A career in veterinary medicine is an important aspect of the healthcare sector in Nigeria. Veterinary doctors play crucial roles in agricultural production, the health of animals, disease prevention and wildlife conservation. All of which is a necessity to our country’s growth and development.


A career in veterinary medicine can give you job opportunities, financial stability and career fulfilment. If you are passionate about animals and their welfare, this career path will allow you to combine your passion with your professional life.


In this piece, I will helpful tips to follow if interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.


How to Begin a Career in Veterinary Medicine

  1. Obtain an O’level Degree

    You will be required to sit for a maximum of nine subjects. You need to have a minimum of five credit passes in subjects such as Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. This is applicable for examinations such as NECO, WAEC, NABTEB, etc.

  2. Write the JAMB Examination and Post UME:

    You must register for subjects such as the Use of English, Physics, Biology and Chemistry. Additionally, you must score at least 250 and above to stand a chance of getting admitted. You should also sit for the Post UME as it is a factor in getting admission too.

  3. Apply to an Accredited University:

    You must make research on the university before you make an application. Ensure that the University is accredited to study veterinary medicine.

  4. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree:

    This is a stepping stone in your career pursuit as you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to become proficient in veterinary medicine. The degree program usually takes five to six years to complete. At the end of the practical and theoretical learning, you will obtain a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine.

  5. Undergo an Internship:

    This is mandatory for every degree holder in veterinary medicine. You must carry out a one-year internship program at a recognized veterinary clinic.

  6. Get a Practicing License:

    This is a requirement to practice as a veterinarian in Nigeria. You must have obtained your bachelor’s degree and participated in the one-year internship program before you can apply for a license. Additionally, you must register with the National Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) and sit for the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) licensure examination. You will be given a license when you pass the examination.

  7. Develop Soft Skills:

    Veterinarians should develop important skills that will help them become efficient in the job. They should develop skills such as Compassion, Analytical skills, problem-solving, critical thinking and scientific aptitude.

  8. Choose an Area of Specialisation:

    You can consider pursuing an area of specialisation in the field of veterinary medicine. They include Surgery, Internal medicine, dentistry, and preventive medicine. This can add to your career growth and give you an advantage in the employment market.


Areas of Specialisation in Veterinary Medicine

  1. Food Animal Veterinarians: They specialise in the care of livestock such as cows, pigs, and hens.
  2. Small Animal Veterinarians: Small animal veterinarians specialise in the care of dogs, cats and various small animals.
  3. Equine Veterinarians: They specialise in managing and well-being of horses and other large-hooved animals.
  4. Surgery: Veterinary surgeons are experts who can perform complex operations on animals. They often have specialised equipment and facilities to perform complicated procedures.
  5. Preventive Medicine: Veterinarians in this field are trained in surveillance, recognition, outbreak investigation and management of animal diseases.
  6. Pharmacology: They specialise in understanding and administering animal medications
  7. Dentistry: Veterinary dentists specialised in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the teeth and oral cavities of animals.
  8. Nutrition: Veterinary nutritionists are highly trained in animals’ diets and nutritional needs.
  9. Internal Medicine: Specialists in internal medicine diagnose and treat illnesses in animals that affect their organs and body systems.
  10. Laboratory Animal Medicine: Laboratory animal veterinarians are critical in a research setting. They ensure that such lab animal species are treated ethically and humanely.


Universities in Nigeria that study Veterinary Medicine


  1. University of Jos, Jos
  2. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
  3. University of Abuja
  4. Federal University Of Agriculture, Abeokuta
  5. University of Ilorin
  6. Federal University Of Agriculture, Makurdi
  7. University of Ibadan
  8. Michael Okpara University Of Agriculture, Umudike
  9. University of Benin
  10. Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto
  11. University Of Maiduguri
  12. University Of Nigeria Nsukka



Salary of Veterinarians in Nigeria


The average salary of veterinarians in Nigeria is between N50,000 to N450,000 monthly. This may vary depending on the years of experience and geographical location.



In Conclusion, Pursuing a Career in Veterinary Medicine can be interesting for those who are passionate about animal welfare. This career path is in high demand as a result of its significant impact on the health and well-being of animals in Nigeria.  A career in veterinary medicine provides an opportunity to contribute to the nation’s economy. However, this is a demanding field that requires a high level of commitment and hard work to fulfil. You need to be ready to put in the work needed to attain great heights in this career path.


Good luck.


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