VETERINARY SAFETY AND HEALTH

Vetinarian with a dog

Overview

Veterinary medicine and animal care workers provide medical, surgical, preventive health or animal care services for a variety of animal species in many different workplace settings. These workers are exposed to biological, chemical, physical, and psychological hazards depending on their workplace setting, species of animals worked with, and type of tasks performed.

In the United States there are more than 455,000 veterinary medicine and animal care workers, including 79,600 veterinarians, 102,000 veterinary technologists and technicians, 83,800 veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers, and 190,520 non-farm animal caretakers [BLS 2017a-d].

The NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA)Healthcare and Social Assistance Sector Program is working with industry, labor, other stakeholders, and academics to identify and address the priority workplace safety and health hazards of these workers.

Veterinary Workers and Workplaces

Veterinary medicine and animal care workers include:

  • Veterinarians, veterinary technologists and technicians, veterinary assistants, and laboratory animal caretakers.
  • Zoo and aquarium workers, including animal caretakers and grounds keepers.
  • Animal shelter and animal control workers.
  • Stable and kennel workers.
  • Groomers.
  • Animal trainers.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2017a. Occupational outlook handbook, Veterinarians. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htmExternal. Date accessed: April 27, 2018.

BLS 2017b. Occupational outlook handbook, Veterinary technologists and technicians. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htmExternal. Date accessed: April 27, 2018.

BLS 2017c. Occupational outlook handbook, Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htmExternal. Date accessed: April 27, 2018.

BLS 2017d. Occupational employment and wages, May 2017, 39-2021 nonfarm animal caretakers. Available at: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes392021.htmExternal. Date accessed: April 27, 2018.

Page last reviewed: April 27, 2018