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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 animalsOther 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 be a Veterinarian in South Africa

Get the Required Qualifications

To become a veterinarian in South Africa, you will typically need the following qualifications:

  1. Certificate (National Senior Certificate with a Bachelor’s Degree pass)
  2. Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor pf Veterinary Science – at Onderstepoort, near Pretoria)

Postgraduate studies are also available depending on your career choice.  

Demonstrate Competence in the Required Subjects

Different educational institutions may have different admission requirements; however, you will typically be required to demonstrate competency in the following subjects:

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Veterinarians in South Africa typically study for a minimum of 6 years.

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.

Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

There are plenty of employment opportunities for veterinarians in South Africa who often work at the following places:

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

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about veterinarians in South Africa, contact the South Africa Veterinary Council.

Related University Degrees

Universities Offering Veterinary Studies in South Africa


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.


Related Qualifications and Skills Programs

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