Veterinarians diagnose, treat and prevent animal diseases, ailments and injuries.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required and nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • treating animals medically and surgically, and administering and prescribing drugs, analgesics, and general and local anaesthetics
  • determining the presence and nature of abnormal conditions by physical examination, laboratory testing and through diagnostic imaging techniques including radiography and ultrasound
  • performing surgery, dressing wounds and setting broken bones
  • rendering obstetric services to animals
  • participating in programs designed to prevent the occurrence and spread of animal diseases
  • inoculating animals against, and testing for, infectious diseases and notifying authorities of outbreaks of infectious animal diseases
  • performing autopsies to determine cause of death
  • advising clients on health, nutrition and feeding, hygiene, breeding and care of animals
  • may provide professional services to commercial firms producing biological and pharmaceutical products
  • may specialise in the treatment of a particular animal group or in a particular specialty area such as cardiology, chiropractic, dermatology or critical care

Job Titles

  • Veterinarian, or Veterinary Surgeon
  • Veterinarian, or Veterinary Surgeon

    Specialisations: IVF Embryologist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,180 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    9000
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    34.1%
  • Female Share

    65.9%
  • Full-Time Share

    77.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 9000 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Veterinarians work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 39.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,180 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20056500
20065800
20078000
20087700
20096900
20109500
20117200
20129400
20138000
201410200
20159000
20209900

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsVeterinariansAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11801230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryVeterinariansAll Jobs Average
Full-time77.568.4
Part-time22.531.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)39.340

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services90.9
Public Administration and Safety3.9
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing3.7
Education and Training0.9
Other Industries0.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateVeterinariansAll Jobs Average
NSW28.431.8
VIC26.525.5
QLD25.919.8
SA5.36.8
WA8.111.2
TAS1.42
NT1.31.1
ACT3.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketVeterinariansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.6-5.45.4
20-246.8-9.99.9
25-3437.3-23.423.4
35-4423.4-21.721.7
45-5425-21.121.1
55-595-8.78.7
60-641.3-5.95.9
65 and Over0.7-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryVeterinariansCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males34.1Males53.6
Females65.9Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required and nearly all workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Veterinarians who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    94% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  2. Biology

    91% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    87% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. English Language

    83% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Mathematics

    71% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    92% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  2. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    91% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  3. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    90% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  4. Getting Information

    90% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    89% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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