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What jobs should I apply for in high school to be better prepared to become a veterinarian in the future?

I am in 10th grade and want to become a small animal veterinarian. I want to be prepared to do this and have some good jobs to put on my resume and am wondering which jobs I should apply for to be better prepared to become a veterinarian. veterinarian veterinary school

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Ashlynn,

I would recommend that you look for jobs that have various skills that you would need as a veterinarian. I am not a vet, but from the outside, I can see the following skills and the jobs that might help you learn or enhance a skill. I would also challenge you to consider volunteering for organizations that can help you with some of the items that I am thinking of.

- Work in a small office doing filing, answering phones, working with customers - I am not sure what your goal is as a vet. Will you own a clinic? Will you work at a large clinic. I think that some of the most skilled people in a career field actually struggle with the day to day maintenance of a business. This was an early job that I had a company that hired temporary workers at various times of the year.
- Work or volunteer at a job that allows you to interact with a variety of animals or people who take care of animals. I have a good friend who volunteers with the Dallas Zoo. Some of those activities include interacting with the people who take care of the animals at the zoo. And they tell you a lot about the challenges of caring for animals. I went with her once to clean out the lion habitat. Other jobs may include volunteering at animal rescues or even do dog walking.
- Work in jobs that allow you to see how the medical field works, even if it is around people rather than animals. Again, this is probably in an office, learning about how patient interactions would work. As a vet, you will learn a lot about the animals from people who bring them to you for care.
- Work on a farm if that is possible, where you can interact with a variety of animals.

I am not sure what options you have in your area. I would just say this - if you want to care for animals, whenever possible, you should learn about or interact with animals.

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Louise’s Answer

I interned at my cats' vet office when I was a teenager, so I'd see if you can intern at a local vet's office or shadow a vet.

I also volunteered at a local animal shelter, so I'd recommend finding animal shelters, animal rescues, zoos or other animal organizations that could use some help.
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Christopher’s Answer

It's great that you are making plans for your career now. Success as a Veterinarian starts in High School!

I'd recommend looking into jobs that offer hands-on skills or experience dealing with animals. There are many opportunities but you may have to seek them out as most do not advertise. Be willing to accept volunteer opportunities also as paid jobs at your age in this industry are few and far between. Like you, I started volunteering at a local Animal Humane Society where I was able to learn valuable skills and observe the duties of the Veterinarian and staff. Your application to Veterinary College will always ask about your experiences with animal health/husbandry. This will give you a competitive edge over other applicants.