What Is A Locum Vet And How Can I Become One?

Written by Harry Marshall Reading time: 3 mins

A locum vet temporarily fills the position of a permanent vet. Locums can be all types of vets, including small animal, equine, farm and exotic. Paid daily or hourly, locum vets choose the days and times they work, along with their preferred practice(s). Some locum vets travel across the country, taking advantage of accommodation which can be offered along with employment at a veterinary practice, whereas others choose to stay closer to home, working with 1-3 local practices.

How Much Does A Locum Vet Make?

Working as a locum vet will typically be more lucrative than working as a permanent vet. Often, locum vets will work less hours than a full-time role, for comparable money, freeing up time for other projects. Specifically what you will earn will depend on the hours, type of role and responsibilities, so read our post on ‘How much to charge as a veterinary locum

What Hours Do Locum Vets Work?

As a locum vet, you can decide on the hours you work yourself. Typically, veterinary practices will wank you to work a full day (8-6 is standard), but as a locum vet you have flexibility on the hours. You can let them know your availability and they can work around you. Whether it is life commitments, hobbies or just wanting to take things a little slower, locuming allows you to take back control of your diary.

How To Become A Locum Vet

 The first thing is to become a Veterinary Surgeon, of course! You can find out about the qualifications needed to become a veterinary surgeon here. Once you have a couple of years as a veterinary surgeon under your belt, you can then start to think about become a locum veterinary surgeon, if you would prefer.

There are a couple of ways to become a locum veterinary surgeon, however the simplest is to get in touch with a recruitment company, like us here at Simply Vets, who will find the right role for you. We can also provide payroll solutions, unlike most recruitment companies.

The other main way is to contact practices directly, enquiring about any locum needs or vacancies they may have. You will have to choose and arrange a way to get paid, which we can talk you through if you get in touch with us, here.

What Are The Downsides Of Being A Locum Vet?

Being a locum veterinary surgeon isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Depending on how you decide to be paid, you won’t get some of the same benefits a permanent employee will get such as paid holidays, pensions, sick pay and discounted pet care. You can read more about the downsides of locuming here.

How Do Locum Vets Get Paid?

Generally, there are two payment routes: through a limited company or through an umbrella company. They both have their pros and cons and there isn’t necessarily a ‘better option’ as this will depend on where you work your locum shifts, along with how many shifts you decide to do. There are more resources on how to be paid, and what to charge on our article here.

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