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Veterinarian Work Conditions
Veterinary Medicine

VETERINARIAN - NATURE OF THE WORK

Most veterinarians work in veterinary clinics
Most veterinarians work in veterinary clinics.

Veterinarians held about 70,300 jobs in 2012, of which 74 percent were in the veterinary services industry. Others held positions at colleges or universities; in private industry, such as in medical and research laboratories; and in federal, state, or local government. About 18 percent of veterinarians were self-employed.

Although most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals, others travel to farms, work in laboratories or classrooms, or work for the government.

Veterinarians who treat horses or food animals must travel between their offices and farms and ranches. They work outdoors in all kinds of weather and may have to perform surgery, often under unsanitary conditions.

Veterinarians who work in food safety and inspection must travel to farms, slaughterhouses, and food-processing plants.

Veterinarians who conduct research work primarily in offices and laboratories and spend much of their time dealing with people, rather than animals.

Veterinarians' work can sometimes be emotionally stressful, as they deal with sick animals and the animals' anxious owners. Also, the workplace can be noisy, as animals make noise when sick or being handled. Working on farms and ranches, in slaughterhouses, or with wildlife can also be physically demanding.

Injuries and Illnesses

When working with animals that are frightened or in pain, veterinarians risk being bitten, kicked, and scratched. In addition, veterinarians working with diseased animals risk being infected by the disease.

Work Schedules

Veterinarians often work long hours. Some work nights or weekends, and they may have to respond to emergencies outside of scheduled work hours. About 1 in 3 veterinarians worked more than 50 hours per week in 2012.

Last Modification: 01-26-2014
Source:
http://www.bls.gov