Veterinarians held about 70,300 jobs in 2012, of which 74 percent were in the veterinary services industry. Others held positions at colleges or universities; in private industry, such as in medical and research laboratories; and in federal, state, or local government.
About 18 percent of veterinarians were self-employed. Although most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals, others travel to farms, work in laboratories or classrooms, or work for the government.
Veterinarians who treat horses or food animals must travel between their offices and farms and ranches. They work outdoors in all kinds of weather and may have to perform surgery, often under unsanitary conditions. Veterinarians who work in food safety and inspection must travel to farms, slaughterhouses, and food-processing plants. Veterinarians who conduct research work primarily in offices and laboratories and spend much of their time dealing with people, rather than animals. Veterinariansí work can sometimes be emotionally stressful, as they deal with sick animals and the animalsí anxious owners. Also, the workplace can be noisy, as animals make noise when sick or being handled. Working on farms and ranches, in slaughterhouses, or with wildlife can also be physically demanding
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition
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