What Are the Pros and Cons of Being a Veterinarian?

There are many pros to being a veterinarian, including a high level of pay, job security and the fulfillment that comes from saving animals. Cons include working longs hours and dealing with the physical strain of a demanding job.

The biggest tangible benefit of working as a veterinarian is the compensation. Most veterinarians have independent practices. Veterinarians' salaries are competitive, averaging between $55,000 to over $100,000 a year, as of 2015. Additionally, job growth for veterinarians is growing steadily, therefore creating job security. Numerous tasks and interaction with various animals provides an ever-changing environment. Veterinarians work directly with animals, which is tremendously satisfying and emotionally rewarding.

There are, however, some cons to being a veterinarian. Even for someone who loves animals, there are still challenges that arise from having to deal with an occasional aggressive and uncooperative animal, especially when they are sick or wounded. Some animals bite under these circumstances.

Compassion is a requirement for veterinarians. They not only deal with animals, but their owners as well. Euthanizing a pet is difficult for any veterinarian.

Many veterinarians work long hours, especially those who work for emergency clinics or animal hospitals that are open 24 hours a day. Independently practicing veterinarians have their own on-call hours as well. Veterinarians also need to regularly review ongoing research in their field of study, which is time consuming.