Trends influencing the veterinary job market
The last few decades have seen big changes in the veterinary field, including an increasing amount of technology available to support diagnosis, treatment and quality care.
But, what other trends will dictate the availability of jobs, and the type of vacancies you will be applying for?
Customer demand is high
According to the 2017 edition of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association's Pet Population report, there are an estimated 12 million UK households with pets. The pet population stands at around 54 million – a lower number than the peak of 70 million in 2013.
What are growing, however, are the expectations of animal owners. Internet-savvy consumers are more willing to shop around and do their own research. This means newly qualified vets and those moving around to new jobs need to be ready to deal with greater demand for high-quality care at competitive prices.
Also, social media can spread a good review instantly. Get it wrong and your practice can find its reputation severely dented.
Smaller practices, in particular, are finding it tough to keep pace with investment in equipment and provision of specialist care. This means vet practice ownership is in the midst of a sea change.
One estimate suggested 30% of vet practices are owned by corporates. This is expected to grow to 50% by the end of 2018, and, if it continues at that pace, in five years it will reach 70%.
Job vacancies are readily available
None of the above trends are denting the availability of vet jobs. In fact, there is a body of opinion that suggests demand for qualified vets is outstripping supply.
Brexit may well increase the gap between UK-educated vets and vacant posts, as citizens of other EU countries will face returning to their home country.
This summary would not be complete without coming back to the rampant advances in health care technology and the fact it generates vast amounts of data, which all professions must become competent in collecting, analysing and using effectively.
Telemedics are beginning to gain a foothold in animal care, and wearable technology for pets will also gain ground.
Technology will also serve to improve the efficiency of practices in the way they are managed, automate many processes and provide vets with opportunities to be even more specialist in certain aspects of animal health.