Whether as family pets, livestock, or service and therapy companions, animals are invaluable and beloved members of American society. Because of this indispensable relationship, veterinarians are needed to prevent, treat, heal and cure disease and illness for animals of all sizes and species. Many veterinarians provide care for companion animals through private medical practices, but some are also involved in promoting the health and welfare of farm animals, exotic animals and working animals. Additionally, veterinarians advocate for and treat animals requiring a healthy environment in which to thrive—whether that environment is a rain forest, a desert, or even the ocean.
Veterinary medicine careers and paths include veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants. Veterinary professionals occupy important positions through corporate veterinary medicine for research and development of medication and vaccines; government agencies such as the US Department of Agriculture, the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Food and Drug Administration; the military; public and higher education; as well as private and non-profit animal shelters. No matter which of the three veterinary medicine careers you are interested in pursuing, obtaining veterinary medicine degrees is a standard expectation throughout the industry. The time and study requirements are entirely specific depending upon which of the veterinary medicine careers you choose to embark on.
Many of the thousands of online and on campus colleges and universities nationwide offer veterinary medicine degrees, programs and certifications in the form of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs—as well as specialized certifications for positions requiring them. If you enjoy working with animals, and helping people properly care for their friends of all species, then pursuing one of the veterinary medicine careers is as natural for you as a fish takes to water, or a dog plays fetch…and will leave you oh so purrrrfectly happy, just like the cat’s meow!