VETERINARY SAFETY AND HEALTH
Veterinary Workers and Workplaces
Veterinary medicine and animal care workers include:
- Veterinarians, veterinary technologists, technicians and assistants.
- Zoo and aquarium workers, including animal caretakers and grounds keepers.
- Animal shelter and animal control workers.
- Stable and kennel workers.
- Animal trainers.
Other information about these workers:
- Many veterinary medical workers are female, including 71% of veterinary technicians and 56% of veterinarians.
- Small businesses often employ veterinarians, with up to 80% of veterinarians working in solo or group practices.
- Veterinary services rank 15th in incidence rates for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses [ Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 data ([PDF - 13 KB) ].
These workers are employed in many industries:
Veterinary work settings vary:
- Veterinary offices, clinics, and hospitals.
- Animal shelters, rescue leagues, and humane societies.
- Kennels, stables, and racetracks.
- Grooming shops and pet stores.
- Farms and ranches.
- Animal facilities such as poultry houses, swine barns, feed lots, and sale barns.
- Zoos, aquariums, and other captive and free-ranging wildlife settings.
- Academic, private, and public clinical and research laboratories.
- Slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants.
- Disaster and emergency response shelters and facilities.
Work can involve many animal species:
- Pets such as domestic dogs, cats, pocket pets, exotic animals, or fish.
- Farm, ranch, or production agriculture animals such as cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, ratites, horses, or farmed fish.
- Laboratory animals from mice to nonhuman primates.
- Captive and free-ranging wildlife such as amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, or aquatic species.
Work tasks are diverse and variable:
- Facility management and maintenance.
- Routine care and treatment of animals.
- Emergency medical care of animals.
- Medical, surgical, and necropsy procedures.
- Laboratory testing or research.
- Livestock and food inspection.
- Disaster and emergency rescue and response.