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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Veterinary Career Opportunities

Veterinarian and client during an exam of a dog.

Private Practice

Veterinarians in private practice are the doctors responsible for diagnosing and treating all species of animals in a veterinary clinic or hospital. In addition, veterinarians may choose to continue their training for specialization and become board certified in areas similar to those offered in human medicine, such as cardiology, neurology or oncology.

Veterinarian teaching a class

Academia

Veterinarians may choose to teach in universities or veterinary medical colleges and contribute to research of animal diseases and new treatment methods.

Corporate

Corporate medicine offers veterinarians opportunities to work with large companies who produce pharmaceuticals, pet food or animal products. They will work in consulting, marketing or research and development.

Veterinary diagnosticians analyzing a sample.

Regulatory Medicine

Veterinarians who work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may choose careers with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), or the Agriculture Research Service (ARS). Work in these fields varies from preventing the introduction of foreign animal diseases to investigating new vaccines and enforcing animal welfare.

Public Health

Veterinarians working in public and environmental health may be employed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), or locally with state public health departments serving as epidemiologists investigating animal and human disease outbreaks such as West Nile Encephalitis.  *Veterinarians in the department of Homeland Security help to protect the health and safety of animals and people through their work in development of antiterrorism procedures and protocols.

Military members raising a flag

Military

Veterinarians in the U.S. Army are responsible for the care of military and government-owned animals, food safety on military bases, and biomedical research and development. Officers may also choose additional specialized training in pathology, laboratory animal medicine or other related disciplines.

Veterinary student with a lizard resting on her shoulder.

Other Professional Activities

Other opportunities for veterinarians include employment in zoological medicine, aquatic medicine and wildlife conservation.