People working in the Animal Health area treat sick and injured animals, provide general animal care, and advise clients about health care and disease prevention for pets and farm (production) animals. They also set standards for the import and export of animals and animal product and may even enter the research field.
Depending on the role they have, Animal Health workers may do any or all of the following and more: Work with clients to prevent and treat animal problems and diseases; advise on animal nutrition and the care and welfare of animals; examine dead animals to find out the cause of death; work with herd and flock owners to help them meet breeding and production goals; clean cages and surgery areas at a veterinary centre; feed and exercise animals; develop x-rays, collect blood samples and carry out pregnancy tests; help prepare animals for surgery.
Types of Jobs:
- Veterinarian Nurse
- Veterinarian Technician
- Rural Veterinarian
- Large Animal/Dairy Cattle Veterinarian
Is it for me?
If you love sciences such as biology and biochemistry and you enjoy working with and caring for animals (and you're not too squeamish!) then working in Animal Health could be for you.
How to get there:
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a veterinary nurse. However, science subjects, computing and English are useful. To become a vet you will need to take English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology are preferred subjects.
To become a vet nurse you will generally need to have a Certificate or Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or a qualification in animal care. In order to become a Veterinarian Technician or a Veterinarian you will need to attend Massey University and complete a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology or a Bachelor of Veterinarian Science.
Animal Health workers in clinical practices often work long and irregular hours and are frequently on call. They may also work weekends and evenings.
Chance of employment:
Chances of getting a job as a vet nurse are average as there is a good supply of trained veterinary nurses. Chances of getting a job as a vet however are pretty good as there is a shortage of people in the role - especially in rural areas.
Veterinarians earn an average of $75,000 a year but this will depend greatly on experience, responsibility and location. Vet Nurses will earn anywhere between $31,000 to over $50,000 a year, depending on experience.