Become a veterinarian

Generally veterinarians diagnose, treat and help prevent disease and injury in animals. But this isn't limited to working in a clinic with small fluffy animals! Veterinarians play important roles in our everyday life – working to keep us, our pets, wildlife and stock healthy, and protect our food and environment.

How to become a veterinarian

If you'd like a career as a veterinarian, you’ll need a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree. This is five years of study and your starting point for an interesting and diverse future.

Massey University's School of Veterinary Science – Tāwharau Ora is the only training institute for veterinarians in Aotearoa New Zealand. Find out more about the Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree at Massey University

Learn more about becoming a veterinarian, including entry requirements, recommended secondary school education and personal requirements, job outlook and pay scales on the Careers NZ website.

For overseas veterinarians wanting to work in New Zealand

If you have a veterinary qualification from an overseas university you’ll need to register with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) to practice in New Zealand.

Taster videos

Become a veterinarian and change the world!

Watch a Year 12 student find out what a day in the life of a veterinarian involves in both a small animal clinic, and on the farm.

Pets play a large role in our daily lives: we value them for company, fun, affection, and, in some cases, to provide disability assistance. Through keeping pets healthy, vets help keep the bond between animals and people strong. Watch now

Many veterinarians choose the veterinary profession because they have a desire to look after animals in our care (animal husbandry). This includes helping them to be born, be healthy, to grow stronger and also covers animal health and welfare. Watch now

Some veterinarians want to ensure our food is safe. This means implementing processes that check food all the way along the production chain, “from farm to fork”. Watch now

Some veterinarians' work involves protecting human health by identifying and researching zoonoses, or diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans. Watch now

Some veterinarians choose to focus on preventing outbreaks and, when they do occur, controlling/limiting and further spread of disease to protect animals at risk and limit the impact on farmers, the economy and society. Watch now