What Is a Veterinarian?

There are several species of animals that could not survive without humans. Likewise, animals help humans in emotional ways as well as providing resources and food. The bond between people and animals is most durable in the profession of a veterinarian. Find out what the career includes and what education expectations the field holds. Plus, find out what salary and opportunities the job offers.

Animals and humans coexist, and in many ways, rely upon one another. You and I share several aspects of our lives with animals. Whether they live indoors as pets or outdoors as livestock, animals and people need one another. Humans hold much of the responsibility in this relationship. If an animal’s health deteriorates, then humans are tasked with helping them get better. Those who find themselves especially interested in the practice of animal health go on to study veterinary science. The career of a veterinarian requires a formal education to manage all the information relevant to the job, but steady work and a high salary help entice many to take up the profession.

A veterinarian works with animals to maintain their health and well-being. There are several research experiences in this profession as well, leading to an increased understanding of the planet’s many species. Some veterinarians spend their careers working with house pets, while others focus their education on wild animals. This profession helps ensure the continuation of humanity’s essential relationship with animals.

Because a career as a veterinarian requires detailed information on many different species, earning an education in this subject takes years. The end goal is a Ph. D. and the job opportunities and salary of a veterinarian are substantial and provide a comfortable life. I think many people know what veterinary science is, but few understand the process of entering this profession. Let’s explore the topic further.

A Long-Standing Bond

Veterinary science is the study of animals with regards to their health and well-being, making it essentially veterinary medicine. The scope and general importance of veterinary science don’t come as a surprise when you take a look at history. We have lived in harmony with many species of animals for thousands and thousands of years. Many of them we have come to rely on for protection, food, labor, and even friendship. For all these reasons, people want animals to be as healthy as possible. We’ve also spent significant time writing material about how to do so, some of which you can find in the veterinary science articles and books on Dave4Math.

As for the field itself, veterinary science is a branch of medicine. But instead of dealing with humans, as traditional medicine typically does, it takes care of animals. This field includes diagnosing diseases and injuries, treating them, and preventing further ailments. It also faces an extra challenge that other branches of medicine don’t: it consists of all species of animals and all levels of domestication. This consideration gives it a vast scope, so you’ll find many topics to read about in the veterinary science books in this category.

Veterinary Science Articles

Humans have strong relationships with countless animal species the world over, leading to a significant collection of knowledge on how to provide care accurately. Because there are so many species, we’re always learning new things, and the field is still growing. This category of Dave4Math explains the broader aspects of the field and also looks into some more niche areas with a range of veterinary science articles.

Main Topics of Veterinary Science Articles

I think medical doctors come across as being able to treat all human subjects, which isn’t true. Likewise, veterinarians are frequently lumped together in one career of doctors ready to handle all animal patients. But the animal kingdom is enormous, and there’s a lot to be done. Indeed, even high salary veterinarians won’t specialize in just one animal species. They do focus on the following broader areas featured in the veterinary science articles in this category:

Types of Vets

Small-Animal Vets

These veterinarians focus on information regarding smaller animals such as domestic cats, dogs, and birds. The small size of these animals requires specific equipment and techniques. Because of the size difference, these are often not applicable to larger animals. I know patients are also frequently pets with sentimental value, making bed-side manners something the vets might need to consider.

Large-Animal Vets

Larger animals such as bovine or equestrians and even wild fauna and sea mammals have different needs in terms of medicine and equipment. They might require the vet to visit them in the field rather than trying to get them in a vet’s office. They will also need more substantial amounts and different types of medicine. These animals are often farm animals, but can also be animals found in zoos or even in the wild during animal research. This consideration can make them a bit more dangerous to work with, requiring specific skills of caution.


In addition to size, a vet can choose to specialize in a particular species, class, level of domestication, or even location of the animal. Domestic vs. wild, mammal vs. reptile, land-dwelling vs. seafaring, and specific colonies or populations are all factors that might come into play. The veterinary science articles here might introduce you to new fields and niches that interest you.

Skills of Veterinarians

Just like human doctors, veterinarians have a broad range of topics and skills they obtain during their education. And because they study these for various animals, the resulting collection of knowledge is incredibly significant. The areas of focus below are just a handful of the areas they can cover:


The study of animal behavior looks at why animals behave the way they do. It involves studying physiology, psychology, and anatomy of the animals, and can provide insights into our behavior. It can also help us optimize our relationships with animals by understanding their ideal conditions.


Skin problems are prevalent in all animals and can have huge effects on their health. They can harm the animal, decrease productivity, and even sometimes transfer over to humans. Keeping skin healthy is one of the first steps for veterinarians in maintaining the well-being of animals.


When more complicated procedures are necessary, anesthesia assists in keeping the animal unconscious. In all animals, including humans, anesthetic medicine is usually its distinct category due to how complicated it can be. If it interests you, keep an eye out for some veterinary science articles that touch on the subject.


Pathology focuses on the causes, effects, and spread of disease. In animal populations, this is particularly important as they have fewer protections and preventative measures against natural illnesses than humans do with advanced medicine. And, if a disease starts to spread, it can affect humans by spreading to human populations or contaminating food supplies. This area often involves veterinarians performing biopsies on tissue from living animals to reveal information regarding the problem at hand. For a more in-depth intro to even more veterinary science topics, check out this article.

Veterinary Specialty Organization

Because they work with animals rather than humans, veterinarians often have less formal supervision than human doctors. This reality is primarily just from a human rights and liabilities standpoint that doesn’t see as many repercussions in the field for humans. However, being a “veterinarian” is still a protected term that requires real qualifications and registration to obtain correctly. Even in less developed parts of the world, veterinarians achieve recognition as professionals held to a certain standard and salary.

Several organizations exist to evaluate, test, classify, teach, survey, and regulate the industry and professionals within it. The organizations act in two ways: to enhance veterinary medicine contributions and practices, and to engage other entities such as the government and public in these contributions. The veterinary science articles here include further information on these prestigious organizations and their roles in the field.


Unlike advancements in astronomy or technology, veterinary science isn’t typically something the average person looks into in their spare time. This fact is why many of the journals are of a highly technical level, often academic and peer-reviewed. That said, there are still sources to keep up on new happenings in the field through nature magazines and other resources. For example, ScienceDirect.com has a veterinary journal section, and National Geographic or Nature covers the topic on occasion. The veterinary science articles in this category can help you find and understand these sources of information, and figure out which one is best for you.

Career-Focused Veterinary Science Articles and Information

If the more technical journals interest you, you might set out for a career in the field. Similar to regular doctors, a veterinary profession requires advanced education but makes a high salary at a median of over 93,000 dollars per year. Currently, the field is growing much faster than the average growth of other professions. This process makes it likely that you’ll be able to kick off a career in full force. And, most importantly, the job is full of satisfaction knowing that you’re contributing to the well-being of life on this planet. The positive impact relates to both humans and our animal brethren. There are plenty of role models to follow in the field, so read up on their stories to help inspire your own.

Veterinary Science Books

Veterinary science, also known as veterinary medicine, is a competitive and rigorous field. But most who work in the area would probably agree that the reward is worth it. You can interact with and care for animals in ways that improve their lives and the lives of their owners. It just takes some hard to work to get properly trained in the relevant sciences, and the veterinary science books on Dave4Math are here to help you get through that part.

Veterinary Science Books A veterinary ophthalmologist makes a medical procedure examines the eyes of a dog with an injured eye and an assistant helps her to hold her head

Veterinarian Science Information to Help with Skills and Degrees

Several skills help vets become effective caregivers. Animals communicate differently than people, so specific tips help teach budding professionals the best practices to use in the field.

Useful Skills in a Veterinarian Career

Besides topics covering the animals themselves, there are several other vital skills to have as a veterinary worker. Communication (probably more with owners than with patients) is critical. Although having a way with animals is, of course, famous as well. So is business management, and even knowledge of laws and ethics that apply to the place where you work.

Books like Animals & Ethics 101 are sure to help learn about the ethics-related directly to the field. Be sure to check out some other categories besides veterinary science that can provide supplemental skills and knowledge in these areas. For instance, biology, chemistry, and medicine might all provide some insights that also apply here.

Differences From General Medicine

When it comes to human vs. animal medicine, there’s not a huge difference. Medicine tends to focus on humans more, but at a biological level, animals are just as complex. Instead of a focus on human biology, the books here look at the similarities that most animals share. The books also take a look at some of the critical aspects that differ between them.

Books like Veterinary Epidemiology can help you learn about this complexity. It doesn’t go straight into medical practice on animals; instead, it explains how animals’ bodies work. But practical applications are still included, such as how to recognize and treat various diseases and conditions.

Information on Veterinarian Education and Salary Expectations

But, to work in the field, you’ll ultimately need a doctorate-level degree that usually takes about four years to complete. The veterinary science books here can help you through both the bachelor’s that comes before as well as higher degrees. You’ll also gain lab research skills, clinic skills, and a lot of biology knowledge. Instead of a focus on human biology, you’ll look at the similarities that most animals share and investigate some of the critical aspects that differ between them.

It’s a lot to cover, but I can help you brush up on these skills to get through your degree or professional hurdles. You’ll need to be very comfortable with some of them. It helps to enjoy biology and chemistry before even starting a veterinary degree. So start reading early! The veterinary science books, as well as those found in other categories, can help you reach your career and education goals.

Veterinarian FAQ

If you think you might want to explore more information about a career as a veterinarian, then I think these are some concepts to explore further.

What does a veterinarian do?

A veterinarian works closely with animals to maintain their health and well-being. The profession involves a rigorous education sequence rivaling any medical program for humans. The role of these professionals is to eventually end up working with a sector of the field carefully, like pets or livestock. From there, jobs involve caring for sick animals and treating diseases.

Is it worth it to become a vet?

The time it takes to become a vet is worth it to many professionals in the field. For one, vets usually care deeply for animals, so the work they do is highly rewarding. Additionally, the salary of a veterinarian is quite substantial. Likewise, many vets can open a practice that provides job flexibility.

What does it take to be a veterinarian?

Becoming a veterinarian includes a substantial education process. For starters, most vets hold a doctoral degree, which involves close to 7 or 8 years of school. Plus, many programs require doctoral students to take a position in the field for the experience. This process could end up meaning the entire process to become a vet takes over eight years.

What do veterinarians major in during college?

Veterinarians study several subjects over their educational careers. Firstly, they often achieve a bachelor’s degree in animal science or biology. A master’s degree may include the title of animal science, or continue to be focused more generally in applied biology. A doctorate is almost always earned in veterinary science for someone to become a vet.


A career as a veterinarian means understanding information on hundreds of animal species. Even as a professional enters the field, an entry-level veterinarian salary feels fulfilling. The real reason many enter the area, however, isn’t money; it’s a love for animals. You and I coexist with thousands of animals every day. Even when we don’t notice birds in the sky or squirrels on the ground, they share our environment. Education in the critical elements of becoming a veterinarian teaches care and compassion for animals on an even deeper level.

Without animals, it’s impossible to say if humans could survive. Other than companionship, we utilize animals for work, food, resources. Beginning a career as a veterinarian might sound daunting, but the responsibilities are essential to the world in which you and I live. Before earning a high salary, becoming a veterinarian takes hard work. If you believe you can handle the task, then I think this career could be a highly beneficial endeavor to explore.

Learn More about the Salary, Education, and Career of a Veterinarian

For information on education requirements, salary expectations, and career information on becoming a veterinarian, explore Dave4Math. The site hosts several resources you can utilize as you start figuring out your next career or educational journey. I think most people who hesitate to study something new are worried about the cost. Don’t be: Dave4Math is free to use and connects you to a vast network of life-long learners.

Do you think the education of a veterinarian is more complicated than other forms of applied biology?

Why do veterinarians usually work with one particular type of animal?

David A. Smith at Dave4Math

David Smith (Dave) has a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics and has enjoyed teaching precalculus, calculus, linear algebra, and number theory at both the junior college and university levels for over 20 years. David is the founder and CEO of Dave4Math.