Veterinary Pathologist

Examine lab samples from sick animals or do research on animal diseases.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $145,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Veterinary Pathologists do?

Bird flu, swine flu, and any other disease spread by animals can be extremely dangerous, and when one of these maladies rears its ugly head, a Veterinary Pathologist steps in and saves lives — both animal and human. As a Veterinary Pathologist, you work to discover, diagnose, and treat everything from avian pandemics to the common doggie cold.

A Veterinary Pathologist treating animals and researching animal-related diseases is not unlike a regular Doctor treating patients, or a Lab Technician studying blood samples for a positive match to a virus. In anatomical pathology, you physically examine animals and observe infected areas under a microscope. Clinical pathology, meanwhile, focuses on lab work. You analyze blood, tissue, and urine samples for signs of disease.

Each of those fields entails a different career path. You may offer hands-on help to your furry friends by examining and diagnosing sick animals in person. Anything from a house cat to a panda at the zoo may need your care.

Or, you may choose to undertake research to help cure and prevent the spread of certain diseases. Teaching, often at the college level, is an option for those who are passionate about educating other people.

Think of yourself as a sort of environmental worker. You protect humans from the spread of deadly diseases, and help keep animals feeling their best. This type of work makes the planet a healthy, safe place for everyone, whether they go on two legs or four.

Should I be a Veterinary Pathologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Animal Pathologist, Poultry Pathologist, Veterinary Toxicologist, Veterinary Virologist

    How to become a Veterinary Pathologist

    Most Veterinary Pathologists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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