Veterinary jobs to increase 16% nationwide by 2029
Minuteman High School has added animal science to its list of Vocational Technical Education (CTE) specializations for the 2021-22 school year – meeting the needs of the rapidly growing nationwide veterinary industry.
With the addition of the Animal Science curriculum, Minuteman now accommodates a total of 19 CTE majors for students in grades 9 to 12. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved Minuteman’s Animal Science program for Chapter 74 Vocational Technical Education status in June.
âMany young people are passionate about animal welfare and there is a clear need for qualified professionals in this growing field,â said Edward A. Bouquillon, Superintendent-Director of Minuteman, in the September 30 press release. . âMinuteman is fortunate to have several respected industry partners who work closely with us to provide concrete and practical opportunities for students as we develop the Animal Science program. “
A student-run veterinary clinic, which would be open to the public, is planned for the Minuteman campus in the next few years as part of the new program.
The addition of the major in animal sciences comes against a backdrop of increased demand for skilled workers. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for veterinarians is expected to increase 16 percent by 2029, which is much faster than the 4 percent growth rate for all occupations.
About 20% of all U.S. households acquired a dog or cat during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
âThere’s definitely job security, but it’s also a very rewarding area,â said Laura Champagne, chief veterinary surgeon and anesthesia technician at BluePearl Sepcialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Waltham, who volunteers as as advisor for Minuteman. âYou get involved in the profession because you care about animals and love their science and medicine. In addition, there are a variety of jobs that you can access. “
Minuteman students receive industry-recognized degrees that allow them to secure entry-level jobs upon graduation from high school or to continue their education to pursue a technical or professional career.
Examples of entry-level animal science careers include veterinary assistant, animal laboratory assistant, and agricultural assistant; technical careers requiring advanced certifications or an associate’s degree include a certified veterinary technician, animal laboratory technician, refuge manager, zookeeper, or farmer; and professional careers requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher include zoologist, veterinarian, animal welfare lawyer, specialist veterinary technician, animal education roles, etc.
The Animal Science program begins with the ninth grade class of this year and will increase by one level each year.
Sasha Morency, the animal science instructor, said there are many different career paths students can take.
“If you are studying animal science in high school, you have a unique opportunity to explore these career paths before you go to college or find a job, which saves you a lot of expense,” said Morency. âHowever, the beautiful thing is that we all have the same goal in mind – we love and appreciate all animals. It’s a very rewarding area. You work a lot, but there is nothing better than being rewarded by your patient with a lick to the face They have their own way of saying thank you when they need your help.
Several representatives of organizations related to animal science or workforce development sit on Minuteman’s Animal Science Advisory Board. Partner organizations include BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, Zoo New England, UMass Amherst / Mt. Ida College Veterinary Technology Program, Hingham Animal Clinic, Education Alliance, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School and MassHire Workforce Development Boards.
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This press announcement was made on Saturday October 2, 2021.