Do you have an inordinate passion for animals as well as for medicine? Would you like to bring these two passions together by discovering how to become a veterinarian? You are in the right place!
In this in-depth guide, we will provide you with all the information on your studies, career opportunities, required skills and how much a veterinarian earns.
Read on to find out all the steps you need to take on the path to becoming a vet!
How to become a veterinarian: the course of study
Working in the healthcare world certainly requires extremely specialized and in-depth skills. Much of this will be given to you by your degree in Veterinary Medicine.
You should know that this is a national limited number course lasting 5 years and that there are only 13 Veterinary Medicine courses active in Italy.
For more in-depth information on Veterinary Medicine Degree courses you can read our in- depth guide to Veterinary Medicine Degree courses
Once you have completed your five-year career, you will have to face one last test before working in the world of veterinary medicine: the state exam.
The state exam
This exam consists of 4 tests (oral and written ), which will allow you to obtain the qualification to work as a veterinarian.
The state exam will test your theoretical knowledge, but also the practical skills that you will have acquired during the years at the university thanks to the practical internship experiences present in all the Degree courses in Veterinary Medicine.
There are two sessions per year to take the state exam and, once you have overcome this last obstacle, you will be able to enroll in the Order of Veterinarians of your province of belonging, becoming a veterinarian in all respects.
You will then take the oath and, from here on, you will have to work following the code of ethics drawn up by the National Federation of Italian Veterinary Orders.
Now that we’ve seen how to become a veterinarian, let’s find out together what it’s like to work in veterinary medicine, where and in what roles you can work and how much a veterinarian earns.
Knowing the career opportunities you will have access to after your studies is the first step in choosing what type of professional to become and, consequently, which path to take.
If you still don’t have clear ideas or want to know the job position that suits you best, answer these 4 simple questions!
Take the test and find out which job is best suited to your inclinations after earning your veterinary degree!
How to become a veterinarian: tasks and skills
Working in the healthcare sector means taking on huge responsibilities, but also getting satisfactions that other jobs would not know how to give you.
In addition to the unconditional passion for this job and, of course, an innate inclination, there are some particular tasks and skills useful for working as a veterinarian.
Also based on the area of specialization you have chosen ( click here for a complete study on all the specializations in question! ) Some skills will be more useful than others.
Also, there are some vet duties that are not related to the duties we all know when it comes to becoming a vet. Let’s go through them together:
Duties of the veterinarian
We can identify two areas of veterinary work: the more strictly clinical one and the prevention / research one.
- The clinical work includes tasks such as: visit the animals in the clinic or at home, make medical clinic operations and medical-surgical services, perform vaccinations and prescribe therapies to clinical trials. In this sense, you will focus on intervention and care work, which is essential for working in veterinary medicine.
- The prevention and research is just as important. Working for prevention means protecting not only animals, but also mankind from the dangers deriving from the environment in which animals live. You will also be able to work to preserve the livestock heritage , as well as to set up and manage health and hygiene prevention campaigns. Finally, you will be able to work in the specific training for the veterinary profession.
Skills of the veterinarian
The useful skills to work as a veterinarian are numerous and concern both the purely technical field and personal and often innate skills. Much depends on the area of specialization you have chosen!
In the technical field, to work as a veterinarian it will be essential to have excellent medical knowledge in the field of animal health and in the pathology and clinic of animals belonging to your specialization.
In-depth knowledge of biology and medicine and surgery are indispensable for clinical work, as well as high-profile skills in the field of infectious diseases and suitable prophylaxis.
More generally, you will need some strictly personal skills. One skill that we would like to point out above all is service orientation , or the ability to find solutions to satisfy others.
Your job will also consist in knowing how to clearly inform them about procedures, diagnosis and so on. In addition, the ability to listen actively * is essential to work at your best!
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How much does a vet earn
Here we are at one of the key points of our guide on how to become a veterinarian, that is the answer to the question: “will all the effort be worth it?”. In no uncertain terms, the answer is: yes! This especially given how much a vet earns!
According to the most recent INPS data, the average entrance salary of a veterinarian is about € 50,000 per year, or over € 4,000 per month!
More than fair, given the responsibilities and the very high skills you will have!
To close this article I would like to give you a very personal reading advice. : a book that, as a lover of animals, I found wonderful and I advise you not to miss!
The book I’m talking about and loved is Big and Small Creatures ( click here to buy it now, you won’t regret it!).
James Herriot’s book (pseudonym of James Alfred Wight, a famous British veterinarian) talks about his early years as a young veterinarian in Yorkshire and the reasons that made him fall in love with his job as a veterinarian! Really unmissable, if you love nature, animals and exciting stories!
No technical manual of which, surely, you will have a full library, but a real novel with a veterinarian like you at the center of the story!
With this article I wanted to provide you with all the information on how to become a veterinarian and on the skills needed to work in veterinary medicine.
If you have any other questions or concerns, or if you need help choosing your university or specialization, comment below, or subscribe to our notifications!