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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.) Degree

Majors Overview March 14, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.) degree program and its education requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.) Degree Programs

Students enrolled in a four-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science (B.V.Sc.) degree program are trained to assist veterinarians in research, extended critical care, medical emergencies, and laboratory studies. Though associate’s degree program graduates hold most technician or veterinarian assistant positions, better career and wage prospects may be enjoyed by holders of a bachelor’s degree in the field.

Completion of a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science can qualify a candidate to become a veterinary technologist and assist a veterinarian through performance of tests aimed at diagnosing illnesses; these professionals also provide dental care and administer treatments as prescribed by a doctor.

The degree affords students the opportunity to pursue studies in other areas apart from traditional pet care. Students can use elective or additional classes to avail instruction in husbandry, nutrition, disease research, and exotic animal care. Students can expand their knowledge through these extra classes aimed at finding jobs in areas such as research, animal nutrition, zoology, and ranching.

Once they earn a veterinary science degree, students can take the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ Veterinarian Technician National Exam (VTNE). While licensing norms may vary from state to state, passage of the VTNE exam is a common requirement in many states. The practical and academic knowledge is tested in the exam with questions that demand practical, oral, and written responses.

Education Requirements

To keep up with the requirements in other medical-related programs, students in the veterinary science program would need to subscribe to medical insurance, provide evidence of physical and medical fitness necessary to perform the duties, and possess regulation attire. Numerous immunizations, including a rabies shot, are also needed by applicants.

Coursework

Coursework combines hands-on experience with classroom instruction. Apprenticeship-style and clinical internships with professionals from the industry are available in many programs. Devotion to at least a year of resident training is expected of students enrolled in the program. Core coursework may include the following:

•Pre- and post-surgical nursing
•Clinical procedures and management
•Anesthesia for animals
•Medical ethics
•Nutritional needs
•Infectious diseases and common ailments
•Care of laboratory animals
•Research methods

Job and Wage Outlook

A much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 30% has been predicted for veterinary technologists over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The optimistic projection is ascribed to an expected increase in the demand for veterinary care resulting from the burgeoning number of pet owners.

Venues for animal care, such as humane societies, animal control, kennels, and shelters are also expected to increase. In May 2012, vet techs brought home an average annual wage of $30,290, with the highest wages in the field earned by those employed in research, with employment services, or with the government.

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