Veterinary Physiology

Veterinary physiology focuses on animal organisms and the treatment of animal disease. Learn about degree programs, topics of study, possible career choices and salary info for related occupations.

Is Veterinary Physiology for Me?

Career Overview

Veterinary physiology includes the study of animals' organs and biological systems, methods of diagnosis and treatments for disease. Job duties vary and will be dependent on the type of job position. Possible careers in animal physiology include working as a zoologist, animal scientist or veterinarian. You might find work at private practices, zoos or aquariums.

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), zoologists and wildlife biologists in May 2013 earned a mean annual wage of $62,610 (www.bls.gov). The tenth percentile earned an annual salary of $37,150, and the 90th percentile earned $95,460. That same year, veterinarians earned a mean annual wage of $96,140. The tenth percentile in this profession earned $53,270, and the 90th percentile earned an annual wage of $149,530. Animal scientists earned a mean annual wage of $72,930 in May 2013. The tenth percentile earned $36,370 annually, while the 90th percentile earned $123,670 during that same period, the BLS reported. As reported by the BLS, these occupations are expected to experience employment growth of approximately 5-12% during the 2012-2022 decade.

How Can I Work in Veterinary Physiology?

Undergraduate Studies

You could begin studying veterinary physiology by pursuing a bachelor's degree in biomedical science or biology. As an undergraduate, you would be expected to complete a number of general education courses. These could include arts, humanities and social sciences. In addition, you would need to complete a number of biomedical sciences electives. These could include animal genetics, animal nutrition, veterinary entomology, food toxicology and parasitology.

Graduate Options

A master's and Ph.D. program in animal physiology or biomedical science allows you to continue advanced study in this field. You could also pursue a Ph.D. in Toxicology. These advanced degree programs provide intensive study through a number of courses concentrating on both animal anatomy and physiology. You could experience courses in pharmacology, veterinary physiology, stem cell techniques, veterinary reproduction, neurobiology and microscopic anatomy. You can expect to conduct independent research for numerous projects that result in a master's thesis or dissertation. You also have the option to pursue a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), which could prepare you to practice as a clinical veterinarian. Veterinary physiology programs can include classroom lectures, lab work and research programs.

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