If you’re researching the viability of becoming a veterinary surgeon, you’ve likely already discovered it takes a lot of hard work, grit, determination and skill. Most veterinary surgeons decide from a young age that this is the career route they want to progress down, and so plan their school-age studies to lead them towards their end goal.
That’s not to say, though, that you can’t pivot and retrain to become a vet or veterinary surgeon once you’ve already graduated from high school or college. Regardless of your pathway into training, here’s a brief overview of the degrees and qualifications you’d need to become a veterinary surgeon.
Your route into studying Veterinary Science…
Typically, to set yourself up from a young age you’ll need to select the right subjects to study at school and high school. To win a place on a higher education course to study veterinary science, you’ll need to have attained high grades in the Sciences – Biology, Chemistry, Physics – as well as Mathematics. It’s also useful to have studied some Latin, if that’s available on your school curriculum; many animal genus names stem from Latin sources, so you’ll more easily get your head around species groupings if you have a basic understanding of this ancient language.
If you don’t find yourself to have a natural ability with the Sciences at a young age, you may find progressing towards a career as a veterinary surgeon difficult. A propensity for these studies will put you in good stead to succeed; if you underperform at this stage, it’s not to say you can’t make it through to your desired job role, you’ll just need to continue to work hard.
Typically, once you’ve graduated high school, you’ll need to study veterinary sciences at a higher level — at college or university, for instance — before receiving a place on a dedicated veterinary school course.
While at Veterinary school…
Congratulations on making it into veterinary school! Now you’re here, you’ll need to buckle down and truly commit yourself to your studies.
In order to become a veterinary surgeon, you’ll need to complete all the standard veterinary training your course offers, as well as specializing in surgical skills. The level to which you specialize is somewhat up to you; you may want to narrow down your skillset to operating on a species of animals, such as cats, dogs or bigger animals such as livestock and horses.
Once you’ve completed your veterinary school training, you may be able to look for entry-level jobs — through a platform such as www.vetpetjobs.com.au — to get started on your professional journey.
Further training required…
If you struggle to land a job straight out of veterinary school, don’t worry; it’s an incredibly competitive sector to work in.
Consider what you can do to further bolster your chances and make your application more desirable. Perhaps you can undertake further training, or volunteer at a rescue center, zoo or small veterinary practice; this work experience will do wonders for your confidence and skills, as well as producing a standout application.
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