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

Also known as: Veterinary Surgeon.

Specialisations: Veterinary Parasitologist, Veterinary Pathologist.

A bachelor degree in veterinary science is needed to work as a Veterinarian.


  • 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

All Veterinarians

  • $1,384 Weekly Pay
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 10,500 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 72% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 46 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 61% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Veterinarians (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 10,500 in 2018 to 12,100 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 7,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,400 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Veterinarians work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Education and Training; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,384 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (72%, higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 61% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Veterinarians in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Veterinarians.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings13841460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services85.4
Education and Training3.3
Public Administration and Safety3.0
Health Care and Social Assistance2.2
Other Industries6.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateVeterinariansAll Jobs Average

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketVeterinariansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
65 and Over5.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationVeterinariansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate16.4-10.110.1
Bachelor degree79.9-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.2-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV1.0-21.121.1
Year 121.1-18.118.1
Year 110.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.4-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in veterinary science is needed to work as a Veterinarian.

Registration with the relevant state or territory board is needed to work as a Veterinarian.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge


These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    83% Skill level

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    76% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. Biology

    73% Skill level

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

  4. English Language

    61% Skill level

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

  5. Chemistry

    58% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1131.00 - Veterinarians.

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.

Filter Work Environment


The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Telephone

    100% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  2. Frequency of Decision Making

    97% Important

    How often do you make decisions that affect other people?

  3. Face-to-Face Discussions

    95% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  4. Deal With External Customers

    95% Important

    How important is it to work with customers or the public?

  5. Contact With Others

    94% Important

    How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1131.00 - Veterinarians.

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