Employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Veterinarians will continue to be needed to diagnose and treat animals.
Veterinary medicine has advanced considerably. Veterinarians are able to offer more services today that are comparable to healthcare for humans, including more complicated procedures like cancer treatments and kidney transplants.
There also will be employment growth in areas such as food and animal safety, where organizations work to prevent foodborne contaminations and diseases in animals; public health, where organizations work to protect the health of an entire population; and disease control. Veterinarians will continue to be needed to inspect the food supply and to ensure animal and human health.
Candidates can expect competition for most veterinarian positions. Job seekers with a specialization and prior work experience should have the best job opportunities.
The number of new graduates from veterinary schools has increased to roughly 3,000 per year, resulting in greater competition for jobs than in recent years. Additionally, most veterinary graduates are attracted to companion animal care, so there will be fewer job opportunities in that field.
Job opportunities in farm animal care will be better, because fewer veterinarians compete to work on large animals. Also, there will be some job opportunities available in the federal government in food safety, animal health, and public health. Job opportunities will also become available as veterinarians retire opening up positions for new veterinarians.
Veterinary schools also train veterinarians for positions in other fields, such as public health, disease control, corporate sales, and population studies. With potentially fewer opportunities in companion animal care, many graduating veterinarians will likely have better job prospects in these areas.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program