Veterinarian Pūkenga Hauora Kararehe

Veterinarians treat sick and injured animals, provide general animal care, and advise about health care and disease prevention for pets and farm (production) animals.

Veterinarians may do some or all of the following:

  • work with clients to prevent and treat animal problems and diseases
  • advise on preventative health care, nutrition and the care and welfare of animals
  • examine dead animals to find out the cause of death
  • work with herd and flock owners to help them meet breeding and production goals
  • negotiate with other countries to set health standards for animal or animal product imports and exports
  • write and develop statutes, codes, regulations and policies that protect animal welfare
  • develop specialist skills to assist with surgery, medicine, epidemiology and pharmacology for animals
  • be involved with disease investigation and research and co-ordinate national disease control programmes
  • help pharmaceutical companies develop and market products used on animals.

Physical Requirements

Veterinarians need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), good hearing, and good hand-eye co-ordination. They also need to have a reasonable level of fitness as they may spend long periods on their feet and the work can be physically demanding.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for veterinarians includes:

  • practical experience with farm animals, such as work on a dairy, sheep or cattle farm, or work with horses
  • work as an animal technician
  • animal training
  • volunteer or paid work relating to animal care.

Personal Qualities

Veterinarians should be understanding, patient and concerned for animals. They must also:

  • be mature and responsible
  • work well under pressure
  • inspire confidence in clients
  • be good communicators with excellent interpersonal skills
  • be organised
  • be decisive and good at solving problems
  • be motivated and have a desire to learn.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for veterinarians includes:

  • practical experience with farm animals, such as work on a dairy, sheep or cattle farm, or work with horses
  • work as an animal technician
  • animal training
  • volunteer or paid work relating to animal care.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics. 

Veterinarians can earn around $58K-$76K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Veterinarian are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Veterinarians may progress to set up their own vet practices, or move into non-clinical roles such as teaching and research, or management. 

Veterinarians may also specialise in: 

  • large or small animals 
  • wildlife
  • poultry
  • horses and farm animals
  • zoo animals
  • domestic pets.
Veterinarian