Not all DVMs are looking for full-time veterinary jobs. Whether vets are looking to balance work and play, manage caregiving and their career, or staying active in a semi-retirement, part time work may be the best option for some veterinarians.
Defining Part Time Work
When you think of part time jobs in the veterinary industry, you think of job types like veterinary technicians, receptionists, and kennel staff. But there’s also a world of part time and temporary jobs for DVMs. This can fall under the employment type of relief work, but should also be an option for consideration in your practice to increase your veterinarian staff and retain doctors already at your practice.
In general, part time veterinarian jobs are full day shifts but much more flexible in how many days they are at the veterinary hospital. Some variations include working a full number of days, with fewer hours per day. Many workers these days are looking for flexibility, including less than full time work. If this is not an option for consideration in your practice, you may be missing out.
Case Studies in Part Time Veterinary Jobs
What can a part-time job look like for veterinarian jobseekers? Let’s explore a few examples of how vets use part time work to meet their career goals.
Juggling Caregiving and Career
Sandy K. worked full-time until she had her baby a few years ago. Now that the little one is going into pre-school, she’s looking at getting back into a small animal hospital, but she still wants to be there for her child. She’s choosing to do part- time work just a day or two a week. She’s excited about putting her education and experience in veterinary medicine back to use as well as having adult conversations about a pet or animal.
Chris M. has a different caregiving experience. His dad had a stroke last month, and his mom is not currently set up to adequately support dad. Chris lives close by and wants to help out more. They are looking to shift from full-time to part time or relief work. Chris plans on working 3-4 days a week and relieving his mom of caregiving duties at least one day a week.
Not Quite Ready To Retire
Julie P. has been in practice for more than 25 years. With her experience level in veterinary medicine from working with many companies, she could run any veterinary hospital. But she’s also looking towards retirement. She’s not quite ready to leave the veterinary profession entirely, but she doesn’t want the long-term commitment of practice ownership either. Julie has chosen to help a practice part time with a maternity coverage relief veterinarian position to stay current with her skills.
Considering Part Time Veterinary Jobs Post-Pandemic
Trevor D. graduated in 2017 and has enjoyed working at his first job, a busy animal clinic in New York. However, after the pandemic cancelled all of his travel plans, he’s itching for a change. He still wants to work and raise his experience level, but his current position doesn’t offer enough vacation. Trevor is switching his job type to support his travel plans, but also to see how things are done outside of New York. He’s also looking to keep his salary and skills competitive, and figures that experience at a variety of veterinary jobs will aid in diversifying his experience level. His plan is to work part time, travel part time and work while traveling part time.
Successfully Navigating Part Time Veterinary Jobs
Many times, work options in the part time arena are limited. This generally translates into a veterinarian working relief for one or two days per week at one practice, and one or two days per week at another. Or otherwise piecing their schedule together. The nature of relief work can mean that a DVM may wind up working on Saturdays often, as that’s when associate vets want time off. Also, relief veterinary jobs are often one-off jobs. It can be a challenge to find consistent part time veterinary jobs as a DVM, and harder to successfully manage those shifts.
Finding temporary or part time jobs in the veterinary industry can be interesting. It’s easy to set up a job alert for the query “relief vet” and watch the results roll in. You’ll have to sort through the job ads to find one with high relevance to your skills and salary expectations. Then you have to do it again for the next one, and the one after that. You could easily spend all day reading through marketing messages and job descriptions. But nobody wants their search for veterinary jobs to turn into a job in and of itself!
Managing Your Schedule
Our recommendation for hospitals is to start offering and advertising part time employment options. Also, these days many hospitals offer limited benefits at part time to enhance the attractiveness of their offer and attract desired candidates.
Our recommendation for candidates struggling to find the right part time job opportunity, reach out to a veterinary staffing service. Many staffing agencies offer part time jobs directly through their company or can connect you to hospitals that offer what you are looking for.
Depending on how you’ve planned your part time work, you may have relief shifts with different animal hospitals lined up. It’s imperative to have a good scheduler – whether that’s an online calendar, a paper day planner, or notifications on your phone. Organization is key in successfully keeping your part time relief jobs.
Support Through a Veterinary Staffing Service
Veterinary staffing services like Holiday Vet can help you do away with the annoying job alert notifications and plan out your schedule. You won’t have to search through job ads for the right match.
Talk to one of our friendly scheduling managers to set your expectations from the companies you’ll work for. That includes everything from time for animal examinations, whether you prefer doing surgery or not, and of course salary expectations. We comb through a combination of employer bids to find the right part time veterinary jobs for you.
Your job is to improve pet health. Our job is to improve vet career health. Let us help you take the next step in your veterinary career. Sign up today!