career: Veterinary medicine

What's it all about

To be a veterinary surgeon, I’m afraid you will need to have a degree. But don’t worry- there are still ways to get into the veterinary medicine sector without going to uni.

Veterinary nurses support vets in providing care for poorly animals. They also play an important role in educating owners on good standards of animal care. Nurses will have to have a big love for all types of animals whether that’s furry or scaly, as they play a very important role in their recovery process.

In this job, you’ll need to be calm and confident when handling animals. You’ll also need to be sympathetic when dealing with upset or nervous owners, pets are like part of the family so it’s important you understand how they’re feeling.

What would I be doing 

What would I be doing

  • speak to animal owners to find out what the problem is
  • take blood, urine and other samples from animals
  • take x-rays if needed
  • prepare animals for treatment
  • assist vets during treatments or operations
  • talk to pet owners about how to care for their animals while they recover
  • take care of in-patient animals, for instance feeding, cleaning and exercising them


Routes in

To become a veterinary nurse, you have two options. You can either complete a degree through university, or go through work based training.

If uni isn’t for you, then the more vocational route will allow you to earn while you learn as well as gain the qualifications you need. Whichever route you choose, you need to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in order to find work after you’ve qualified.

Within the vocational route, you have two further options. You could enroll on a college course that would get you to a Level 3 Diploma and will include some work based training, or you can do an apprenticeship. To enroll on an apprenticeship, you’ll need to find a practice approved to offer training to budding vets.

What skills will I need 

What skills will I need

  • Patience
  • Calm under pressure
  • Hard working
  • Passionate
  • Caring
  • Empathetic
  • Good listener
  • Organised

Been there, done that

We’re still on the hunt for a fabulous case study to show us how it’s done. Are you #DoingItWithoutADegree in this field? Then get in touch by emailing hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out how you can inspire our ambitious school leavers.



Expert opinion

Are you an expert in this field? Then we want you to tell us what it takes to make it in this industry. Get in touch by emailing us at hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out more.



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