Is veterinary locum work right for me?

While many vets work in traditional clinical settings, there is an alternative path that offers flexibility, diverse experiences, and a unique lifestyle – becoming a locum vet. In this blog post, we will explore what a locum vet is and outline the steps to embark on this exciting career path.

What is a locum vet? 

Locum vets work on a temporary basis, typically filling in for other veterinary professionals across various practices. Whether it’s a short-term leave, holiday, or staffing shortage, locum vets step in to ensure continuity of care for animals. They may work in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, emergency clinics, or even research institutions. The primary responsibilities of a locum vet include diagnosing and treating animals, performing surgeries, providing preventive care, and communicating with pet owners.

Is veterinary locum work right for me?

Before making the jump, it’s important to consider whether veterinary locum work is the right fit for you. 

On the one hand, you will gain: 

  • Flexibility to choose working hours, locations, and assignments.
  • Exposure to diverse cases and clinical environments.
  • Potential for higher income compared to full-time positions.
  • The opportunity to travel and explore different regions.

However, the downsides can include:

  • Frequently working alone.
  • A constant search for new roles.
  • Being responsible for tax deductions and National Insurance Contributions.
  • High expectations to deliver exceptional care. 

Desired skills

While there is no difference in the qualification requirements for full-time vets and locum vets, most employers ask for at least two years’ experience. This is because locum vets could be asked to carry out any number of procedures and therefore need a vast skill set. 

Read our blog: ‘Everything you need to know about becoming a vet’ to find out more about the qualifications needed to enter the veterinary world, as well as routes to entry. 

Where can I find my first locum role? 

Decided you want to live in la vida locum? Working with a specialist recruitment agency is a great way to get the ball rolling. The Choice Vets team have a wealth of experience across the veterinary industry and is always on call to answer your questions! 

We can help you find what you’re looking for, just call us on 0203 9784 104 or email us your CV and job preferences via email at [email protected].