Whether you are still in school or considering a career change, here are some tips on how to prepare for a career in veterinary medicine -- as a veterinarian, technician, or assistant.
Difficulty Level: varies Time Required: varies
- Volunteer or seek employment at a veterinary office to get the best idea of the career you are interested in, and what it is like to work with animals -- both sick and healthy.
- Other career exploring opportunities would be volunteering at a local animal shelter or animal control unit.
- Express your career interest to staff members. Ask about their career likes, dislikes, necessary training, and personal satisfaction involving their career choice.
- If you feel uncomfortable about performing a task or answering a client question, ask for help! Better to ask for help than risk injury to an animal or misinformation to a client.
- Regarding schooling and education, research the various schools available. Admission requirements, typical educational costs, the school's academic strengths and weaknesses.
- Work with a guidance counselor in your present school to best choose a variety of classes, not solely science classes.
- If you are considering a career change, seek out a guidance counselor as well. Most community colleges have career resource centers and offer free aptitude testing and career guidance.
- Join local, state, and national veterinary interest groups and associations.
- Veterinary professional organization memberships include, but aren't limited to: veterinarians, technicians, pre-veterinary students.
- Other animal organizations include, but aren't limited to: 4-H, Humane Societies, animal welfare groups, and pet therapy organizations.
- Most importantly, don't let anyone tell you no! Keep trying, researching, and studying to attain your goal.
- Take advantage of career resources available at schools, community colleges, local libraries, and veterinary school admissions offices.
- Working for more than one veterinary office will provide a more varied viewpoint of the profession.
- If you feel capable, ask for more responsibility at your volunteer or staff position to be able to learn new skills on the job.
- Career Information for Veterinarians
- Career Information for Veterinary Technicians
- Online Learning
- Veterinary Professional Organizations
- Veterinary Schools