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Moving with a DVM- Australian edition

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by jfitzpatri8, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. jfitzpatri8

    jfitzpatri8 Trying my darnedest...
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    So, yeah. I'm a third year student at MSU-CVM. And I'm interested in moving down under when I graduate. I was wondering if anyone here was willing to share their stories from moving to Australia for a DVM, whether you are planning on staying or returning to your home country, what the job market is like, really anything you think may be useful. I'll be looking to move to Sydney, if that helps. And I know someone local, he's just not versed in the intricacies of relocating.

    I'll obviously be doing my own research into the mechanics of such a move, but personal experience is always helpful in making a decision.

    TIA, mates!
     
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  3. RadRadTerp

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    Do you have any family in Australia? That might help. Even with professional degrees moving to countries other than the US is much harder since they have stricter immigration policies. Luckily, "veterinarian" does appear on the "Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 1," which means you can apply for a visa to work in Australia without having a business sponsor you. I had been looking into moving there before starting vet school because I had visited and really loved it over there, but I found out the "points" system of immigration made it very hard to get your application granted. Good luck, though!
     
  4. cuitlamiztli

    cuitlamiztli onward and upward
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    When I was in Australia a few weeks ago my group was told that your application is more likely to be granted if you are willing to relocate to a more rural area/i.e. under-served area in the outback. It gets you more "points" than wanting to relocate to a city (which is where everyone wants to go). If you haven't already, try searching or posting on VIN! IIRC there have been a few threads asking about this within the past year or so.

    Good luck!
     
  5. laurafinn

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    It was pretty easy for one of my American classmates to get a working visa. He had a job lined up though. Try contacting Kookabura Vets to get on their email list. Lots of positions open. I don't know what the registration process is for vets educated outside New Zealand/Australia is though. Something to look into.
     
  6. Nexx

    Nexx 2 weeks and counting
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    Just a quick comment,

    Don't plan on it being a quick and easy move. If you are looking at a skilled migrant visa you are typically looking at nearly a year wait for approval, if not longer. You could potentially get a working holiday visa but that only allows you to do 6 months or so of work at one job before needing to move on to another -- not a problem if you want to do locum work, but not the best for a new grad.

    Job market over here is also pretty saturated, particularly in the major cities -- Australia has 7 vet schools for a population of roughly 25 million people graduating a total of about 700 new grads/year. Best option is to look at vetlink.com.au or kookaburravets for job openings and locum work. Otherwise the vast majority jobs over here seem to be word of mouth.

    Also, don't expect a huge salary -- the minimum salary that places are required to pay a new grad (or any vet technically) is $38,500/year and cost of living is MUCH higher than in North America. This is obviously more of an issue if you have student loans to worry about.

    Australia as a whole has been very good while living over here (perth). It's not without it's annoyances (but then neither is anywhere). I'd recommend living here to anyone but you really need to spend a good amount of time here before making the investment to get a visa/job/move life before making the jump. The visa alone is going to cost in excess of $3000, plus medical exam $500, plus airline tix (at least) $2000, plus setting up a new life (car, furniture, etc). If you have pets that is going to cost at least $2000 as well.
     
  7. svendenhowser

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    I agree with Nexx, it won't be easy but totally doable and worth it :) The biggest downside is probably the pay and cost of living (as Nexx said is muuuuuch higher than North America, especially Sydney. Our current specialist SA surgeon worked in London for years and said the cost of living in Brisbane is higher than London!).

    I just think the low salary, being forced into share housing because you can't afford your own place and having to pay off the massive loans you guys have in the US will make time tough, but if you have support I would totally do it! I'm actually planning on going to the UK as a new grad next year (AU grad) and I know it'll be tough, but I think it'll be worth it.

    cuitlamiztli - the government is opening up lots of new vet schools around Australia in the hope that some of them will go rural to help with the shortage, but the fact is being a rural vet in Australia is tough, really tough and that's why most end up in bigger towns doing mixed or in cities doing smallies.
     
  8. laurafinn

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    Aussie immigration will expedite your skilled migrant application if you have a job waiting. I don't think it took my classmate more than a month or two.
     
  9. Saffine

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    I agree with Nexx. An increase of graduates by 50% between 2008 and 2013 due to the new vet schools (JCU, Adelaide, CSU) has seen a doubling in new graduate unemployment over the last 5 years (see the GradStats website). Average vet salaries are $67k in Australia compared with $121k in the USA. Australian veterinary salaries have been declining compared with the average Australian wage for the last 30 years.
     
  10. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member
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    The vet award is about $38k AUD per year but most new grads get around $45-50k AUD per year. I fall along that range....

    With the newer vet schools, I am not too worried as it is true that Australians do face a shortage of veterinarians (for now at least). One has to take into consideration of the greying population (vets are getting older) and that most vets these days are female (pregnancy and family planning issues) and the increasing population of Australia in general.

    Word of mouth in the streets say that these new vet schools are not doing so well as the cost of running a vet school is expensive and doesnt receive much government subsidies. I wont be surprise if they may fold up if this continues to keep up.
     
  11. Saffine

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    Average new graduate salaries are $45k and have decreased by 15% compared to all other professions in Australia since 1999.

    See here: http://www.graduatecareers.com.au/Research/ResearchReports/GradStats/index.htm

    You will also notice that new graduates unable to find full time employement has doubled in the last 5 years. The surplus from the massive increase in graduate numbers seems to outweigh other factors that 'unraveller' suggests.

    Also it has one of the lowest progressions in salary with a career wide average salary of $67k.

    See here: http://www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/Policy/BaseReview/Submissions/AtoF/Documents/Council_of_Veterinary_Deans_of_Australia_and_New_Zealand.pdf
     
  12. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member
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    If being a vet is so scary, maybe you should consider alternative. I hear dentistry pays well...

    I dont have any data to back me up other than my own experience and the experience of my classmates. I would say the website seem skewed....
     
  13. Saffine

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    I guess these statistics are wrong as well then:

    -34% of vets in rural WA need a non-veterinary supplementary income (Australian Veterinary Journal, Dr Maxwell et al 2008).

    -"Critical examination of the relevant data must lead to the conclusion that more will become disappointed and disillusioned, underemployed or exploited, or at least unable to pursue the career of their dreams. Having survived a demanding course with the highest entry levels, and graduated with a high level of debt, they are likely to find that the only positions available are at the lowest salary levels." (Australian Veterinary Journal, 2007, Professor Trevor Heath)

    -Average salary was $52,200 in 2000 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/8564.0/
     
  14. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member
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    I am in Queensland, things seem alright in this state. I met Dr Heath before, he is a cautious person although I wont say he is pessimistic, the views he hold tend to give people a reality check before they embark on the degree.

    Anyway the vet degree opens door for you to go anywhere and do alot of things. One can always practice in America, Europe, UK, Asia and China if things arent doing so well in Australia.
     
  15. sunshinevet

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    Three out of the 5 markets you named are doing significantly WORSE than Australia economy-wise, meaning it will be significantly difficult to get ANY job there.

    I am extremely worried about the new schools - especially since my graduating year will be the first that all 7 schools put out a class. I think saying that there isn't an oversupply problem is sticking your head in the sand. I know many, many people from Murdochs c/o 2011 who do not have jobs yet, and there are few places looking. You cannot simply double the amount of graduating vets and hope everything will be ok.
     
  16. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member
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    Most of my cohorts have a job already, those that dont are the ones who dont plan to work far from their home.

    I am sure the 7 vet schools will probably lead to over supply of vets, but for me now I dont feel concern.

    When do u graduate?
     
  17. Saffine

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    Some may be interested in this recent news release of the situation for Australian vets:

    How we make ends meet - economic sustainability of the veterinary profession
    Australian Veterinary Journal, April 2012 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2012.news_v90_i4.x/pdf

    "...With a private practice average salary of around A$67,000, it is also significantly worse than the North American average of US$121,000. Of even greater concern is that veterinary salaries have been decreasing compared with the Australian national average for the past 30 years and graduates unable to find full-time employment have doubled in the past 5 years."

    "Veterinarians are four-times more likely to commit suicide than the general population and twice as likely as other high-risk health professionals, such as doctors and dentists. One-third of medical general practitioners committing suicide have financial difficulties and the statistics are likely to be similar within the veterinary profession."

    "For international students, the veterinary course costs A$215,714 at the University of Melbourne, in addition to the costs of a prerequisite undergraduate degree, which makes the wages appear miniscule."


    And this on graduate incomes:

    Average $44618 and 10% unable to find employment

    Murdoch $47664 and 6% unable to find employment

    University of Queensland $42912 and 11% unable to find employment

    University of Sydney $44082 and 16% unable to find employment

    How much do vets earn? Australian Veterinary Association
    http://www.ava.com.au/node/5415
     

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