Men and women who care about horses and enjoy the sciences will generally excel in veterinary medicine. However, one does not have to go to veterinary school to have a career in this area, and many of these horse jobs pay extremely well.
There is no such thing as a degree as an equine veterinarian. All vets go to the same school and become Doctors of Veterinarian Medicine (D.V.M.) The titles and degrees can vary slightly from country to country, but they all mean essentially the same thing.
However, when one graduates from veterinary school and obtains the appropriate license, he or she can specialize as an equine veterinarian (or a livestock veterinarian). He can choose to work only with horses, and join or set up a clinical practice.
An equine veterinarian can earn well over $100,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and earned a median of $79,050 in May 2008. Large animal vets tend to earn slightly less than small animal vets, but this does not limit income significantly.
In most cases, equine veterinarians work out of a large animal clinic equipped with stocks, stalls, imaging equipment and a surgery. However, they spend most of their time paying “house calls,” which means visiting sick or injured horses at their owners’ farms to provide treatment or evaluations.
Those who do not wish to go through veterinary school can become veterinary technicians. A vet tech is an assistant to an equine veterinarian, and is responsible for handling the animals, dispensing medication, giving injections and many other duties.
Although the income possibilities are lower for vet techs than for veterinarians, it can be an extremely rewarding and profitable career. A vet tech who aligns herself with a prominent and skilled veterinarian can take many different avenues to success.
This field is growing rapidly every year, and equine chiropractors are in high demand. These professionals are responsible for evaluating and adjusting the skeletal alignments of their patients, and deal with all different types of imbalances and injuries.
To become an equine chiropractor, students must first obtain a Doctorate of Chiropractic from an accredited school. They must then apply for licenses and take a certification course dealing specifically with horses. The educational requirements are high, but these professionals can earn significant income and establish their own businesses.
An equine chiropractor can make anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000 per year or more, depending on where she lives and how she structures her business.
There are two basic career paths for equine nutritionists. The first is to work for horse owners, stable owners and ranch owners to help them devise the ideal feed schedules for their horses. An equine nutritionist can also work for horse feed manufacturers and advise them on developing new types of grain, oats and other supplies.
Although there are no set educational requirements for an equine nutritionist, an in-depth understanding of the horse and its nutritional needs is vital. Getting to know the horse’s digestive system and nutrient requirements will help the professional make sound recommendations.
Equine Rehabilitation Therapist
An equine rehabilitation therapist is similar to a physical therapist, and provides guidance to people with injured or ill horses. Animals, just like people, must be brought back slowly after a serious setback, and it can be difficult to determine the proper pacing and methodology.
Most equine rehabilitation therapists have advanced degrees in rehabilitation therapy. They learn about pain management, equine exercise, injury treatment and imaging techniques. These professionals are responsible for helping horses recuperate and overcome serious injuries.
There are other horse jobs in medicine, but these are some of the most popular. They allow professionals direct access to horses and provide equine careers in which people can help horses live comfortable lives.