A new national survey to investigate the pay, conditions and workplace experiences of Australia’s vets has been launched by Professionals Australia.

Jill McCabe, CEO of Professionals Australia, the union for Australia’s veterinarians, said the survey would examine veterinarians pay, hours of work, experience, and attitudes about working as a vet.

“While being a vet is perceived as an attractive and rewarding career, we have heard from many vets that the reality of their working life is very different.

“The day-to-day work of many vets is characterised by long hours, poor pay and stressful working environments.

“Many vets work 10-hour shifts, six days a week, manage high workloads and deal with emotionally charged situations every day.”

McCabe said that with the increase of pet ownership over the pandemic, more Australians rely on vets to care for their companion pets, however vets also play a vital role in other areas of animal health and well-being, including large animals, livestock, and wildlife.

“Despite a significant outlay of time and money in their tertiary education, vets often fail to see a return commensurate with their investment. They become stressed, dissatisfied with their career and ultimately want to leave the industry.”

The survey will provide important data on the working arrangements of veterinarians that will be used by the union to advocate for better pay and conditions for vets through the industrial relations system.

“This survey will provide hard data on the current pay and working conditions of Australia’s vets, that we will use to bring about change in the careers of our dedicated, highly skilled and hard-working vets across Australia.”

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