Veterinary Surgeon

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Veterinary surgeons (vets) diagnose and treat animals that are ill or injured, including domestic pets, farm animals, zoo animals and horses. They prescribe medicines, use anaesthetics and x-rays and carry out surgery.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The average starting salary for newly qualified vets in the UK is around £35,000 a year. This may include allowances for accommodation, a car and fuel and for professional fees. With experience and training this can increase to between £40,000 and £55,000, with senior partners earning up to around £70,000 a year.


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Getting In

You could work in private practice, an animal welfare society such as the PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals), a zoo or wildlife park, a research centre or a university veterinary school.

What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You should not be squeamish, as you will have to:


Getting On

More Information

Read the excellent leaflet produced by the RCVS, 'Veterinary Science... for all: All Walks of Life', for more information. You can download it free from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website.

The Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA) is an assessment test taken by applicants for certain courses, including veterinary medicine, at the University of Cambridge. Applicants must apply to take the test by 15 October in the year prior to entry. The test takes place late October each year. Visit the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Test website for detailed information.



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Veterinary Association (BVA)
Tel: 020 7636 6541
Twitter: @BritishVets

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Career Sectors


Aquaculture and Fishing

Arboriculture and Horticulture

Earth Studies

Environmental and Rural Resource Management

Environmental Services


Work with Animals