Job type


£30k - £50k

Typical salary

40 – 45

Hours per week

Vets diagnose and treat sick or injured animals.

More info

  • Work with animals, diagnosing and treating injuries or illnesses
  • You'll normally need excellent GCSEs and A levels, including sciences, to get onto an approved degree
  • Work can be physically and emotionally demanding, but highly rewarding and worthwhile

As a vet, you'll work to make sure sick and injured animals get the best treatment and have the best chance to live good lives.


  • Diagnose and treat sick and injured animals
  • Perform operations
  • Carry out tests such as blood analysis, X-rays and scans
  • Provide care for animals in veterinary hospitals
  • Carry out regular health checks and give vaccinations
  • Check farm animals and advise how to stop diseases spreading
  • Supervise veterinary nurses and support staff
  • Keep records of treatments
  • Communicate with pet owners and insurers

As a vet in industry, you might:

  • Develop and test drugs, chemicals and biological products
  • You may also check hygiene and care in stables, kennels or pet shops

In public health, your day-to-day tasks might include investigating human and animal disease outbreaks like foot and mouth disease.


You'll normally work either in general practice or for a public and animal health department like the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) or the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). 

The job is physically demanding. You may work outdoors if you're treating farm animals or horses, and you could also be on call, day or night. 

You'll need

You'll need a high level of scientific ability, practical skills to handle animals, observational skills, the ability to make difficult decisions, and management and business skills. You'll need excellent GCSE and A level results, including sciences to go straight on to a veterinary degree approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

You'll then need to gain RCVS registration.

Full-time veterinary degrees usually take 5 years.

If you already have a degree in a related subject, you may be able to take a 4-year graduate entry veterinary degree course.

To gain a place on a relevant course you'll usually need to get experience of working in a veterinary practice, plus experience of handling different animals from small domestic pets to larger livestock. You could volunteer with a vet, farm, zoo, a local kennel or animal welfare centre, or with animal charities like the PDSA or RSPCA.

You may need a driving licence for some jobs and you'll need to pass enhanced background checks.


You could focus on treating particular animals, or specialise in areas such as dermatology or cardiology, by taking RCVS-approved postgraduate courses. You could join the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) if you work with horses.