South African woman in a scrub suit symbolizing health and welfare careers

Additional information

body or mind


Boss or Team

Own Boss


Good Communicator

Work With

Animals, Both People & Animals, People

Math & Science

Maths & Science

Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years


Alone, Busy Environment, Either Alone or In a Busy Environment


Veterinary Surgeons, or vets as they are commonly known, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in animals.  They perform surgery on animals and inoculate against infectious diseases. The type of work performed depends on the area in which they have specialised.

Vets who mainly treat sick domestic animals are often in private practice. Some vets work in the agricultural sector, testing livestock in the dairy, meat and wool industries for diseases and advise farmers on the care and breeding of animals. Other vets specialise in wildlife and play an important role in the management and rehabilitation of our wild animals. 

Vets may be involved in research, consultation, teaching, technical writing, the prevention and control of animal diseases, agricultural education, community development, the sale or production of commercial products, or the rendering of technical services for commercial firms.

How to become qualified in this field (learning path):

  1. NSC with a Bachelor’s Degree pass.
  2. Degree: BVSc – at Onderstepoort, near Pretoria. 

Postgraduate studies are also available depending on your career choice.  

Level of Schooling & School Subjects:

  • NSC with a Bachelor’s Degree pass
  • Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences.

Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences.

Duration of study

6 Years minimum


Students of veterinary science are required to register with the SA Veterinary Council before the 1st of June of the year in which they first enrol for their studies.

  • Veterinary research institutes
  • Large stock farms
  • Zoos
  • Agricultural industry
  • Colleges and universities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Self-employment in private practise

Further Information:

SA Veterinary Council

Educational Institutions offering this qualification:

In South Africa, there is only one university offering qualifications in Veterinary studies: the world-renowned Onderstepoort facility at the University of Pretoria. 

This Degree of the University of Pretoria is recognised by the South African Veterinary Council and is also recognised by the registering authorities in the United Kingdom, Australasia and Malaysia.

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