Job Outlook

Employment of veterinarians is expected to grow 36 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations:

Percent change in employment, projected 2010-20:

Veterinarians: 36%
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners: 26%
Total, All Occupations (US Economy only): 14%
 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

This is for a number of reasons:

  1. The need for veterinarians is anticipated to increase with the growing pet population.
  2. Many people today consider their pets a part of the family, and are therefore willing to pay more for pet care than owners have in the past.
  3. Veterinary medicine has advanced considerably, now offering services comparable to those provided in human healthcare. These services include cancer treatment preventive  dental care, both considered nontraditional, as well as hip replacement, blood transfusions, and kidney transplants.
  4. As awareness of advanced care increases, pet owners are becoming more willing to pay for intensive veterinary care. (This is evident in the fact that pet insurance plans are gaining popularity).
  5. Continued support for public health and food and animal safety, national disease control programs, public health, and biomedical research on human health problems contributes to the demand for veterinarians. The number of positions in these areas is smaller than the number in private practice, however.
  6. Veterinarians involved in homeland security are also making efforts to maintain abundant food supplies and minimize animal diseases in the United States and in foreign countries. As the population grows, more veterinarians will be needed to inspect the food supply and ensure animal and human health.

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