How do you become a veterinarian?

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To become a veterinarian, you need to complete an undergraduate or post graduate degree in veterinary science. Depending on the university, it takes between five and seven years of study to become a veterinarian.

Australia has seven universities offering veterinary degrees. These include:

Each course is slightly different in its scope, so it is worth exploring each of the university curriculums to see what suits you and your interests.

Other universities also offer courses in animal science which can provide a pathway for further study in an accredited veterinary degree in order to receive accreditation from the appropriate state board to allow you to practise as a veterinarian.           

If you’re a high school student with an interest in becoming a vet, it’s a good idea to contact the university you’d like to attend to get more information on course requirements and the marks and prerequisites you will require. You may also find it helpful to discuss the profession with your careers advisor, who can steer you in the right direction in subject choices, plus provide information about the universities in your area that offer veterinary degrees. 

Many university faculties have annual open days where you can talk to current students and recent graduates about the course and the commitment involved.

Once you graduate, you will need to register with the veterinary registration board in the state you plan to practice in. Registration with the board is your licence to practice veterinary medicine in that state. Some of the university courses available in Australia are internationally recognised and will enable you to practise overseas on graduation, especially in the UK and the United States.

A veterinary science course can be demanding, but if you’re highly motivated, have an interest in science and care about the health and welfare of animals; it may be the course and profession for you. More information about veterinarians can be found here.

Veterinary jobs all in one place

AVA Career Connect is your dedicated job board for positions in the veterinary profession.