Careers with animals

Love animals?

All about being a vet

Are you a dog person? Perhaps a cat person? Or even a crocodile person? Vets not only look after our furry friends but protect wild, endangered and (sometimes) scary animals.

Not keen on giving a rat its immunisations? There are lots of other career opportunities where you can work with animals. You could choose a science speciality like zoology or marine biology, or even train guide dogs.

If you want to be a vet, read on to learn about the different areas you can work in and the unique experience of Veterinary Science.

Vets diagnose, treat and prevent disease and injury in pets, farm animals and exotic animals. No animal likes being held down for physical checks or injections - but it’s so important for their health and wellbeing.

Vets check over animals’ skin, coats, feathers, eyes, ears, teeth and feet. They give immunisations to protect against illnesses and antibiotics when an animal is sick.

Like humans, animals can require operations to fix broken bones or areas of their bodies that are causing problems. Common surgeries include extracting teeth, removing cancer, treating abscesses and neutering/spaying.

Vets work in sterile operating theatres with the latest equipment.

It would be difficult to move one cow into the local vet clinic for a check – let alone a whole herd. So one vet specialisation involves going to the animals. Whether they’re in a barn, paddock or sitting at customs after being shipped into Australia, vets are there to help keep them healthy.

Vets also work for the Government checking pets, such as cats and dogs, are healthy and fully vaccinated when they move to Australia with their owners. This ensures we keep Australia's unique ecosystem safe from invading pests and diseases.

Some vets work in zoos and sanctuaries with rare, exotic and endangered animals.

In a zoo your patients may include bears, eagles, snakes, elephants, tigers and anteaters.

In sanctuaries you could be helping conservation efforts for endangered Australian animals like Tasmanian devils, bats, frogs and wombats.

To be a vet you’ll need to study English, Chemistry and Maths at school, and Biology is highly recommended. At uni you’ll do five years full-time studying Veterinary Science. During your studies you'll not only learn in a classroom but outside on farms and beyond.

Find out how JCU vet students are trained to reduce anxiety in their animal patients.

See vet students getting hands-on experience