Blog Img

4 unique career branches agricultural veterinarians could consider

Back to Blogs

For many veterinarians who are looking to diversify and specialise their skills, looking beyond their current training to potential future careers is a must. This is doubly so when it comes to veterinarians already looking to specialise in the world of farming and agriculture. In reality, there are hundreds of distinct careers and opportunities for veterinarian jobs in agriculture. But if you’re searching for something particularly unique, these agriculture veterinarian jobs might just be what you’re looking for:

Veterinary Consultant or Advisor

If you love the science and discipline behind veterinary skills, but you’re not keen to get stuck in on the ground floor in one specific business or industry, then acting as an advisor or consultant for the agricultural sector might be the ideal fit. By utilising your knowledge and experience, combined with insight into how farms run, you can provide one-on-one advice on the best way to manage veterinary requirements going forward. Depending on the exact area of agriculture, this can mean a range of different things.

For dairy farms, for example, an advisory veterinarian could provide insight into the best way to manage milk production and care for the animals in the long-term while saving costs. For farms where the primary export is meat, veterinary care can be centred around the best way to care for those animals ethically in the short-term. Specialist veterinarians can even consult on how to improve free-range or cruelty-free farms to better benefit the animals – which is increasingly popular as more and more farms aim to cater to a changing, more conscious audience.

The positive aspect of veterinary consultation is the fact that you’re not in one place for an extended amount of time. Instead, you’re able to share your expertise across a wide range of different farms, locations and challenges. Whether it’s one-off meetings or year-long contracts, you can be sure that the scenery will always change – and your knowledge is being put to good use.

Veterinary pathology

An essential and vital service for farms across the UK, Europe and beyond, having the skills and qualifications to move into agricultural, veterinary pathology can be an excellent option for graduates. Particularly for those that enjoy working within labs and acting as part of a wider veterinary team – as opposed to being employed directly from a veterinary clinic or acting alone. Veterinary pathologists are specialists in their field, and much like their human equivalent offer the valuable service of diagnosing and identifying diseases through the use of post-mortem sampling.

For farms and agricultural business with a focus on animals, being able to diagnose and isolate disease and sickness early is essential to keeping their livestock safe and preventing massive loss of profits. While incidents related to disease are now much rarer than they used to be, it’s still possible for infection or disease to spread like wildfire within a captive population. Veterinary pathologists can help prevent those massive losses, using their expertise to understand the cause of death swiftly and effectively.

For trained veterinarians, pathology may seem like a highly niche area to work within. While to a certain extent that is true, there is a demand for veterinary pathologists across the broad spectrum of different agricultural businesses and companies – making it an excellent career path for those that enjoy lab work and sterile settings over getting down and dirty within a farming setting.

Exotics veterinarian

When you think of farming in the UK, your first thought is of chicken, cows, pigs and sheep. But over the past decade, there’s been a slow-growing trend of agriculture thinking outside the box when it comes to farm animals. Llamas and alpacas, for example, are more common than ever on dedicated farms – and even ostriches, emus and camels can be commonplace on a select few farms within Britain. So when it comes to providing those animals with that standard of care, having outside-the-box experience is a must.

Typically when we think of exotics vets, we think of those that work in zoos or with reptiles and birds. But unusual farming animals will also need the benefit of that additional expertise and training to be farmed correctly and cared for adequately. You wouldn’t expect an equestrian vet to look after tigers, and you wouldn’t expect a traditional agricultural vet to understand the complex needs of ostriches and alpacas. For veterinarians that still want that hands-on experience but want to go outside farming norms, opting to work with farm exotics is an excellent choice.

While some additional training may be needed to specialise, as the variety of farmed animals grows across the UK demand will continue to increase for properly-trained veterinarians. Getting into this career now is a fantastic way to get ahead – and to ensure there’s plenty of work on the horizon for years to come.

Animal welfare specialist

If your passion lies in ensuring farms are doing all they can to offer their animals a good standard of life, then working as a trained welfare specialist for agriculture might just be your calling. Often working with local and national authorities, individuals in these positions are prepared to visit farms and businesses to review the current practices and processes in place for animal care and management. Again, this career isn’t hands-on when it comes to helping animals – but a trained mind and keen eye is needed to be successful in this line of work.

Agriculture is a far more complicated industry than many understand. With so many moving parts and a considerable amount of profit to be made, proper regulations must be in place to ensure farm animals are cared for properly. In the same way, health & safety officers are there to protect people; welfare specialists help to protect agricultural livestock by ensuring businesses are adhering to the laws and ethical standards required.

Charities, local governments and even large-scale farming businesses all employ some form of welfare specialist for their animals. Making this particular career one that’s easier to find than you might think. With veterinary training and a little experience, this job can be one that some take on for life, if they find it suits them.

For trained veterinarians, the world of opportunity in agriculture is vast. Take a look at our full range of job listings online today to find your dream career in this industry – whether your preference is on the farm or in the lab.

If you're looking for work in the agricultural sector, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you find the right niche in the UK, Europe and beyond. We can assist in finding which doors are open for you with your specific background and even advice on what you could do to improve your prospects.

Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: