Open Colleges
Free Course Guide

How to Become a Veterinary Nurse - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to Become a Veterinary Nurse - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

** Open Colleges does not currently offer this course**

Get a Free Course Guide

/ How to Become a Veterinary Nurse - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

Looking at a Veterinary Nursing Career?

**Open Colleges does not currently offer this course**

Become empowered and motivated by building on your current knowledge, or step into a certificate course that gives you the confidence to take your career to the next level. Open Colleges has a range of courses to give you the specific skills you are hoping to gain, whether in Business, Animal Care, Hospitality, Information Technology or Design.

Job Outlook Average Salary Work Hours Age Groups
Education Level Courses Interview with a Pro


Veterinary Nursing Job Outlook

The graph shows historical and projected (to 2019) employment levels (thousands) for this occupation.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, DEEWR trend data to November 2014 and DEEWR projections to 2019. Estimates have been rounded.

Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Veterinary Nurses is expected to be low (equal or less than 5,000). Job openings count both employment growth and turnover (defined as workers leaving their occupation for other employment or leaving the workforce).

Employment for Veterinary Nurses to November 2019 is expected to continue growing strongly. Employment in this small  sized occupation (8,600 in November 2014) fell slightly past five years and grew strongly the long-term (ten years).

Veterinary Nurse Salary

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS EEBTUM survey August 2014 cat. no. 6310.0. Estimates have been rounded and consequently some discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Note: These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate. lists the wage for Veterinary Nurses (in Australia with 5 years’ experience) as being between a  median of $44 000 per annum and $62 000 at the highest end of the market.

Please note: For roles in Veterinary Nursing, rates of pay will vary depending on the type of business and the type of environment.

Veterinary Nursing Weekly Work Hours

The graph shows the average weekly hours (by gender and full-time and part-time) worked for this occupation, compared with all occupations. 

Veterinary Nurses have a comparatively lower proportion of full-time jobs (55.7 per cent). For Veterinary Nurses working full-time, average weekly hours are 34.9 (compared to 40.9 for all occupations) and earnings are lower than average - in the first decile. Unemployment for Veterinary Nurses is average.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.


Veterinary Nurse Age Profile


The Vet Nursing industry appeals to younger individuals, looking to pursue a career in animal care and vet nursing, as shown in the chart above. 

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.


Veterinary Nurse Education Levels

The most common form of education certification attained by Veterinary Nurses is Year 12 (72.1 per cent), with a Cert III/IV being second (27.9 per cent)

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Interview with a professional from the Veterinary Nursing Industry

Heather Ryland Veterinary nurse


Heather Ryland

Head Veterinary Nurse

Glen Iris Veterinary Clinic


In two sentences, tell us a bit about your job as a Veterinary Nurse.

As the head veterinary nurse, I have a multifaceted job. I help to ensure each patient receives the highest standard of care whilst in our facility and are met with compassion and given the information needed to ensure their pets health at home.

What does a Veterinary Nurse do on a day to day basis?

On a day to day basis, a nurse's role is varied. As a nurse at Glen Iris, when properly trained, we are responsible for:

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Monitoring patients under anaesthetic
  • Recovering patients from surgery
  • Ensuring timely treatment of patients staying in the hospital

Additionally, we are lab technicians, cattery attendants and receptionists.

What skills/attributes do potential Veterinary Nurses need to have?

To be a Veterinary Nurse, I believe you need to be good at working on your own as well as in a team. You need to be a good multi-tasker as well as organized. You need to be able to think on your feet and problem solve.  Additionally, you need to have passion for what you do and enjoy working with people in addition to animals. You need to be open minded, and understand that people have different motivations for owning pets as well as varying financial resources and life circumstances, that will require you to adapt treatments to best meet the needs of your patients as well as their owners. 

What are the best parts of being a Veterinary Nurse?

For me the best part of being a Veterinary Nurse is having the ability to make a positive impact in an animal's life. Providing them with appropriate care and helping to aid in recovery and relieve suffering is really important to me. I also really love the relationships I have developed through vet nursing both with my peers as well as past and present clients!

What advice would you offer students looking to become a Veterinary Nurse?

My advice to students that want to know how to become a Veterinary Nurse is to do your research: make sure you have a true understanding of the profession. Volunteer, do work experience and speak with people in the profession. Working in the Veterinary industry is extremely rewarding and exciting but it's also hard work and can have an emotional toll on people. 

Thanks Heather, for sharing your story with Open Colleges.


Get a Free Course Guide

Enter your details below to receive a free course guide and a consultation with an Education Advisor.

By downloading the Course Guide, you agree to our Privacy Policy and receiving email and other forms of communication from us. You can opt-out at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.