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We found 629 Veterinary & Animal Care Jobs in the UK

The UK has the largest veterinary services industry in Europe, with approximately 20,000 veterinary surgeons and 12,000 veterinary nurses working with animals in the sector. It is estimated that approximately 40% of homes in the country have pets, with pet ownership continuing to rise and an expansion in the range of products, services available and jobs in veterinary & animal care contributing to growth in the sector. If you are looking to work with animals, there is a wide selection of jobs available in veterinary & animal care, ranging from veterinary assistant to zookeeper.

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Daily routines and conditions when working in veterinary & animal care vary depending on the specific sector you enter. Working environments include everything from farms and zoos to private practices and customer’s homes. Jobs in veterinary & animal care can be emotional, physically demanding and risky, with animal biting and scratching common in certain roles. Common tasks involve working with animals and their owners, carrying out site visits, conducting clinical jobs such as taking blood samples and x-rays, as well as providing advice to pet owners and farmers.

Whilst assistant/trainee jobs in veterinary & animal care, as well as those in areas such as sales, do not require any formal qualifications, many other positions in this field require a qualification in a related subject. Degree courses for vet generally last five years and will provide knowledge in areas such as animal behaviour, biology, reproduction and disease, with practical skills focusing around animal handling, husbandry and training. Degree entry requirements for jobs in veterinary & animal care will vary depending on the university, but usually focus around the need for A-levels in biology and similar subjects such as chemistry and maths.

With the veterinary and animal  industry in the UK continuing to grow, there are often good career prospects in this sector. Opportunities include specialising in a specific area such as surgery or working with a particular animal or breed. Promotion routes when working in veterinary & animal care include becoming a partner in a veterinary practice, leading a department in a zoo or even establishing your own practice. Professional qualifications also exist, enabling you to develop your knowledge further throughout your career and increasing your chances of development. Other possible jobs in veterinary & animal care include working for a government-related service or animal welfare society, as well as teaching opportunities at universities and research institutes.

Job satisfaction and the opportunity to work with and help animals is perhaps the biggest draw for many looking to enter the veterinary & animal care sector. Additional benefits to working in veterinary and animal care include opportunities to work outdoors, ability to specialise in specific areas and opportunities to advance professionally. Starting salaries will vary depending on the position, with newly qualified vets earning between £30,000 – £35,000, with this raising to anywhere between £40,000 – £90,000 for experienced vets and those with specialisation.

As with all jobs, there are of course some cons to working in the veterinary & animal care sector. Long working hours can be one issue, with vets and similar positions expected to be on call 24/7. As such, weekend work and unsociable hours can be expected. Stress can also be an issue, particularly when dealing with upset/angry pet owners, as well as animal-related issues such as severe injury and euthanasia. Risk of injury when dealing with stressed/sick animals can be another issue surrounding jobs in veterinary & animal care, with the most common being scratches and bites.