Mapping Your Future logo

Career Profile: Veterinarians

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 86,800 people employed as veterinarians in the United States. The median annual salary is $99,300. Entry level employees earn approximately $60,690 per year and senior employees earn approximately $164,490 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Advise animal owners regarding sanitary measures, feeding, general care, medical conditions, or treatment options.
  • Drive mobile clinic vans to farms so that health problems can be treated or prevented.
  • Euthanize animals.
  • Attend lectures, conferences, or continuing education courses.
  • Train or supervise workers who handle or care for animals.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
86,800
Annual Openings:
4,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
17%
Annual Salary Range:
$60,690 - $164,490
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher