Online Veterinary Degree Programs

Veterinarians are essential health care professionals that care for a wide variety of animals. Online veterinary degree programs provide students with a solid veterinary medicine background and enable students to choose a specific specialty area. Students learn the essential skills to lead an exciting career in the field of veterinary medicine. They learn how to diagnose and treat health issues, perform vaccinations, administer medication, and perform surgery. They also learn how to education pet owners on the care and maintenance of their pets. Read more about online veterinary medicine degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 26 bachelor degrees, 184 master degrees, and 126 doctorate degrees conferred in general veterinary sciences/veterinary clinical sciences. There were also 3,990 bachelor, 246 master, and 132 doctorate degrees in animal sciences (1). In 2006, veterinarians held 62,000 jobs with 3 out of 4 employed in independent or group practices. As of 2006, there are 28 colleges and universities in 26 states that meet the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association accreditation standards (2).

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for veterinarians varies on position, field, and location. The overall employment for veterinarians is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 35% and adding 22,000 new jobs (2). Veterinarians with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $49,954 and $67,767 (3).

Specialties

Veterinary medicine is a large field and aspiring veterinarians can choose from a variety of specialties to focus their study on and pursue an exciting and interesting career. Veterinary specializations include small animals, large animals, canine, feline, bovine, poultry, equine, birds, zoo animals, wildlife, microbiology, parasitology, cardiology, anesthesiology, dentistry, pathology, behavior, emergency care, laboratory animal medicine, radiology, surgery, toxicology, and nutrition. The specializations are endless and students who are interested in a specific specialty should choose schools that offer strong programs in their desired topic of interest.

What to Expect

Veterinary medicine degrees provide students with a solid knowledge on all concepts of animals and specialties enable students to concentrate their focus. Students must obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or DMD) degree to become a veterinarian. Veterinary programs provide a basic science foundation and focus on clinical procedures, specialization, and laboratory experience. Coursework may vary slightly by program and specialization, but most programs require courses in veterinary epidemiology, animal diseases, animal food safety, small animal veterinary medicine, large animal veterinary medicine, internal medicine, animal anatomy and physiology, pathobiology, veterinary pathology, veterinary medicine research methods, infectious diseases, animal surgery, and ethics. Students who choose a specific specialty often complete internships. Veterinarians must also be licensed in their state to practice.

The End Result

Veterinary medicine degrees prepare graduates for a variety of career options in many areas such as private practice, group practice, education, research, and government agencies. Veterinarians that choose a specialty will have an abundance of career opportunities in their designated fields. Careers for veterinary medicine degree graduates include:

Large Animal Veterinarian
Companion Animal Veterinarian
Zoo Animal Veterinarian
Poultry Veterinarian
Dairy Veterinarian
Swine Veterinarian
Livestock Veterinarian
Marine Mammal Veterinarian
Equine Veterinarian
Wildlife Veterinarian
Animal Shelter Veterinarian
Public Health Veterinarian
USDA Veterinarian
FDA Veterinarian
Epidemiologist
Director of Animal Health
Veterinary Science Professor

Individuals who have a deep compassion for animals will find a career as a veterinarian as rewarding. Veterinarians must have good dexterity and interpersonal and communication skills and be able to handle a variety of animals and situations.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Survey Salary Report

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