Becoming a veterinarian in Australia is possibly one of the best decisions anyone can make. The Land Down Under is known for its diverse wildlife, which leaves you with many career possibilities in this field. Expect a good demand for veterinarians to preserve wildlife animals, livestock, or pets across the country.
If you’re interested in practicing as a certified veterinarian in Australia, you might be aware of the journey ahead of you. However, as you may also know, it is one of the most satisfying and fulfilling careers you could have. Being able to help those who can’t help themselves is a wonderful calling.
With that being said, let’s dive into how to become a veterinarian in Australia.
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Being a Veterinarian
Becoming a veterinarian, by definition, is becoming a medical professional who is committed to protecting the health and well-being of animals. On a personal level, this job requires compassion and love for all living creatures and being able to make the best medical decisions for them.
Some of your responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
✔︎ Examination and diagnosis of animals
✔︎ Injury treatment for animals
✔︎ Prescription of medication for animals
✔︎ Preservation of animal life
✔︎ Counsel and guidance to pet owners
✔︎ Research on medical conditions of animals
As you begin your studies, you will be able to decide what types of animals you would like to care for and find occupations that demand your specific skill-set.
Requirements for a Veterinarian in Australia
There are many ways you can choose to start your veterinary career; if you are already certified to work with animals from your home country, you will need to check whether that certification is applicable in Australia. If so, you will need to apply for a work visa (or permit) and submit the required documentation.
If you want to start your studies, there are a number of universities you might want to consider:
The University of Sydney, Faculty University of Sydney, Faculty of Veterinary Science.
The University of Melbourne, Faculty of Veterinary Science.
The University of Queensland, School of Veterinary Science.
The University of Adelaide, School of Animal and Veterinary
To study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Student Visa Australia.
Studying to become a foreign veterinarian in Australia will be an intense and rigorous process. Before embarking on this career, it’s important to do some introspection. Think about your emotional capability to handle a job where you need to make life-or-death decisions over animals; your goals in pursuing this career; And if it’s something you’re passionate enough about to do for a long time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get the gears going:
Can you handle work under pressure?
Do you trust yourself to make the best decisions for the animals?
Are you mentally prepared to handle mistakes that may cost the animal’s life?
Can you see yourself doing this job in the long run?
How well do you get along with people?
If you’re unsure about some of these questions, some places (perhaps in your home country or in Australia) may provide you with a pre-vet or comparable curriculum that will help expose you to this field gradually.
Another option is to shadow a veterinarian or volunteer at an animal shelter.
Becoming a good veterinarian is more than studying 5-7 years. Because of the emotional, and sometimes physical demands of this job, it’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses.
No doubt, you will learn many skills and capabilities during your studies and training. But it’s important to set some expectations first. Some of the skills a vet need is:
✔︎ High attention to detail
✔︎ High critical thinking levels
✔︎ Empathy and compassion
✔︎ Manual dexterity
✔︎ Efficient decision-making skills
Job Search & Salary
The higher the demand – the more job opportunities you have. It’s important to go where your profession is required the most, but also valued the most. There are plenty of websites you can scroll through to search for vet jobs in Australia. One of the more popular ones is the government job search site called jobsearch.gov.au/job.
As mentioned, there are many career paths for veterinarians in Australia; you can work for pet clinics, pet food industries, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, research, and more.
But how much does a veterinarian earn in Australia?
Well, on average, becoming a veterinarian in Australia will earn you between 54K – 95K per year. Of course, this may vary according to your work experience, the area you work in, and the type of industry.
Qualifications for a Veterinarian in Australia
There isn’t one right way to start your move to Australia for a vet practice. Nonetheless, the right qualifications can propel you in the best direction possible. Consider it as an edge against other people who also want to start their practice in Australia.
To apply as a foreign veterinarian in Australia, you will need to present a diploma from an accredited educational institute of Australia, or an equivalent. You must study between 5 to 7 years to achieve this diploma and become officially qualified.
Depending on the career path you choose, you may need to submit one or more of the following:
Graduate degree in Veterinary Medicine
Accelerated veterinary medicine pathways and programs certificate
To start practicing veterinary medicine, you need accreditation to work. The first step is to register with the Veterinary Registration Board in your state of practice.
The board registration certifies that you have permission to be a veterinarian. This may change if you didn’t finish your degree in an accredited institution in that state. You may need to take the Australasian Veterinary Examination before getting accreditation.
To become a foreign veterinarian in Australia, you’ll need a valid visa to enter and practice in the country. There are different kinds of visas that allow you to practice veterinary medicine.
If you’re starting as an international student, you need to have a student visa. Before you apply, you need admission to an accredited Australian university that offers veterinary medicine.
If you want to work after graduation, there are post-study work visas available to you, that can also lead to permanent residency in Australia. Permanent residency in Australia will grant you the ability to live in Australia permanently, as well as bring your family members to live with you.
Depending on your goals, you should assess the best pathway for your move to the Land Down Under.
Become a Veterinarian in Australia – Apply for Your Visa
If you’re interested in a smooth transition and an organized plan of action, our team at UIS Australia may be able to assist you. As a team of trained immigration professionals, we’re familiar with the available work and PR pathways to Australia.
We can guide you through your immigration options, process, and legalities. You will have access to legal consultation from our MARA consultants, as well as other immigration services.
Our goal is to help you make a smooth transition to Australia, with minimal to no hassle. If you wish to learn more about our services, contact us today for a free consultation with one of our representatives.