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Veterinary NurseAlternative titles

Tapuhi Kararehe

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Animal Nurse
Rural Animal Technician
Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Technologist

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

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

What are the chances of getting a job?


Chances of getting a job as a veterinary nurse are average due to stable worker numbers, which are unlikely to change significantly in the short term.

According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of veterinary nurses has remained fairly stable since 2008.

Chances of getting a job as a veterinary nurse are significantly increased if you have a relevant certificate or a diploma.

Work opportunities are best in large urban areas, especially Auckland, with more opportunities for rural animal technicians in rural areas. 

Most veterinary nurses work at veterinary practices

Nearly all veterinary nurses work at veterinary practices. New Zealand has about 800 veterinary practices, ranging from small practices employing one or two veterinary nurses to larger practices with up to 20 staff. Other employers include:

  • companies that sell animal and veterinary products
  • educational institutes
  • Government agencies, such as the Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries
  • kennels and catteries
  • animal shelters
  • pet stores
  • zoos
  • organisations involved in animal research.

Some veterinary nurses are self-employed.


  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
  • Waugh, K, Membership Secretary, NZ Veterinary Nursing Association, April 2014, (www.nzvna.org.nz).

Current vacancies

Aquaculture Technicians Listed: 21 Nov 2014 Nelson / Tasman
VETERINARY NURSE WANTED! Listed: 07 Nov 2014 Bay Of Plenty
Veterinary Nurse Listed: 04 Nov 2014 Wellington
Veterinary Nurse Position Listed: 31 Oct 2014 Canterbury
Veterinary Receptionist/Nurse Weekend Part Time Listed: 28 Oct 2014 Auckland
Veterinary Appointments Listed: 28 Oct 2014 Hawke's Bay
Vet Nurse - Napier Listed: 18 Nov 2014 Hawke's Bay

Other vacancy websites


Progression and specialisations

Veterinary nurses can move into related occupations, such as animal pharmaceutical sales and laboratory work, or progress into management positions.

They may also do further training to become rural animal technicians, veterinary technologists or veterinarians.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Year 2011
Year 2010
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.

Krystal Kelly shaving a dog before an operation

Vet nurses may do further training to become veterinary technicians or veterinary surgeons

Updated 8 Apr 2014