Animal Health Careers: Care For Your Four-Legged Friends With a Career in the Animal Health Industry

Other veterinarians focus more on large animals, mostly farm animals. Large-animal vets often perform farm visits to do herd health checks or to treat a sick animal. These veterinarians often have a specialized truck, which holds medicines, equipment and other supplies necessary for these mobile services.

Other veterinarians focus more on large animals, mostly farm animals. Large-animal vets often perform farm visits to do herd health checks or to treat a sick animal. These veterinarians often have a specialized truck, which holds medicines, equipment and other supplies necessary for these mobile services.

Whether it’s a helpful veterinarian taking care of an under-the-weather pet, or a meat and poultry inspector making sure companies are raising healthy birds, the country relies on those that work in the animal health industry. And if you’re interested in working with animals or animals in agriculture, a career in this field may be right for you.

This career choice includes emphasis on management practices involved with selection, feeding, breeding, production, marketing and utilization of domestic animals. Careers also include the production and marketing of animal agribusiness products such as feed and grain, and related agribusiness opportunities in the equine industry and veterinary field.

Alli Raymond, admissions coordinator for the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says most students come into the major wanting to be a veterinarian, but she’s quick to remind them that there is so much more you can do with an animal health degree. She says that many of the positions currently available include laboratory research, breeding positions, zoo animal keepers, nutrition, production and management positions, brand managers, and sales.

With the rise of population across the globe, careers within the animal health industry will be crucial for the future.

“The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion people in the next 40 years, and the demand for food is going to double,” Raymond says. “It’s important for innovative and passionate minds to drive the industry forward to keep up with the demand of the growing world.”

She adds that enrollment at agriculture colleges across the nation is at an all-time high and that the future for the animal health industry, and agriculture in general, looks very bright.

“Food, fuel and fiber play a very vital role in the lives of every being, regardless of whether it is humans, plants or animals.” Raymond says. “There really has never been a more exciting time to be involved in this industry.”

For students thinking of pursuing a career in animal health, Raymond gives advice to put into practice now:

1. Challenge Yourself: Don’t take the easy way out in math and science classes in high school. Taking more challenging courses will build a better foundation for college courses that are required for the major.

2. Meet People: If you know you’re passionate about a specific job in animal health, don’t be afraid to start networking. Ask if you can job-shadow, volunteer to help out, or simply introduce yourself and ask questions about their career. If you’re not sure of what you’re passionate about, don’t be afraid to branch out and try different things. There are many paths in the animal health field that may surprise you.

3. Research: For freshman and sophomores in high school, it’s not too early to be thinking about your future. Do your research so you’re prepared by senior year.

– Rachel Bertone

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