Career advice - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By ls6firebird
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-28-2013, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Career advice

So i'm at the stage in my life where I'm having to make some pretty major decisions. So I was hoping some people on here could give their input.

I've graduated from a Bachelor of Arts and have just been floating for a while and one thing that I am really interested in doing in Veterinary Science. Using the marks from my degree I might be able to get it (its super competitive) and then the course is six years and I can become a registered vet. However, with the extra on my HECS (gov. uni loans) I'll owe about $100,000 at the end of vet. That part doesn't bother me so much but I've been researching it and the starting wage for a vet is about $45,000 which is actually really low. At the peak of their career they get about $75,000 on average. Which isn't too bad but compared to the amount spent on education, and then time, its not much. Combined with their being not many jobs around its not really too desirable.

My other option that I am applying for are graduate positions in the government and other companies. If I get in and start next year the starting wage is about $55-65,000, which goes up to $60-70,000 in the following year. Within ten years of working in the job its not unreasonable to presume I would be getting over $100,000.

By the time I'll be finishing vet I'll be going on 30, and if I want to start a family, its going to be really hard to pull together the money to buy a house etc. But I really want to do it, and well I'm not so passionate about office work. I think I would be happy as a vet, and its something I really want to do - but I don't really want to be struggling for money either.

I really don't know what to do. Which ever I choose, action I take now, such as work experience and vocational study could really effect my chances at either.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-30-2013, 01:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
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i may be different than a lot of people. but i would rather live on a budget doing somethin i love, than make a lot of money doing somethin that makes me miserable. with your situation tho, if its tough to get a job as a vet, i dont know if that much money for school would be worth the risk or not. but if you dont like office jobs, i wouldnt go for one just because of the money. but thats just my opinion.

i cant say ive ever had a job i didnt like. i have a little performance shop now and make about 20k less a year than when i drove trucks before this. i really liked driving trucks, and its still worth the lower income. not the greatest example because im not struggling financially by any means. just making the point that if you have the opportunity to do something that really makes you happy, i think its worth going after
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-30-2013, 01:48 AM
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It is a lot easier to be a part time vet if you want to raise a family, than to be a part time office worker and still pull a decent salary. My husband has two part time female vets working for him.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-31-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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Yeah I have thought about it and I am going to go with the vet option. Well at least try to - its still super hard to get in! Thank you for all you input. I just thought about my future and knew what I didn't want to do, and what I do want to do.

No matter how much money I earn I am never going to be happy working an office job. It just doesn't suit me. I like working in real, actual things, rather than theoretical possibilities or faceless numbers.

And money wise, its not awful money. I'll still have enough to live comfortably (hopefully) and keep on having a horse or two. Also, being a rural vet will mean that the cost living is a bit lower than city living, which will work in my favour, where as a government job would mean that I have to keep living in the capital indefinitely where housing is some of the most expensive in the country.

So now I just have to work at getting in :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-03-2013, 02:12 PM
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Life is far to short to spend it doing something you don't like for money. i could have stayed with a job I hated and been making 6 figures by now but I became a fireman and have been very happy. Broke but happy.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-03-2013, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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You guys will probably all think me fickle, but to be honest I'm shying away from vet.

I've spoken to vet recently, and done some more research and well what I've found out isn't too great. The vet herself was lovely but from what she explained to me it didn't sound the greatest, and she pretty said she wouldn't do it again. 70 hour weeks, no paid overtime, employers with unrealistic expectations and poor support systems. She also gave me some links to an interesting page really and I found out some information.

Apparently, in Australia at least, vets have 4 times the average suicide rate. Wages are significantly lower than in countries such as America. In addition, in the past ten years they've built three new vet schools (there were only about 4 before) to help with a lack of rural vets. However, apparently, the research put in the find out about rural vets wasn't really accurate - as while it looked there not being many vets it didn't address that there wasn't really work out there either. It's just vets usually go into the job because they love animals, and they'd be like me, and if they are all getting depressed and unhappy, then I might be too.

The bottom line is just now we're starting to have double the amount of veterinary graduates but not really many more jobs which is leading to low wages and unemployment among vets. If this trend continues, well in 6 years when I would finish it would be worse.

I know people say do what you really want to do - but I don't want to put myself in a bad position. Although, this experience certainly has revealed that I don't want an office jobs so I am still looking at going back to uni to do more study.

I'm considering medicine, or environmental science, not sure yet but I'm looking into it :)

Thank you for the advice.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-04-2013, 09:52 AM
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Here in the states, vet schools are MUCH harder to get into than medical schools, and the pay really is much poorer then human medicine.

My sister is a vet and vet acupuncturist. She works as a part time vet in a couple of different clinics and does OK.
Allison Finch is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 04-06-2013, 08:37 PM
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Environmental science is probably worth looking into considering all the new sources of energy everyone is trying to recover, changing climate patterns, and genetic food stuff. I would have to think that's a growth industry.

One good rule of thumb with tuition is not to borrow more money than you expect to make in your first year at your job. While I agree it's important to love what you do, you won't be a happy camper if you're always broke.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-07-2013, 12:42 AM
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My good friend graduated from vet school over a year or so ago. She is over $250k in debt and is having trouble finding work since most places do not want to hire and train new grads. She is older and really doesn't much time to pay off her loans. It doesn't help that our region is oversaturated with vets and the job market just plain sucks. I really do admire her tenacity! I wanted to go the vet route so I got my BS in biology, did all the prereqs, did the GREs, and worked a couple years at both large corporate hospitals and small private clinics. Even though I have a passion for both animals and medicine, the more I worked in the veterinary field, the less I liked it. I just got accepted into nursing school and am going to go for the FNP track. The job market is crappy for new grads (and veterans) in all areas really.
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