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Consider an Illinois Job As a Veterinarian

Posted on August 6, 2008

If you love animals, or are considering a career in medicine but don’t know what path to take, perhaps you should consider a veterinarian job in Illinois.

According to an article from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the need for veterinarians is expected to grow.

In Illinois and throughout the country, employment of veterinarians is expected to grow faster than average through 2010.

“The number of pets people own is expected to rise,” the article notes. “In addition, pet owners are more likely to pay for expensive treatments than they were in the past. This will increase the work for veterinarians because they will do more procedures to treat pets.

“Veterinarians who work with small animals face competition, because many new graduates enter small animal medicine,” the article adds, noting in 2000, 1,850 people in Illinois were employed in the small animal occupation. “The number of jobs for large animal veterinarians is expected to grow slowly. Advances in agricultural production have reduced the need for veterinarians to treat animals that produce food. Job prospects will be good for large animal veterinarians, however. This is because few graduates want to live in rural areas.”

About 28 percent of veterinarians are self-employed, while the rest work for small or large animal private practices, clinics, research facilities, laboratories, zoos, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, state regulatory agencies or industry.

Nationally, the median hourly wage for veterinarians is $29.81, and half of all veterans earn between $23.16 and $40.88 per hour. In Illinois, the median hourly wage for veterinarians is $28.65, while newly graduated veterinarians receive $18.04 per hour and experienced veterinarians earn $37.37 per hour.

At least two years of pre-veterinary courses must be completed before a person can apply for veterinary school, and most applicants have a bachelor’s degree. The only college of veterinary medicine in Illinois is at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

A veterinarian is responsible for providing preventive medical care, therapy and surgery for pets and farm animals. Running a successful veterinary clinic or hospital also usually requires some management skills.

Veterinarians who work with food-producing animals serve as consultants to farmer-clients, and current technology has helped veterinarians to maintain accurate and detailed herd health records. Veterinarians also may work at ports of entry to prevent foreign animal diseases from being brought into the country.

Veterinarians also may work at stockyards to detect, contain and get rid of diseases. They inspect and immunize animals and analyze laboratory specimens to determine the presence of diseases. Overall, veterinarians inspect the carcasses 130 million meat animals and 3 billion birds each year.

Veterinarians often work in research laboratories to ensure the humane treatment of animals, in zoos and circuses to ensure animal health and wellness and in industry to supervise the development of drugs and equipment for use with animals.

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