic skills
  • Sensitive
  • A solid grounding in biological sciences
  • Calmness in pressurised situations
  • communication skills
  • Law and ethics
  • Rational
  • Team-working skills
  • Observer
  • Management skills
  • Compassionate

Top universities to study veterinary science

Let us now look at the top 10 universities globally to study veterinary science listed in the QS World Ranking.

Serial No. University Country
1 Royal Veterinary College London
United Kingdom
2 University of California Davis
United States
3 Utrecht University Utrecht
3 The University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
United Kingdom
5 Cornell University Ithaca
United States
6 University of Guelph Guelph Campus
Guelph Canada
7 The Ohio State University Columbus
United States
8 University of Cambridge Cambridge
United Kingdom
9 University of Copenhagen Copenhagen
10 Vetsuisse Faculty Bern and Zurich Bern

Here's a list of undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered in veterinary science by various universities

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry (BVSc & AH)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
  • Bachelor of Science in Pre-veterinary Medicine
  • Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Bioscience
  • Bvsc in Animal Genetics and Breeding
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine
  • VetMB Veterinary Medicine
  • Bvsc in Animal Production & Management
  • BVSc in Veterinary Medicine, Public Health & Hygiene
  • Misc in Veterinary Surgery & Radiology
  • Master of Veterinary Science (mvsc)
  • Misc in Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Misc in Veterinary Medicine
  • M.V.Sc Poultry Science

Further study

After graduating in veterinary science, if you aim to master the subject or do research in this field,  there are immense opportunities to do master-level programs and PhD-level research in top universities. Research takes place in topics such as veterinary pathology, veterinary surgery, poultry science, veterinary pharmacology & toxicology, and veterinary medicine in most of the famous universities. Many of the issues pertaining to veterinary science are comparatively less explored, and it has the capacity to come up with explorative and path-breaking research.

Careers in Veterinary Science

Veterinarians are in high demand, and it is the fastest-growing job in most of the counties, as per the reports by the government agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in the US, the protector of the animal kingdom(veterinarian)is expected to have a growth of 17 %from the year 2020- 2030, and this will create 14,200 job opportunities in multiple fields. This is one job that has a significantly lower unemployment rate, which is close to 0.1%. The median annual pay for a veterinarian was $95,460 in 2019. In Canada, the number of veterinarians is very short of the required number, which has put the job under most in-demand careers in veterinary science. The median annual pay of a veterinarian in  Canada is $95,804.
veterinary science career

Note: Occupations include those in the U.S. Economy.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Here’s a closer look at the career options available after graduating in Veterinary Science:

  • Veterinarian (VET)
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Veterinary Dentist
  • Veterinary Laboratory Diagnostician
  • Animal Pathologist
  • Livestock Development Officer
  • Animal Breeder
  • Vet Doctor in NGO
  • Staff Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Meat Inspector
  • Zoo Veterinarian
  • Animal Research Scientist
  • Animal Care Specialist
  • Veterinary Officer
  • Veterinary epidemiologist
  • Cattle breeder
  • Hygiene consulting
  • Food production.
  • Treatment coordinator
  • Public health Veterinarian

In the UK (for instance) the majority of veterinary medicine graduates work as veterinary surgeons. The other top profiles for veterinary medicine graduates are in the field of childcare, health and education and Business, HR, and finance.

Destination Percentage
Employed 92.4
Further study 2
Working and studying 2.4
Unemployed 0.9
Other 2.3

Graduate destinations for Veterinary Medicine

Type of work Percentage
Health 97
Childcare, health and education 1.5
Business, HR and finance 0.5
Retail, catering and bar staff 0.5
Other 0.4

Types of work entered into in the UK

Reasons to pursue a degree in Veterinary Science

  • Professional independence
  • Get to work with both people and animals
  • Interaction with the community
  • Excellent salary
  • Contribution to medical research
  • Create a better world for all species
  • Be part of a growing industry
  • Better career options
  • Contribute to the well-being of communities


Career opportunities in Veterinary Science usually come with fair remuneration, as this field requires many more talented professionals and is in high demand in most countries. The shortage of labour has made the salary competitive and opened many opportunities in this field. Research veterinarians in the US earn an average of 83,000$ per year; a graduate who is employed in wildlife rescues facilities can earn 133,000 $ a year; a companion animal veterinarians in the US  can make 110,000 $ per year, and food-animal veterinarians can earn 107,000–187,000$ per year.

The future

Telemedicine is considered as the emerging trend in the field of veterinary science, and this has now become the primary and effective way of delivering health care to animals. Veterinary software, which integrates IT and communication systems within the universities, offices, animal hospitals, clinics, and government offices, is considered the Future of this field. This will help in collecting the data from different agencies and will help in better communication between the agencies.  This can also result in new treatment techniques and help to save time. Few other trends in this field that will be part of the Future are digital Client experience, stem cells therapy to treat animals, championing veterinary sustainability, the explosion of wearable medical devices, biomarker tools, and 3D printing for surgical reconstructions.

If you are someone who really cares for the animals and feel the need to be the protector of the animal kingdom,  then veterinary science is the field worth considering as no other career can be this heart-warming.

Find out more career options:

  • Design careers,
  • Paleobiology careers,
  • Fintech careers.
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Global Ed


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