The veterinarian’s profession is very a multi-disciplinary one. The doctor in veterinary medicine assumes a large variety of functions such as doctor of general medicine, dentist, surgeon, pharmacist, radiologist, ophthalmologist, anesthesiology and dermatologist.

Veterinarians are also called upon to perform a number of tasks such as;

• Examine animals
• Vaccinations
• De Worming
• Analyze radiographs, blood work, and other laboratory tests,
• Diagnose different pathologies
• Establish an adequate treatment plan
• Surgeries
• Dentistry
• Consult with clients

The fields of practice are equally varied, about half of graduates will practice in the private sector for small companion animals (cats, dogs and exotic pets like small mammals, birds reptiles and amphibians) but there also a large number of positions available within the domain of animals for consumption (pork, beef and poultry) , horses, public health (control of diseases transmitted to humans as well as (food health inspection ) and laboratories in diagnostic research.

In Quebec, to obtain the title of doctor of veterinarian medicine, you must have followed a pre-university program attesting to a collegial diploma (D.E.C) in one of the following programs; health sciences, art, literature. Also a D.E.C in animal technology, having also completed three courses in physics and two in mathematics or a D.E.C in animal production and completed the five above courses as well as one course in organic chemistry and biology. Then another 5 years in vet. Med. awaits you to be able to obtain the title of doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM).

However in order to be permitted to practice the profession you must have also succeeded in passing the exams that are required by law. Since a lot of progress has been realized in this discipline and the material to be covered is very vast, since September 1999, the program is covered over a five year period instead of four. The University of Montreal is the only institution in Quebec to offer the program and the faculty is situated in St-Hyacinthe. Admission into the program of veterinary medicine is very difficult since the program is in high demand but very little admissions are available. There are about 80 places available every year and the last collegiate to be admitted for the 2009-2010 year had an R curve of 32,389.

Furthermore, there a multitude of disciplines offered at the superior cycle for those with a diploma in veterinary medicine:

• Dermatology -Emergency and intensive care medicine
• Oncology -Medical imagery
• Cardiology -Surgery
• Neurology -Animal reproduction
• Internal medicine -Ophthalmology
• Anesthesiology -Animal behavior (7)

The average annual salary for a generalist in veterinary medicine varies between 49,601 $ and 68,631$ and for a veterinarian specialist from 62,750 $ to 86,190 $ (8)

Finally, to study in veterinary medicine, you must obviously like animals, but also have an interest and a marked ability in medical sciences. Moreover, it is absolutely necessary to have an exemplary sense of observation since animals cannot tell us what’s wrong. Also, versatility, excellent manual dexterity, an ease for verbalization, good judgment, compassion, sympathy, enjoy team work and have a lot of energy are essential qualities for being a good veterinarian.


An animal health technician represents a considerable help to the veterinarian. She has the capacity to administer care and treatment to animals, she assists the veterinarian in surgery when necessary, and insures customer service (information, medical prescriptions, reception.) Furthermore, the technician will apply her skills in the field of radiology, dentistry anesthesiology and pharmacology.

To practice this profession, it is necessary to study a 3 year career program in animal health technology offered by many colleges (cegeps);

• St-Hyacinthe College
• Sherbrooke College
• St-Therese College
• La Pocatiere college
• St-Félicien College
• Trois-Riviere College
• Vanier college

Once graduated, a major number of technicians will seek work in clinics or veterinarian hospitals. There also exists employment in many other sectors such as laboratory research, slaughter houses, etc. Basically where ever you may find an animal presence, you may find an opportunity for employment for an animal health technician. The placement rate for graduates is 96 %. According to St-Hyacinthe college website, in 2018, the average salary for a technician fresh out of college is $16.60/hr.

To be a good technician, you must enjoy team work but also be able to work alone. An interest in animal welfare and feeling compassion for their suffering are important, and are the reasons for this profession.

Definition : a person whose function is to provide basic care to the small domestic animals living in veterinarian clinics, kennels, animal pounds, laboratories and in specialized establishments.

Their principal tasks are insuring the basic needs of the animals;
• Preparing their meals and feeding the animals at planned hours;
• Cleaning and disinfecting cages, pens and surroundings.
• Walking the dogs when the weather permits it.
• Washing and brushing the animals.
• Helping the professional staff
• Insuring the security and well being of the animal.

Capacities that are needed:
• Enjoy working with a team
• Applying the required techniques to feed, handle and groom the animals
• Good manual dexterity
• Good judgment, good sense for initiative

Years of study+ experience (progress)
• High school diploma
• Courses in the domain of animal care, grooming, dog obedience is often required depending on the nature the work that’s to be accomplished. An animal keeper may also need to follow college level courses in animal health or veterinarian assistance.

Schools offering these programs:
• Cegep St-hyacinthe
• College Lionel-Groulx, QC
• College Vanier, Ville St-Laurent
• Cegep Sherbrooke
• Cegep de la Pocatiere

Possibilities of employment.
• Veterinarian assistant - Animal health assistant
• Dog obedience trainer -Animal groomer
• Zoo keeper -Worker in animal health
• Kennel Keeper -Animal laboratory assistant
• Animal pound keeper

Job Placement;
According to employment Canada job employment is limited. Salaries vary depending on studies, experience, size of the company and also the region (rural or urban) in which you choose to work. The average starting salary is about $ 11,25/hr