Veterinarians

(NOC 3114)

in All Health

Veterinarians prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and disorders in animals and advise clients on the feeding, hygiene, housing and general care of animals. They may choose small-animal, large-animal, or mixed practice, or specialize in a particular species or medical field. Veterinarians work in private practice or may be employed by animal clinics, farms, laboratories, government or industry. Small (companion) animal practices generally accept dogs and cats as patients and sometime treat exotic species, such as birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Services provided often include pet selection and care, nutrition and behaviour counselling, boarding, and grooming. Large-animal practices provide medical and surgical services for livestock and horses. In addition to treating patients, large animal veterinarians offer preventative herd health management and also monitor for possible disease outbreak.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Veterinarians most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 68% of Veterinarians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $72,950. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,100

Minimum

$68,352

Median

$101,222

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$25.50

Median

$41.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Veterinarians prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and disorders in animals and advise clients on the feeding, hygiene, housing and general care of animals. They may choose small-animal, large-animal, or mixed practice, or specialize in a particular species or medical field. Veterinarians work in private practice or may be employed by animal clinics, farms, laboratories, government or industry.

Small (companion) animal practices generally accept dogs and cats as patients and sometime treat exotic species, such as birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Services provided often include pet selection and care, nutrition and behaviour counselling, boarding, and grooming.

Large-animal practices provide medical and surgical services for livestock and horses. In addition to treating patients, large animal veterinarians offer preventative herd health management and also monitor for possible disease outbreak.

Job duties

Veterinarians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Diagnose diseases or abnormal conditions in individual animals, herds and flocks through physical examinations or laboratory tests.
  • Treat sick or injured animals by prescribing medication, setting bones, dressing wounds or performing surgery.
  • Vaccinate animals to prevent and treat diseases.
  • Perform routine, emergency and post-mortem examinations.
  • Advise clients on feeding, housing, behaviour, breeding, hygiene and general care of animals.
  • Provide a range of veterinary services including obstetrics, dentistry and euthanasia.
  • May supervise animal health technologists and animal care workers.
  • May be responsible for overall operation of animal hospital, clinic or mobile service to farms.
  • May conduct veterinary research related to areas such as animal nutrition, health care products development and disease prevention and control.
  • May enforce government regulations in disease control and food production including animal or animal-based food inspection.

Sample job titles

  • equine veterinarian
  • farm veterinarian
  • veterinarian
  • veterinary dentist
  • veterinary inspector
  • veterinary laboratory diagnostician
  • veterinary parasitologist
  • veterinary physiologist
  • veterinary surgeon

Skills

To work in this field, you should have compassion, a fondness for animals, and an interest in science, especially biology, chemistry, and physics. Good health, stamina, and emotional stability are necessary, as veterinarians often work long and irregular hours. You must be patient, reliable, mature, and responsible. Good oral and written communication skills are also needed. Some business knowledge would be helpful in running a private practice.

Job requirements

  • Two years of pre-veterinary university studies or completion of a college program in health science and a four to five year university degree in veterinary medicine and completion of national certification examinations are required.
  • A provincial licence to practice is required.
  • Entry into research positions may require post-graduate study.

Other considerations

Although many veterinarians work regular hours, those in private practice often work long hours, including evenings, weekends and holidays. The duties of veterinarians performing research may be similar to those of some biologists.

By the numbers

Quick look

335

employed in 2016

89.2%

employed full-time

34.3%

self employed

68.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
31.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

77.1%

employed full-time

10.2%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

37.5%

Halifax

20.8%

Annapolis Valley

19.4%

Northern

13.9%

Southern

8.3%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

94.0%

Other Professional Services

6.0%

Public Administration

What is the age of Employment?

46.2%

35-44

38.5%

45-54

30.8%

25-34

Compared to: All Health

31.4%

45-54

27.6%

35-44

20.5%

55-64

15.2%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

86.2%

Master's degree

$86,562 median annual income
9.2%

Doctorate

N/A
4.6%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$92,959 median annual income

Compared to: All Health

39.4%

College certificate or diploma

$36,693 median annual income
27.6%

Bachelor's degree

$57,186 median annual income
7.2%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$83,000 median annual income
6.9%

High school

$24,119 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$87,808 median annual income

Education & training

Preveterinary studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for admission to a first-professional program in veterinary medicine.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Veterinary medicine (DVM)

This program is typically offered by a university school of medicine.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of veterinary medicine, involving the diagnosis, treatment, and health care management of animals and animal populations and the prevention and management of zoonosis. These programs include courses in the veterinary basic sciences, infectious and non-infectious disease, diagnostic procedures, veterinary clinical medicine, obstetrics, radiology, anesthesiology, surgery, toxicology, animal health and preventive medicine, clinical nutrition, practice management, and professional standards and ethics.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Veterinary sciences/veterinary clinical sciences (Cert., MSc, PhD) - General

This program is typically offered at the university graduate level (Masters, PhD)

This instructional program class comprises any integrated program of study in one or more of the veterinary medical or clinical sciences or a program undifferentiated as to title.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Veterinarian

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association
15 Cobequid Road
Lower Sackville, NS B4C 2M9
(902) 865-1876
(902) 865-2001

Contacts

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
339 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON K1R 7K1
Tel: (613) 236-1162
Fax: (613) 236-9681
Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association
15 Cobequid Road
Lower Sackville, NS B4C 2M9
Tel: (902) 865-1876
Fax: (902) 865-2001
Atlantic Veterinary College
University of Prince Edward Island 550 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3
Tel: (902) 566-0882
Fax: (902) 566-0958

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.