Employment of veterinarians is expected to grow 36 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The need for veterinarians will increase to keep up with the demands of a growing pet population. Many people consider their pets to be a part of their family and are willing to pay more for pet care than owners have in the past. Also, veterinary medicine has advanced considerably, and many of the veterinary services offered today are comparable to health care for humans, including cancer treatments and kidney transplants.
There also will be employment growth in fields related to food and animal safety, disease control, and public health. As the population grows, more veterinarians will be needed to inspect the food supply and ensure animal and human health.
Overall job opportunities for veterinarians are expected to be good. Although veterinary medicine is growing quickly, there are only 28 accredited veterinary programs in the United States, which produce a limited number of graduates—about 2,500—each year. However, most veterinary graduates are attracted to companion animal care, so job opportunities in that field will be fewer than in other areas.
Job opportunities in large animal practice, public health, and government should be best. Although jobs in farm animal care are not growing as quickly as those in companion animal care, opportunities will be better because fewer veterinarians compete to work with large animals. There also will be excellent job opportunities for government veterinarians in food safety, animal health, and public health.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition