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Positions Related to Veterinary Work

Many young adults dream of pursuing veterinary careers but feel discouraged by the number of years (and cost) necessary to attain the education and licensing necessary to practice veterinary medicine. For those who are lucky enough to identify and pursue this career early on, veterinary medicine can offer a satisfying career in terms of monetary compensation, as well as personal fulfillment. For those who discover their interest in working with and for animals later in life, or for those who for whatever reason are unable to attend and fund long-term medical studies, there are related careers like veterinary assistant positions that are in high demand and fulfilling. While not all animal jobs are as high-paying as a medical veterinary position, there are other lucrative positions that require much less formal schooling and may interest individuals with a variety of skills sets. Examples include the following:

Veterinary assistants: Individuals who secure animal jobs as assistants to veterinarians perform a variety of support tasks in settings such as veterinary offices, kennels, animal shelters, zoos, and other locations. These individuals may be in charge of administrative tasks as well as hands-on animal care work, such as cleaning or grooming, feeding animals, and prepping them for health checks.

Animal trainer: Numerous establishments use the assistance of qualified animal trainers, including police stations, kennels, zoos, pet stores, and other organizations that involve animals. Workers who train animals often do so as a personal venture that leads to owning a large or small business. Coursework for animal trainers can often be found at veterinary assistant schools and online programs.

Zoologist: A zoologist most often studies and researches various aspects of animal life and health. Zoologists need a doctoral degree. (This degree often takes less time than the four-year veterinary medical school, internship, and state licensing that most veterinarians must complete.) Zoologists often specialize in working with one type of animal or animals that live in a specific environment.

Veterinary technician: A veterinary technician is more specialized than a veterinary assistant. This job entails work similar to that of a nurse—running routine tests, taking samples, and using various types of medical equipment during examinations done by the veterinarian.

These are just a few examples of jobs individuals can attain that involve care, assistance, and contact with animals. These positions have varying education requirements, some of which can be satisfied at an online veterinary assistant school (except for zoologist positions, which require years of onsite university and medical education). Some positions, including that of vet assistant, can be secured without years of training and expensive schooling. There are online programs that familiarize candidates and provide certification for many animal care jobs. To learn more about them, visit


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