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15 Hottest Health Care Fields of 2010

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#10 Veterinarians

Veterinarians diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions of animals. Specifically, they care for the health of pets, livestock, and animals in zoos, racetracks, and laboratories. Some veterinarians use their skills to protect humans against diseases carried by animals and conduct clinical research on human and animal health problems. Others work in basic research, broadening our knowledge of animals and medical science, and in applied research, developing new ways to use knowledge.

Relevant Statistics

  • Projected Need: 19,700

    Projected Growth: 33+%

    Median Wage: $79,050

Graduation from an accredited college of veterinary medicine and a State license are required; admission to veterinary school is competitive. The prerequisites for admission to veterinary programs vary. Many programs do not require a bachelor’s degree for entrance, but all require a significant number of credit hours—ranging from 45 to 90 semester hours—at the undergraduate level.

Veterinarians in private or clinical practice often work long hours in a noisy indoor environment. Those who work with food animals or horses spend time driving between their offices and farms or ranches. Veterinarians in nonclinical areas, such as public health and research, spend much of their time dealing with people rather than animals. Job opportunities should be excellent.

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