Careers in the Veterinary Industry

Sometimes, people don’t realize just how many careers are within the veterinary industry. Of course, you have jobs that are within the hospitals. However, did you know about the ones that don’t involve working in an animal hospital at all? 

Veterinarians can wear many hats. Being a veterinarian doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work in a hospital. Careers outside the hospital can include jobs working for the government as well as other things. Positions with the government may help secure the nation’s food supply. Likewise, they also assist with controlling the spread of diseases or acting as a spokesperson or influential character. 

Within the Hospital 

The introduction of this blog scraped the surface of careers available to those searching. However, there are still more “traditional” careers in the veterinary industry. General practitioners and veterinary specialists work within the hospital for their career paths. 

Veterinary specialists serve extra time in school and training to become certified in a specific area they wish to practice. A General practitioner, on the other hand, has trained to examine and treat common conditions such as chronic or acute, includes minor and severe cases. Most importantly both of these professions are important for keeping a hospital up and running. To learn more about the different veterinary careers within a veterinary hospital, read our last blog here

Industry Careers

There are many different areas that one can work in outside of the veterinary hospital. So, here is a list of careers that may entice you. 

Government Work 

  • Public Health –  There are many aspects of working in public health. You can work to help the food supply chain and its safety. Also, a veterinarian working in this field can also help control disease outbreaks and prepare places for natural and human-made disasters. Three areas are working in public health are federal, state, or local government, US military. The website VetPrep has a great blog outlining all three of these sectors in more detail.
    • Federal Government – Veterinarians that work for the Federal Government work for places like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 
    • State or Local Government – There is a position that works for the state health department in almost every state called the State Public Health Veterinarian (SPHV). This person is responsible for controlling zoonotic diseases. Responsibilities vary from state to state on what this veterinarian does daily. There is also a State Veterinarian in each state. Employed through the state’s department of agriculture, they have to keep the livestock of that state safe and healthy. 
    • US Military – Veterinarians employed through the US Military work in all aspects of public health. They typically are working within any branch of the military. Their duties range from disease monitoring to food safety. These veterinarians are both stateside or overseas. 

Other Aspects of the Industry: 

  • Educator – If you enjoy being at a university, this position is for you. Working as an educator for the next generation of veterinarians can be just as gratifying and rewarding as working in a veterinary hospital. 
  • Forensics – That’s right, they exist. These experts work with abuse and criminal cases to help find out what happened to the animals. This career is not for the weak stomach or faint heart, however. They deal with ‘hard to swallow’ cases, and forensic veterinarians cannot be biased in their work. 
  • Lawyer – This position is not for everyone, nor does everyone like people that hold these positions. But, everyone may need one of these people once in their lifetime. So, why not give them the option of having a lawyer that has veterinary experience willing to help them out versus the alternative. 
  • Public Speaker – If you enjoy talking about veterinary medicine and in front of large crowds of people, this career is for you. Public Speakers are at almost every conference you attend as veterinarians. It is also how veterinary professionals become nationally recognized. If advocating is something that you are passionate about, why not use your knowledge to your advantage. 
  • Media Source/Writer – Some media outlets spew out information regarding the veterinary profession that some people find absurd. Becoming a media source for these stations and papers could help ease your mind to know that the information they are using is accurate and up-to-date. 
  • Entrepreneur – Why should you sell out your big ideas to an even bigger company? Entrepreneurs are starting companies all over with the customer in mind. They base their ideas on the practicality of using something in the clinic and have the experience to know if it would be of benefit.

Why Choose Industry Work? 

There are a lot of reasons that one would choose to work in the industry. Veterinary students may decide that they no longer want to enter as a general practitioner or specialist. A veterinary professional who is new to the industry may have entered the practice and decided that they wanted something different; after a person is practicing for a long time and gets burnt out for whatever reason. These are all reasons why someone may choose to go into industry work instead of work in the practice. 

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