Veterinary Academy Blog

5 Unique Jobs You Can Do as a Veterinarian

5 Unique Jobs You Can Do as a Veterinarian

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When you say the word “veterinarian,” most people automatically picture a vet that works in a pet clinic treating dogs, cats, rabbits, and other everyday pets. There are actually countless different career paths for veterinarians that we rarely think of, from veterinary radiologists to exotic bird vets. We’re breaking down 5 unique veterinary careers in this blog post as just a sample of potential careers waiting for you in veterinary science.

Equine Veterinarian

An equine veterinarian specializes in caring for horses, from routine check-ups to disease treatment and injury rehab. For centuries, horses have been important parts of human life and though most of us don’t use them as our primary modes of transportation anymore, horses still play large roles in several industries. Equine vets can work with horses on farms and ranches, in the military or government, at national parks or wildlife reserves, and at zoos. If you’ve ever dreamt of running away with the rodeo, a career in equine veterinary science may be for you!

Follow equine vet intern Holly Lenahan during her day treating animals at the equine clinic. Ready to get hands-on experience? Our Horses & Large Animal Medicine program gives you a front row view of life as an equine and farm animal vet in Belize.

Public Health Veterinarian

Much like the CDC and the FDA work to ensure that humans stay healthy, public health vets do the same for animals. On a larger scale, public health veterinarians work to ensure that the meat supplied by farms and ranches comes from healthy animals and monitor any potential outbreaks of communicable diseases like avian flu. On a smaller scale, public health vets often perform rabies vaccinations, develop education programs for families with pets, and work closely with animal shelters and pet stores.

Get a sneak peek of life as a public health vet at the USDA.

Marine Animal Veterinarian

Take inspiration from Ariel and head under the sea when you work as a marine animal vet! (Or at least near the sea.) Marine science veterinarians typically work at aquariums or wildlife conservation and research facilities, and their patients range from the small to the mammoth. Marine vets can treat everything from box turtles and otters to manatees, sting rays, and whales. If you don’t mind getting your feet wet, a career as a marine animal vet could be for you!

Listen to Dr. Shelly Marquardt, a marine veterinarian at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, chat about her job. If you’re ready to dive in, check out our Dolphin Conservation & Research program in Costa Rica!

Veterinary Surgeon

When problems can’t be solved with external care alone, veterinary surgeons are called to action. Vet surgeons typically work at emergency clinics and animal hospitals, and they work with a variety of animals. Surgeons can treat more common afflictions like broken bones and swallowed toys, and perform spaying or neutering surgery, as well as deal with more complicated medical situations like removing tumors and performing emergency c-sections.

Hear from veterinarian Katherine Davis about her decision to become an animal surgeon.

Zoo Medicine

Zoo veterinarians are medical professionals that care for a large variety of animals. Many zoos adopt injured or abandoned animals that require medical care or care for endangered species that no longer have safe habitats in the wild and zoo vets are charged with their daily care & health maintenance. Many zoos have specialized veterinarians on staff to care for particular groups of their animals, employing specialists in large mammals, reptiles, and avians, for example.

Check out a full day in the life of a zoo vet at the North Carolina Zoo. If you’re looking for an even more up-close experience, our Zoo Medicine & Management programs are for you!

Becoming a veterinarian is a rewarding job where you get to make a difference every day, whether you’re working out on the farm, in a pet clinic, or in a zoo. Attending a Veterinary Academy program, or taking one of our online vet science courses, is a great first step towards achieving this uniquely wonderful career.