Career opportunities in the veterinary field are diverse. The most familiar veterinary career in the eyes of the general public would be veterinary surgeons in clinical practice. Veterinary surgeons in public service develop veterinary public health and food safety programmes, animal health programmes and animal welfare and community programmes. While there is no veterinary education offered by universities in Singapore, scholarships can be obtained from AVA.
Veterinary surgeons are employed by commercial enterprises such animal pharmaceutical companies, animal feed companies, as well as recreational animal industries such as zoos, equine clubs and bird parks. Others are employed in clinical practice to treat and operate on sick animals. Veterinary surgeons in public service are involved in developing and implementing veterinary public health and food safety programmes to ensure foods are safe for human consumption, animal health programmes to prevent outbreaks of animal diseases especially those which can also affect humans, and animal welfare and community programmes to care for animals. Veterinary surgeons are also involved in bio-medical and life-sciences research in universities and other research organisations.
Likely employers of veterinary surgeons in Singapore would include:
- Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
- Equine establishments (e.g. Singapore Turf Club, Singapore Polo Club, other riding establishments)
- Zoological centres (e.g.Singapore Zoological Gardens, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Underwater World)
- Uniformed Forces' Dog Units (SAF, Police and SCDF)
- Animal-related industries (Farm consultancies, feedmills)
- Animal pharmaceutical companies
- Research institutions
- Private veterinary clinics
There is no veterinary education offered by universities in Singapore. A course in veterinary medicine can only be obtained at a foreign university. The following considerations should be made before embarking on a veterinary education.
- Whether the veterinary degree is registrable for licensing in Singapore;
- The academic requirements for admission into their veterinary courses;
- Financial commitment for tuition, living expenses for 5 - 8 years (depending on country), traveling and warm clothing costs etc; and
- Employment prospects on graduation - whether in Singapore or abroad;
- Interest in medical and life sciences with a natural liking or love for animals and would be comfortable handling and working with animals
The pre-requisites for admission into a course in veterinary medicine are high. Most universities would in addition require a prospective student to have had some working experience with animals and the veterinary profession.
Students entering a British or Commonwealth university can do so directly from high school (eg GCE A levels) and complete a five or six year undergraduate course. The veterinary schools in North America require the student to enter a college for a 2 - 4 year "pre-veterinary" undergraduate science degree programme prior to a 4-year DVM course.
Degrees recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), United Kingdom and veterinary degrees from US veterinary schools and Canadian universities that are fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), are generally acceptable for licensing in Singapore. These are generally British Commonwealth veterinary schools such as the six British veterinary colleges and those from veterinary schools in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (Pretoria).
For more information on degrees from foreign universities, you might want to:
Though these degrees are not available locally, scholarships can be obtained from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) for veterinary studies abroad.
- Look up resource materials in libraries
- Speak with local veterinary surgeons who have recently graduated
- Consult officials in the relevant embassies
- Visit the websites of the universities offering the veterinary course
- Write directly to the universities offering the veterinary course to obtain further information
Please call the AVA Contact Centre via 6325 7625 or email us.
Alternatively, please visit our Contact Info page.