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Q: Question about careers as vets and others involving animals.

August 5, 2008 | By Jennifer G. | 10 answers | Expired: 2170 days ago

Jennifer G.

Hi. I am 16 and I am trying to figure out what I want to do as a career in life. I have always loved animals and thought it would be cool to be a vet. I have pros and cons for becoming a vet. What I would like to know is can any vets out there tell me how they like their job? Also, what are some other good careers paths involving animals, I know there are tons, just looking for some ideas. Thanks!

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Stephanie  C.
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Aug 07, 2008

I'm about to graduate with an AAS in Biotechnology. It's more of a 'behind the scenes' type thing, but you could work in an animal laboratory. The work is usually husbandry, DNA analysis, protein tests, that kind of thing. It's more scientific than straight care/maintenance. Check it out online if that sounds up your alley. ; >

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Phyllis S.
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Aug 07, 2008

Hi,Jenn-
I have been a veterinarian since 1983 and it is a wonderful profession. Like any other job, there are parts of it that are difficult, but it is also extremely rewarding. There are many types of veterinary careers- I have been in Food Animal practice(dairy cattle/sheep/goats), companion animal practice(dogs/cats/pocket pets) and now am caring for dogs and cats in a shelter setting. The AVMA has lots of information on becoming a vet-www.avma.org-also I strongly suggest asking a local vet if you can observe their practice if you haven't already done so. There are also many other wonderful careers caring for animals-vet techs, groomers, shelter workers, dog trainers. I wish you good luck at this exciting time in your life.

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T
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T

Aug 06, 2008

I too wanted to become a vet. However, I did not want to apply myself to the discipline that it took to become a vet!!!! It takes as long to become a vet as it does to become a doctor!!! What I did was go around to the local vets to clean the kennels, while I was in school, and then started working for a couple of vets, doing paper work while they were on farm calls. I also worked as a volunteer at the "dog pound" giving baths, cleaning kennels, etc. and eventually, I started working for a vet full time. I went on to school and got my vet tech license, and had a wonderful career as a tech, getting to do a whole realm of things, but never achieved my goal of being a vet. I did go on to college, but I regret not pursuing my first love - animals!!! Talk to your local shelter, vets, and pet stores. Good luck! Leave your options open.

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ChicoanVolunteer
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Aug 06, 2008

I really don't have that great of advice, because I'm in the same situation as you.
But, I think an Animal Control officer (Animal cop) would be a great job. Maybe contact a local veterinarian to hear about what the job entails. Maybe look around to see what Colleges have good veterinary programs, then contact a counselor from there.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Aug 06, 2008

You got some good answers here. And people notice when you have walked that long road. My vet had a good tech and I was happy to see when I brought Stache in (I hadn't had a pet for a while since they treated a dog of mine) that she had become a licensed vet and would be his doc that day. Many of the techs are as trained as anyone and I take their advice as well. No matter where on that road you end up, you'll be doing useful work.

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Jill R.
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Aug 06, 2008

Hi Jenn,

Being a vet is great! It really helps open alot of doors and is a great conversation piece. You can do so much with the degree,not just practice work. If you are interested in a career as a vet or any other animal health profession, I would recommend volunteering at a clinic or a shelter to see what the job entails. You can also learn more on this website: www.avma.org/animal_health/brochures/veterinarian/veterinarian_brochure.asp

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Aug 06, 2008

When school begins again I'd suggest that you talk to your guidance counselor.

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Julie Kay S.
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Aug 05, 2008

This may just be the most ignorant answer you get, but my heart's in the right place! You could search at ZooToo under "Services" for maybe your zip code and/or Veterinarian or Clinic or Hospital and contact some locations so you could visit and perhaps tour the facilities and talk with the vet techs, the vets themselves, etc., and ask questions.

I hope this helps; God bless you and as Heather said so well, "don't be afraid to change your mind, I know a lot of people that follow a path they decided was right when they were your age, they decide it's not right but wait to change till it's difficult. Leave your options a little open!" and as Jessica explained, it's not as easy as it may seem.

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Jessica H.
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Aug 05, 2008

I am currently in school to become a veterinary technician. After going through only two terms (I'm in my third term now), I can't imagine having to go to school to be a full vet!! It's hard enough for a tech as it is.

Now, there are two types of techs, registered techs (ones that go to school and have to pass their boards to be certified in the US and/or by their state), and an unregistered tech (does not have any formal training and/or schooling, has not passed or taken their boards, usually trained by a vet). I won't go into the registered/unregistered vet debate since this isn't the time or place, but wanted to let you know of similar jobs. Maybe if you're interested you could look at volunteering at a shelter or local vet clinic. I know when I was younger I wanted to volunteer at clinics they told me because of insurance and liability reasons you had to be 18. Maybe it was just that particular clinic, but I would call around and ask. Just volunteer and get involved, see what you like! If you're interested, start looking around at schools and colleges in your area to see what animal related fields they have to offer.

There are also "animal cops", which is what I was also interested in but decided to go the tech route instead. Ultimately I want to work in rescue.

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Heather
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Aug 05, 2008

I worked at an animal shelter, which if you're interested in a career as a vet would be a great place to volunteer. If you let them know you are interested in possibly going to school to be a vet, they can get you more involved in the actual care and treatment, and if they have an in house vet, they may be able to let you help a little there. The nice thing about having a career as a vet is that pet populations are increasing, so although it is competitive, there are jobs (more than just having a practice). There are also other animals related fields, like vet techs, or working at animals sanctuaries, some careers do exist in animal shelters too. Go volunteer, talk to local vets and see if they offer shadowing programs, visit and ask questions as many places as you can! Also, don't be afraid to change your mind, I know a lot of people that follow a path they decided was right when they were your age, they decide it's not right but wait to change till it's difficult. Leave your options a little open! Good luck.

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