Large Animal Veterinarian

What is the most rewarding part of this job?  The best part about this job is getting to work with a variety of customers who eventually become your friends. It is also very rewarding to see the improvements on farms and know that farmers have benefited from your services; whether it is from the veterinary services or the additional consulting on things like barn designs. And of course, the fact that you get to help animals live healthy lives is rewarding.

Background Information:  Large animal veterinarians work at animal hospitals or veterinary clinics that provide veterinary services for dairy, beef, horses, swine, goats, and sheep. This includes services such as herd checks, administering medicines, checkups, and surgeries. Most veterinarians at animal hospitals work with different animals and do farm visits where the service is needed. This includes total production medicine, care and evaluation, records and analysis, and sometimes consulting on barn designs and building.

Experience/Education Needed:  For this career you need 3 to 4 years of pre-veterinary studies as well as 4 years at a veterinary medicine school where you will get your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree or DVM as well.

Average Salary Range: As a large animal veterinarian the starting salary can range from $75,000 to $85,000. Depending on how busy your practice is or whether it is private or not, you can have a salary up to about $150,000.

Career Roadmap: These are the steps one might take to get to this career.

It is important to graduate high school with a well-rounded education, including science, math, English, and obviously, agriculture and animals. Begin a pre-vet program while in college and learn broadly about animal sciences. As you finish the pre-vet program and enter veterinary school, begin to specify and study the animals you are interested in servicing. Complete four years of education at a veterinary school and gain as much experience as possible to get your DVM.


large animal vet