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Any Veterinarians/Vet Techs or anyone working in the animal medicine field

I am in the process of changing majors from nursing to biology/pre-vet science or something along those lines. I'm just looking for others opinions on the different options. Any advice would be awesome. Thank y'all!

Re: Any Veterinarians/Vet Techs or anyone working in the animal medicine field

  • Veterinary school is extremely difficult to get in to.  Not that you can't.  But research and talk to advisers and know your odds.  It often doesn't pay well.

    Vet tech is generally a lower paying job without much career growth opportunity. You may become the "head tech" or even office manager (which is actually more business degree related than technical degree) but those don't pay very well either.

    As a vet you could have more earning potential by working in a teaching hospital (often requires a PhD as well as a DVM) and these jobs are hard to come by, or you can look in to specialties.  My friend is a veterinary surgeon and I believe she makes a good salary but it took her YEARS to get there and I've never seen anyone work harder.

    What you can do now is find a job in a veterinary clinic, or offer to volunteer to get your foot in the door, to immerse yourself in the field and explore whether or not you would wish to pursue this as a career goal.

    FWIW, I wanted to be a vet.  I studied and took the VMAT and volunteered at the zoo and worked as a paid vet tech for 5 years.  In the end I decided that I didn't want to spend years trying to get in to a 4 year school to owe 6 figures in student loans to get paid a salary that was not commensurate with my degree.  I didn't enjoy being a vet tech for all the animals' suffering I witnessed and all the grunt work (ever clean up parvo puppy poop?).  Some aspects I loved, scrubbing in to surgery, for example, but that wasn't enough.  The salary wasn't enough.

  • Thank you, I'm struggling to find motivation for school. Finding money to pay for college is hell, and it seems like no matter what you have to end up with student loans. I want to find a better job, but then I know I wont qualify for much of the financial aid I'm using now, that doesn't even cover all of it.

    I want to work with animals, but it's beginning to feel like an unachievable goal. 

    Thank you again for your input, I appreciate it!

  • I work with a few vet techs.  If you are interested in research, there are lots of decent paying positions in pharmaceutical and medical device companies.   These positions tend to pay better than positions in small vet offices and generally have decent benefits.  Academic labs also hire vet techs for research but those aren't as well run in my opinion, lots of turnover of the grad students and post docs who need to be trained all the time and are each doing their own thing.
  • SunAndRain said exactly what I was going to write.  It is VERY hard and expensive to become vet and the pay is nothing like in human medicine.  Vet techs don't make much and it is hard work that is not always pretty.


    My suggestion would to look into doing research in labs.  But you normally need a BS for this, and sometimes a masters.  You could always volunteer at the animal shelters if you want to do something with animals down the road.


    What specifically do you enjoy doing?

  • Thank y'all so much for your input!

    I'm working on getting a job at a vet clinic to see what it's like day to day, and what the environment is like. I've even thought about being a dog trainer or animal behaviorist, but the pay plays a huge factor in things like that, especially when I think about starting a family one day. My husband is in the military, which means we could move anytime for as long as he's in.

    Any more suggestions are welcome!

  • Hello, my post is a bit late in the discussion, but I wanted to add in you could always consider being a dog groomer! Like you, I started college as a nursing major, and changed to biology/pre-vet because I realized I wanted to work with animals and I never thought there were other careers working with animals besides being a vet! Well on a whim I decided to apply to be a bather and work up to be a groomer, and I love it. I liked the fact that seeing repeat customers was a good thing, compared to being a vet. Being a groomer isn't for everybody, but I think it's a great job for people that want to work with dogs. And I will say the pay is very good (for not needing a degree). The company I work for, we get 50% commission, or an hourly rate if our commissions for the week do not exceed our hourly rate. Usually it comes out to if you groom 5 dogs a day, you take home about $500 per week, 6 dogs a day is about $600 per week, etc. At least where I work.
    photo bubbaandteddy_zpsb9dd0b98.jpg
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