Becoming a Vet in Australia

Sydney, Australia, is one of the most cosmopolitan places you could live in the world, and despite its distance from the UK, culturally, it is a city with more in common with many parts of the UK than the rest of the world.

Similarities and differences

Let’s start with the similarities.

We share the same humour style and wit (unlike Americans often). Our Common Law system is the same, so the legalities around many things in life are the same. So it’s easy to fit in, and most Sydney siders who travel to London say they feel like it is just a bigger, faster version of Sydney.

Because of the similarities, it’s easier to fit in than in other parts of the world, and while you’ll be 10,500 miles from your hometown, you’ll feel right at home.

The differences are why you’re still reading… # 1 is the glorious weather year-round. Sure, we had La Nina last year, bringing much rain, and moved lots of our outdoor activities indoors for a few months, but that meteorological phenomenon only happens every seven years, they say.

As a vet in Australia, be prepared for everyday activities having an outdoor option – like dining, for example, and outdoor cinemas.

What do weekends look like for a vet in Australia?

Common weekend activities might be taking a friends dog to a beach and setting up a barbeque in the local park, catching a ferry and going on an alfresco pub crawl in Manly (yes, ferries are a genuine mode of transport here, and not a tourist activity). Being a vet in Australia can be a really happy existence.

For those who love snow sports, we have a season from June to August in the holiday area of the Snowy Mountains, about 5 hour’s drive from Sydney, and New Zealand is only a 3-hour flight away with year-round snow.

 Why Southern Cross Vet?

Dr Sam (the author of this article!) started the clinic in 2012 and is the only Director. Working as a Vet in Australia, we don’t see our staff as revenue generators, and our staff are genuinely appreciated by our management as well as our highly insured clients. Many of the clients have been coming to us since we opened to see us and some of our original staff – like Head Nurse Rah, Nurse Coordinator Cindy and Neil, our senior surgeon, and others still are at Southern Cross Vet after joining us in very junior roles, some as volunteers or students!

Thirty minutes is our consultation time – not 10 minutes, so you’re never rushed, but always kept busy. You can block off time before or after if the case or client needs extra attention.

We don’t provide an on-call service , so OOH or after-hours is non-existent as a vet at Southern Cross Vet in Australia.

At SCV, we’re all friendly and welcoming to new people- you’ll instantly have a friend circle, join our Whatsapp group, and be invited to dinner by your colleagues and other social events if you choose to partake.

All our equipment is what you’d expect in a modern veterinary clinic, plus we have access to CT, which is unique.

You’ll learn laparoscopic desexing from day one and learn how to do it through just one port rather than multiple, and this is a skill you can take with you for your career.

All three of our locations are in prime areas where great food, entertainment and services are available, including ready access to public transport or parking if you drive.

Apart from paying well, at SCV, we have an incredible perks list:

  • Free weekly team lunches on ‘Weight-Gain’ Wednesdays
  • We offer free return business class flights to any destination – subject to availability
  • A generous CPD (Continuing Professional Allowance) with paid transport to and from conferences
  • Open dog policy – feel free to bring your pet to work daily.
  • Quick and frequent access to public transport
  • Availability of parking if you have your own vehicle.
  • Provision of Fresh Fruit every week
  • Doona days – a day off to counter stress and take some ‘me time.’
  • Use of the work car for weekends away.

Why Sydney?

Sydney is truly the only ‘world’ city in Australia. It enjoys a warmer climate and has the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour, with literally hundreds of beaches, some of them deserted! Sydney’s food and drink scene have surpassed Melbourne, which often ranks higher than Sydney in world rankings, but we can’t see why!

Brisbane has great weather too, but it can be excessively hot in summer and lacks much to do for couples or singles when you’re not at work.

Sydney must be on your list if you want to experience Australia with the comfort and services of home.

Our airport is the only one to service every capital city and New Zealand, and also has more international connections than any other city – making vacations, holidays and weekends away less hassle than Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide.

Imagine being able to drive to the clinic, leave your car in the parking lot underground, and take the train to the airport for a weekend getaway.


Are veterinarians in demand or in high demand in Australia?

Vets are on the skills shortage list, meaning priority entry and VISA fast-tracking is possible.

How much do vets get paid in Australia? What is the average salary of a vet in Australia?

 Salaries are roughly in the range of 60,000-80,000 pounds

Can I move to Australia as a vet?

If you graduated from a vet school in the UK, or Ireland, Oondespoort in South Africa, or the USA, you can apply for registration with the state veterinary board – Registration usually takes two weeks and after which you can work unrestricted in Australia.

Is it worth becoming a vet in Australia?

The lifestyle is unbeatable, the quality of life excellent, and you can experience a happy, fulfilling place to work at Southern Cross Vet in Sydney. Working as a vet is great anywhere in the world, but down under in Australia is even more special. So many UK people choose to stay in Australia permanently and start families here.

Is vet a promising career in Australia?

Veterinarians are among the most consistently highly rated careers for ‘trust’ in the eyes of the public.