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The most in-demand jobs in the UK: Veterinarian

We continue writing about some of the key jobs in demand in the UK this year - specific professions that made the country's shortage occupation list in 2023.

The UK government every year provides a detailed list of roles that are in short supply in different areas of the country. Under the new points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to work in the UK, but these roles have more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications. If your job is on the list, you can be paid 80% of the job’s typical salary to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa.

The list includes Veterinarians - these specialists are in demand in all parts of the country (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland).

According to the statistics, more than half of UK households own a pet, and veterinary practices and other veterinary businesses are thriving in the country. However, due to Brexit and other factors, there are significant shortages of veterinary specialists at the moment. It's no wonder that the majority of vet students go directly into employment after graduation.

Veterinarians work in different areas of the industry - from pet care to research science and public health and policy, at veterinary practices, in remote rural areas, or laboratories. They might diagnose and treat sick and injured animals, perform operations, prevent animal disease spread, provide care for animals in veterinary hospitals, and give vaccinations.

This job most often requires knowledge of animal medicine and dentistry, biology, good communication skills, thoroughness and attention to detail.

The average salary of veterinarians in the UK is £49,043 per year and can be up to £65,000, depending on one's level of qualifications and experience.

What do you study to become a Veterinarian?

To become a veterinarian, you usually need to obtain a veterinary degree approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). These degrees are very competitive and usually take 5 to 6 years.

Candidates at most universities face a tough selection process: an interview and additional screening tests. For example, the University of Surrey uses an online questionnaire, aimed at testing your level of knowledge, insight and motivation in regards to the profession.

Here are some of the best UK Universities to get relevant degrees:

University of Edinburgh (BVMS (Hons) Veterinary Medicine)

University of Cambridge (Vet. M.B (Hons) Veterinary Medicine)

University of Nottingham (Veterinary Medicine and Surgery including a Gateway Year)

Royal Veterinary College (BVetMed (Hons) Veterinary Medicine)

University of Surrey (BVMSci (Hons) Veterinary Medicine and Science)

What are the entry requirements?

Typically, you need to take A-level Biology and two other subjects, such as Chemistry, Physics, and Maths. The course usually requires a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS and A-Levels from BBC to A*AA, with the universities and colleges most commonly asking for AAA.

Want to learn about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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