Veterinary Surgeon Job Description

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What does a Veterinary Surgeon do?

Veterinary Surgeons take care of all kinds of animals health and welfare. The type of work can range from working on animals that are pets, live on farms, zoos, safaris and anywhere else you find animals that need looking after.

Most of the jobs available for Veterinary Surgeons are in a Vets general practice, much like a doctors but for animals, So they diagnose, treat and operate on animals that are injured or ill. They will generally have an animal hospital where they keep animals overnight if necessary. Types of procedures that a veterinary surgeon performs:

How2Become - Vet
  • vaccinations
  • X-rays
  • consult and advise on illness and disease
  • Euthanasing injured and ill animals
  • animal neutering

What kind of animals do veterinary surgeons see?

Veterinary surgeons work on all kinds and sizes of different animals, from small domestic pets up to horses and bigger animals in zoos.

Veterinary Surgeon job interview questions and answers

Why do you want to be a Veterinary Surgeon?

I always had an interest in helping animals. And as I grew up found myself feeling this was the only thing i wanted to do for a career for the rest of my life. And so followed my career aspiration by attaining all the necessary qualifications and work experience i could get.

When can a newly qualified Veterinary Surgeon start working?

After your 5 year degree. In your sixth and final year. You get to use everything you've learned. You will be closely supervised, but you are responsible for your own cases and have to diagnose them. Once the sixth year is completed you can apply for veterinary surgeon jobs anywhere.

Whats best about being a Veterinary Surgeon?

The best part of being a veterinary surgeon is curing sick and injured animals.

Whats worst about being a Veterinary Surgeon?

The worst part of being a veterinary surgeon is dealing with sick animals that cannot be healed and telling their owners this.

What qualities do Veterinary Surgeons need?

You must be interested in animal welfare but not over sentimental. You must be able to deduce what can be wrong with an animal just by watching them as they cannot inform you of the symptoms. A good bed side manner with animal owners is also required as well as having to make hard choices about animals sometimes to end their suffering.

Veterinary Surgeon training

During the years 1-3 you will learn the basic animal science. In years 4-5 of your degree you start clinical studies.

Career path to becoming a Veterinary Surgeon

  • 5 GCSEs A-C
  • 3 A-levels, grade AAB min, very competitive for degree places
  • Veterinary Science Degree or an equivalent RCVS recognised overseas qualification
  • Registered with the RCVS once degree earned

How to become a Veterinary Surgeon

What qualifications do you need to become a veterinary surgeon?

  • To get on a Veterinary Surgeon degree you will need at least three A levels (AAB) in related subjects like chemistry, biology, physics and maths. And you will also have five GCSE at grade A-C. Equivalent qualifications are also accepted such as BTEC in animal science and animal management.
  • Veterinary Surgeon degrees are available at universities recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK: Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and London (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). These degree courses are 5 years in length and competition for places is intense.

Veterinary Surgeon salary?

How much do veterinary surgeons earn? See below for how much does a veterinary surgeon earn:

  • Just qualified Veterinary Surgeon pay starts about £20,000 a year.
  • Experienced Veterinary Surgeons get paid £30,000 up to making £48,000 in earnings as their experience develops.
  • Senior Veterinary Surgeon partners can be paid over £50,000 in wages.
  • Some Veterinary Surgeon employers provide perks such as car and accommodation allowances.

Veterinary Surgeon tips

  • Make sure you try your hardest to get the best exam results as you can. These are the keys to getting you into the next step in the Veterinary Surgeon career path.
  • Try to get as much experience, be it work experience or just being around animals as you can. Work experience in a vets surgery is a very good work experience. But working with aniamls in general is also important such as on farms, horse stables or smaller pet zoo type places. You need to show what animal work experience you have done should you get to apply for a vet degree course and this is taken into consideration when the hard to get places are decided who they will go to.

Veterinary Surgeons career prospects

Once you've graduated after your degree and registered with the you can start your own veterinary surgery or buy into an existing vets surgery. There is also jobs for vets in the Royal Army Vet corps, RSPCA, PDSA, zoos & animal hospitals/welfare societies.

If you want to work with horses it is also advisable to jopin up to the British Equine Veterinary Association ( The BEVA run courses and workshops to give you extra skills and provide alot of opportunities for you to network with other members.

Veterinary Surgeon related jobs

Modified: 16 June 2013

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