Animal Acupuncturist Career Profile

Do you want to work as an Animal Acupuncturist?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

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UPDATED: 23 April 2023

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What is an Animal Acupuncturist?

An Animal Acupuncturist is a qualified Veterinarian that uses additional knowledge and skills to insert specially designed needles into points on an animal’s body to produce a healing response.

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Very few countries do allow registered acupunturists who studied to work on humans to also work on animals. BUT, most countries DO NOT allow this. You must be a fully qualified veterinary doctor to use acupuncture on animals.

Alternative Names

The career might also be called:

  • Pet Acupuncturist
  • Veterinary Acupuncturist

Career Categories

The Animal Acupuncturist falls within the following Career Categories:

  • Health
  • Business
  • Specialist

What does an Animal Acupuncturist do?

Groups of animals an Animal Acupuncturist works with

Cats List Icon
Dogs List Icon OZT
Critters List Icon OZT
Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

What does an Animal Acupuncturist focus on?

The goal of an animal/veterinary acupuncturist is to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and promote overall health and wellness in animals.

What are the daily tasks of an Animal Acupuncturist?

  • Assess the animal’s condition: Before beginning treatment, a veterinary acupuncturist will perform a thorough assessment of the animal’s condition, including a physical examination and a review of the animal’s medical history. This helps the acupuncturist develop a treatment plan tailored to the specific needs of the animal.
  • Identify acupuncture points: The acupuncturist will identify the specific acupuncture points that are appropriate for the animal’s condition. These points may be located near the site of the animal’s problem, or they may be located in other areas of the body that are connected to the affected area by the body’s energy channels.
  • Insert needles: Once the acupuncture points have been identified, the acupuncturist will insert very thin needles into the animal’s skin at these points. The needles are left in place for a period of time, usually between 10 and 30 minutes.
  • Monitor the animal’s response: While the needles are in place, the acupuncturist will monitor the animal’s response to the treatment. Depending on the animal’s response, the acupuncturist may adjust the placement of the needles or the duration of the treatment.


In which Environment does an Animal Acupuncturist work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

Environment –

Animal or veterinary acupuncturists work primarily indoors.

Places of Employment –

Most acupuncturists work in their own private practices. Vets may be employed or contracted by hospitals, government agencies, educational institutions, animal sanctuaries and zoos.

What is the Average Yearly Salary for an Animal Acupuncturist?

South Africa: Annual salary of R470,000
Australia: Annual salary of AU$65,000
UK: Annual salary of £30,000
USA: Annual salary of $75,000

Can an Animal Acupuncturist be promoted?

Promotion to senior levels are available in most careers. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following for acupuncturists who work for an organization:

Junior Acupuncturist > Senior Acupuncturist > Head Acupuncturist > Department Manager or Director

What difficulties does an Animal Acupuncturist face?

Similar to all types of veterinarians, animal acupuncturists does have some difficult moments, and it’s good to know these things before you truly make a decision to pursue this career:

  • Most veterinarians are on call around the clock since emergencies can occur at any time.
  • Schedules may include evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Dealing with sick animals and their distraught owners can be very stressful.
  • Vets may in certain circumstances need to put an animal to sleep, called euthanasia.
  • Sick or frightened animals may bite, kick, or otherwise injure those who are treating them.
  • Working in the wild is exactly what it means.
  • The outdoors can be dangerous and even life threatening.

Future Growth and Possibilities of the Career

Employment of animal acupuncturists is projected to grow by 10% annually, one of the highest for an occupation, mainly due to the growth in pet ownership.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills do Animal Acupuncturists need?

The skills required for a career as an Animal Acupuncturist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills:

  • compassion for animals
  • a steady and patient nature
  • ​interest in the biological sciences
  • good powers of observation
  • have respect and love for animals and the ability to work with them
  • good coordination to handle instruments
  • good vision, hearing, stamina and health
    able to think and act quickly and calmly in response to wild animals​
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help me prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become an Animal Acupuncturist?

Minimum educational qualification

To become an Animal Acupuncturist you will need to study Veterinary Science.

This means that you will need to study towards a Doctoral Degree in Veterinary Sciences, starting out with a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science (BVSc).

To specialize in using acupuncture requires another 1 or 2 years of intense studies in alternative medicine.

Subject focus

Studying veterinary medicine will automatically indicate the subjects to follow. You will only have a far broader choice as you start to specialize.

Study duration

The duration of a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 4 years, and another 4 years for a Doctorate. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined career paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and Apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as an acupuncturist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more ualified acupuncturist.

Join the Animal Acupuncturists Group in the OZT Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Learn more about requirements by joining the Community.

Professional Associations

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care and health.

Do you want to Contribute?

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this career?

My Story




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Join the OZT community and career chat Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an Animal Acupuncturist.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an Animal Acupuncturist, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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