Home > Agri-science > Veterinarian / Veterinarian Nurse

Veterinarians treat sick and injured animals, provide general animal care, and advise about health care and disease prevention for pets and farm (production) animals.

A Large Animal Veterinarian works at a clinic but visits farms (dairy, beef, horses, swine, goats, and sheep).

Veterinarians require a five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

Veterinarian Nurse / Assistant

Veterinary nurses help in the examination, treatment and rehabilitation of sick and injured animals. They also interact with clients and perform receptionist duties.

You need a New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. If you complete the one-year New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) with Veterinary Nursing Assistant strand, you will qualify as a Veterinary Nurse Assistant.

Watch this video about a career as a vet nurse.

Veterinarian Technologist / Rural Animal Technician

Some veterinary nurses choose to train as a Veterinarian Technologist / Rural Animal Technician.

Generally, there are two veterinary qualifications:

  • Certificate in Rural Animal Technology
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Technology

Find out about Veterinary careers at CareersNZ.


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For a career in science

For a science career (Research Technician, Statistician, Farm Advisor or Farm Systems Modeller), but not working as a scientist, you will need an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s Degree) which generally takes three years’ university study.

To be a scientist

You need a postgraduate qualification (Master's or Doctorate) which takes four or more years’ university study. You could be an Animal Behaviour Scientist, Plant or Animal Geneticist, Agricultural Microbiologist or Reproduction Scientist.

Where to study

About DairyNZ

DairyNZ is an organisation that, through research, events, services, education and policy, works with dairy farmers to secure and enhance the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of New Zealand dairy farming. New Zealand dairy farmers pay DairyNZ a levy to support them.