How to become a vet: Lucy's story

Meet Lucy, she's 23 and works at Oakley Veterinary Clinic in Reading. Find out more about her job as a vet. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

What is your job?

I work at Oakley Veterinary Clinic where I help make your pets better when they are sick, and keep them healthy with medicines and sometimes surgery.

Qualifications

At school I took GCSE Maths, triple Science, English Language and Literature, German, Drama, Latin and History. At college I took A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and History, and an AS-level in Maths. Then at university I went on to study Veterinary Science, which is sometimes called Veterinary Medicine.

What inspires you?

Ever since I was very little I always knew I wanted to be a vet, from about four years old! I really liked Science at school. I love animals and people so my job is perfect for me because it includes all of these things. I enjoy getting to work with cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, birds and reptiles.

A young woman, Lucy, using a microscope

Best thing about your job?

No one day is the same. I once had to treat a penguin who was feeling poorly and not eating its food. We did an X-ray and saw it had eaten some metal. Then we could help him!

Quote

Most kids go through a stage of wanting to be a vet. Some of us never grow out of it.

Top tips

Just keep going, and as soon as you can do some work experience. Not just in veterinary practices but in farms, kennels and stables. There are lots of different roles you can do that involve science and animals.

Lucy's career path

Lucy's career path

What to expect if you want to be a vet

  • Vet salary: From £30,000 to £50,000 per year
  • Vet working hours: On average 40 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: Veterinary degree (five years), GCSEs and A-level or equivalent with Science and Maths. Work experience in a veterinary practice is sometimes useful

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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