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Similar Occupations to a Veterinarian

Learn about some of the different career options that are similar to a veterinarian. We discuss each job's duties, education requirements, median salary and predicted job growth.

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Career Options that Are Similar to a Veterinarian

Veterinarians diagnose and treat various injuries and illnesses in different animals. There are several career options that are similar to that of a veterinarian, whether they practice medicine or handle and care for animals. Below is a table that includes a few occupations similar to a veterinarian.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists $60,520 4%
Physicians and Surgeons $208,000 or more 14%
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians $32,490 19%
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers $25,250 9%
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers $66,360 -2% (Decline)
Animal Care and Service Workers $22,230 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Occupations Similar to a Veterinarian

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and wildlife biologists are similar to veterinarians in that the subjects of their studies are different species of animals. These scientists conduct experiments and research projects to learn about the behavior, characteristics, social interactions and more of these animals. Their work is reported in scientific articles, and can be applied to improving environmental policies and/or conservation efforts of different species. To work in research, zoologists and wildlife biologists usually need a doctorate, but there are positions available in the field for those with a master's or bachelor's degree.

Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons are similar to veterinarians because they diagnose and treat patients, but physicians and surgeons treat humans instead of animals. These professionals perform many of the same job duties as veterinarians, including examining patients, prescribing medications, administering vaccinations, performing necessary surgeries and more. They may specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as pathology, pediatrics or gastroenterology. Physicians and surgeons need to complete 4 years of medical school and 3-7 years of residency after finishing their undergraduate degree.

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Veterinary technologists and technicians work with veterinarians to help them diagnose and treat the different animals that come into their clinic. Technologists primarily work in a lab performing medical tests, while technicians conduct other diagnostic tests and interact more with the animal's owner to explain the animal's condition and answer questions. Both positions may assist veterinarians in collecting samples for lab tests, administering medications to animals and providing other medical care to the animal as needed. Veterinary technologists need a 4-year degree in the field, while technicians usually only need a 2-year degree in the field.

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers may also work with veterinarians or other scientists to provide basic care and emergency first aid to animals as needed. They feed and bathe animals, restrain the animals during exams and procedures, monitor animals after surgery and give animals medication. They also clean equipment, kennels and examination rooms. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers usually need at least a high school diploma.

Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers

Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers that supervise establishments with livestock and other animals are similar to veterinarians as they make decisions affecting the care and growth of the animals. They may need to figure out ways to minimize disease or illness in their animals, choose the correct food to promote the animals' health and make decisions about herding the animals. These managers may also oversee crop production, maintain farming equipment, oversee the selling of products from the establishment and more. These professionals usually have extensive experience in the field, and most hold a high school diploma.

Animal Care and Service Workers

Animal care and service workers include jobs such as animal trainers, groomers, pet sitters and other positions that provide basic care for animals and watch for signs of injury or illness in the animal, similar to a veterinarian. These workers may feed and water animals, exercise the animals, bathe the animals and groom them as necessary. Animal care and service workers may be employed at places like animal shelters, zoological parks, boarding kennels, pet stores and more. They usually have a high school diploma, experience working with animals and learn on-the-job.

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