14 Pros and Cons of Being a Veterinarian

Veterinarian

A veterinarian specializes in treating animal injuries and diseases and is known as the doctor of the animal world.

These professionals work with a variety of medical equipment and tools to help heal animals, such as ultrasound and x-ray machines as well as other surgical tools. 

These professionals use their skills, knowledge, and expertise to evaluate and diagnose animals in order to formulate a treatment plan that can successfully deal with the specific ailment, condition, or injury of the animal.

Pros of Being a Veterinarian

Here are the top seven advantages of being a veterinarian.

1. Good Earning Potential

On average, you could expect to earn around $95,000 per year in this position.

The average range for most veterinarians is between $75,000 – $165,000 per year.

The salary will differ depending on where the veterinarian is located.

For example, veterinarians in metropolitan cities may attract more business than those in smaller cities or towns. 

In addition, veterinarians with a solid reputation will be more in demand and will thus earn a higher salary as well. 

2. Standard Work Week

As a veterinarian, you will traditionally only work from eight or nine in the morning and finish your day at five. 

Most veterinarians do not work on weekends or on public holidays but may assist a client on these days in the event of an emergency. 

This, of course, will also depend on whether you are working for yourself or for an established veterinarian’s office.

Many veterinarians do work on weekends, more specifically, on Saturdays, but this is not a requirement for many. 

In addition, the salary received in this job is sufficient that the individual does not have to get a second job in order to support their family.

3. Work-life Balance

Due to the nature of this job and the fact that most veterinarians earn enough income that it does not require them to work additional overtime hours or to get a second job, these individuals enjoy a good balance between work and play. 

They tend to work a standard workweek, earn a great salary, have sufficient time off to enjoy their hobbies, and do not suffer from depression or stress as a result of work.

4. You Enjoy Your Passion

Most people who go into this profession do it because they have a passion for animals and help sick or injured animals. 

It is highly advised that if you have these passions, pursue a career as a veterinarian.

Not only will your days be filled with doing the things that you love, but you will also experience a high degree of job satisfaction.

Being fulfilled in your job is something that does not happen to everyone in every profession.

It is, therefore, one of the biggest highlights of working as a veterinarian.

5. You Can Own Your Own Practice

Working in this profession will eventually allow you the ability to own your own practice.

You may start out working at a practice in order to gain the necessary skills for a few years, but you will soon be able to start your own practice.

Keep in mind, though, that this may require at least some business management skills on your part as you will be required to do more than just being a veterinarian.

You may have to engage in other aspects of the business such as financial management, marketing, and day-to-day business management.

6. Variety

There are so many aspects of variety to this job.

Firstly, you will be working with different animals and clients on a daily basis.

No two days will be the same. In addition, as a business owner, you may be required to perform multiple functions throughout the course of your day, week, month, and year.

Unlike a traditional office job, you will not be stuck behind a desk.

You may be required to step out of the office to meet a client at their home, or you may have paperwork that needs to be completed.

Whatever the case, your days will be interesting, varied, and fun, to say the least.

7. You Help Your Own Pets

If you are in this field, chances are, you have a few pets of your own. 

The experience and knowledge gained in this profession can be used to treat your own animals or the animals of your close friends and family.

Taking into consideration the cost of a standard vet’s bill can be quite shocking.

You will not only save friends and family money, but you will also give them peace of mind when it comes to their fur babies. 

Cons of Being a Veterinarian

Here are seven disadvantages of being a veterinarian.

1. You Will Not Earn As Much As a Doctor 

There are many individuals that qualify under the term doctor.

For example, there are gynecologists, psychologists, surgeons, plastic surgeons,  radiologists, cardiologists, and other medical professionals.

As a veterinarian, you will not earn as much as doctors in the medical profession. 

The reality is that you will likely spend an equal amount of time on your studies as medical doctors but you will not earn as much as they do.

2. It Takes a Long Time to Qualify

One thing that most people should prepare themselves for is the fact that it will take an additional two years to earn a basic bachelor’s degree in this field.

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree is a six-year course.

This means that you will spend more time studying than the average student studying for another degree.

Be sure that you are prepared to study for the full duration of the course.

3. Financial Debt

Many students take out loans in order to complete their studies.

Studying for this career may mean that you will end up sitting with a mountain of debt that may take several years to finish paying off.

Not all students’ parents are financially fit enough to pay for and support kids through college.

Therefore, many students take out loans to support themselves while studying. 

And, with the extended years of studying, this amount can stack up really fast.

4. Limited in Scope

In the medical field, it is easy for a doctor to switch careers to another medical job.

Veterinarians, on the other hand, do not have this luxury.

While they are educated in animal care, there is little to no room to move horizontally within their industry. 

They are limited to the job that they are doing.

It is therefore imperative to ensure that this is your ideal job before pursuing this field.

5. You Will Work With Difficult Animals

Much like humans, animals that suffer from injury or any kind of pain may become challenging to work with. 

You may struggle to get the animal to sit still while you are making a diagnosis.

Or, even worse, the animal may be afraid and lash out when you try to touch it. 

It is not uncommon for a vet to get bitten while on the job.

And, in the event that the animal has rabies, this could potentially be a very dangerous job as well.

6. Getting Sued

Some people treat their animals like family. 

This is wonderful until you do something that really upsets the owner.

As with any field that requires you to save lives, you may find yourself in a situation where a client wants to sue you for damages or what they perceive to be negligence.

As a result, you may want to consider getting yourself and your practice insurance to protect you from such lawsuits.

These lawsuits can often get pretty expensive and you need to protect yourself and your business.

7. Adapting to Technology

Technology seems to be taking over the world. 

In this industry, it is no different.

While this may not be your area of expertise, you may need to prepare yourself in order to stay up to date with all the technological advancements in your industry relating to equipment and tools.

In order to remain competitive, you will constantly need to learn about new technological advancements, how they can improve your practice, and how they can improve the lives of your furry patients.

This means that you will constantly be learning, growing, and developing.

Pros and Cons of Being a Veterinarian – Summary Table

Pros of Being a VeterinarianCons of Being a Veterinarian
1. Good Earning Potential1. You Will Not Earn As Much As a Doctor 
2. Standard Work Week2. It Takes a Long Time to Qualify
3. Work-life Balance3. Financial Debt
4. You Enjoy Your Passion4. Limited in Scope
5. You Can Own Your Own Practice5. You Will Work With Difficult Animals
6. Variety6. Getting Sued
7. You Help Your Own Pets7. Adapting to Technology

Should You Become a Veterinarian?

If you believe that you will be able to complete the educational requirements after school and you have a deep passion for animals and helping animals, then this may be the ideal job for you.

The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of this job.

Apart from the list of advantages, there is also the added benefit of excellent health insurance, dental, and vision that comes part and parcel with this job.

You will be able to live and support your family on your own salary and you will constantly learn new things.

Making your hobby and passion your career is an excellent way to ensure that you will not work another day in your life.

Jamie Willis