Veterinarians diagnose, treat and prevent animal diseases, ailments and injuries.
Also known as: Veterinary Surgeon.
Specialisations: Veterinary Parasitologist, Veterinary Pathologist.
A bachelor degree in veterinary science is needed to work as a Veterinarian.
treating animals medically and surgically, and administering and prescribing drugs, analgesics, and general and local anaesthetics
determining the presence and nature of abnormal conditions by physical examination, laboratory testing and through diagnostic imaging techniques including radiography and ultrasound
performing surgery, dressing wounds and setting broken bones
rendering obstetric services to animals
participating in programs designed to prevent the occurrence and spread of animal diseases
inoculating animals against, and testing for, infectious diseases and notifying authorities of outbreaks of infectious animal diseases
performing autopsies to determine cause of death
advising clients on health, nutrition and feeding, hygiene, breeding and care of animals
may provide professional services to commercial firms producing biological and pharmaceutical products
may specialise in the treatment of a particular animal group or in a particular specialty area such as cardiology, chiropractic, dermatology or critical care
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 11,400 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 72% of people employed as Veterinarians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 6 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 46 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Veterinarians||All Jobs Average|
Around 47% of Veterinarians live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Veterinarians is 39 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 61% of the workforce. This is 13 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Veterinarians||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||5.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in veterinary science is needed to work as a Veterinarian.
Registration or licencing is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Veterinarians||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||16.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.4||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Veterinarians who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
57%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
48%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
83%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
76%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
55%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
50%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
49%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
45%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
45%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
45%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
44%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
42%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
38%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
37%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Write in a way that people can understand.
55%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
45%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
83%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
82%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
81%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
80%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
80%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
76%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
69%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
68%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
68%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
67%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
66%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
65%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
64%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
58%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
57%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
55%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
54%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
53%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
43%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk on the telephone.
97%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Talk with people face-to-face.
95%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
94%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
92%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
92%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
91%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
91%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
90%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
90%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
89%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
87%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
86%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
85%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
84%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
82%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
80%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1131.00 - Veterinarians.