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Graduate Veterinary Science Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the veterinary science industry

          A career in veterinary science involves taking care of animals. The work can be difficult, as you'll be dealing with life or death situations, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

          The two main roles within this sector are veterinary surgeon (also known as a vet) and veterinary nurse.

          As a veterinary nurse, you'll help vets by looking after the animals before and after surgery. You could also be involved in the surgery, which involves preparing the equipment and making sure the area is clean.

          As a vet, you'll be diagnosing and treating sick animals. You'll also administer medicine and conduct surgery.

          However, it's not all about pets. Veterinary science specialists are needed for all animals across the country. You could be helping farm and zoo animals too.

          Work unsociable hours is likely, through either shift work or being on call, as animals could require emergency assistance at any time of the day.

          Find out more
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          Skills & interests required for a career in Veterinary science

          A lot of the work will involve communicating with pet-owners and other professionals. You'll need to be able to break down complex problems and explain them to people who aren't scientifically minded.

          You'll need to be passionate about helping animals. The work can be quite emotional, and you'll need to display empathy but also remain professional and calm.

          Most roles within veterinary science require knowledge of animal biology. The specific requirements will depend on the role that you decide to pursue. Scientific advances are constantly being made so you'll need to keep up to date on the latest developments.

          Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Veterinary science

          Graduates in veterinary science typically begin as an assistant before becoming a fully qualified vet. After this, you can choose to specialise in a number of different areas through further training. For example, you could specialise in a certain type of animal or surgical procedure.

          Many vets also choose to move into research and development for private companies or decide to work in government to help with policy-writing..

          As a veterinary nurse you can also undergo extra training to develop your skill set and take on more responsibilities, which will help you move up the ladder. There may also be opportunities to move into managerial positions.

          There is the option to specialise in a specific area of veterinary nursing, such as anaesthesia or rehabilitation. Many veterinary nurses decide to pursue a career in education to help others get their qualifications. You could take a mentor role within a practice or teach part-time at local colleges.

          There is also the option to study to become a vet.

          Tips for getting into the field

          Work experience is crucial if you want to do a veterinary degree. Universities receive far more applications for places on veterinary courses than they can offer, so those who have demonstrated their commitment are most likely to get accepted.

          To give yourself the best chance possible, do some voluntary work with animals as soon as you can. Places you could volunteer at include:

          • Stables
          • Kennels
          • Animal rescue centres
          • Veterinary surgeries.
          How much can graduates earn in Veterinary science?

          Newly qualified vets typically earn around £30,000. With experience this could rise to £70,000+.

          Salary levels will be dependent upon your training and expertise. Extra training can help you climb the career ladder quickly.

          As a newly qualified veterinary nurse you could expect to earn around £20,500 and this will increase as you take on more responsibilities or extra qualifications.

          The upper end of what you can expect to earn as a veterinary nurse is around £28,000.

          What qualifications do I need for a career in Veterinary science?

          Becoming a vet involves some very specific training. You need strong academic credentials and a Veterinary Medicine degree, which typically takes five or six years. After this you'll be able to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and practice as a vet.

          There are currently seven institutions that offer an accredited veterinary degree:

          • Royal Veterinary College (RVC) (London)
          • University of Bristol
          • University of Cambridge
          • University of Edinburgh
          • University of Glasgow
          • University of Liverpool
          • University of Nottingham

          To become a veterinary nurse, you need a level three diploma in veterinary nursing, which can either be done full-time or alongside a job in a veterinary practice. This takes two or three years to complete.

          Veterinary science industry bodies

          British Veterinary Association
          Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
          Veterinary Marketing Association