How the Shift to Contract Work is Changing Veterinary Careers

Roo Team
April 14, 2022

You may have heard whisperings about the “Great Resignation.” What does this mean? Increasing numbers of employees are quitting their jobs across age groups, industries, and more. Whether it’s due to burnout or simply the realization that traditional, rigid career paths aren’t ideal or even sustainable for everyone, the past few years have allowed many employees to reflect on their careers, their lifestyles, and what they hold important. So, what does this mean for veterinary careers?

The healthcare industry has seen some of the highest resignation rates. Compassion fatigue, long hours, and increased self-reflection during the pandemic have all contributed to this among veterinarians.

So, what are workers choosing instead of traditional careers?

Contract work: the next big thing?

More and more Americans are leaving traditional full-time jobs for contract work. In fact, 51% of workers with graduate degrees were freelancing in 2021, a 6% increase from 2020. Society’s perception of contract work has shifted due to the pandemic, which has allowed these numbers to continue to rise.

Additionally, an increased refocusing on “what’s really important” has led many workers to question full-time employment and forge their own paths. After all, contract work allows for more flexibility, control over your schedule, an opportunity to work in different settings and choose what you do, and in many cases, more income. Some contract workers even take on extra shifts on days off or weekends to earn some extra cash.

So, how will these trends affect veterinary careers?

How veterinarians can join the shift to contract work

When you think of freelancing, you may picture a graphic designer or a writer who works from home, taking one creative job at a time. However, contract work is now more common and available in a variety of professions, including veterinary careers.

Relief work, when a veterinarian or vet tech temporarily fills in for a permanent staff member, allows veterinary workers to create their own schedules by picking up shifts when and where they choose. It also allows veterinary professionals to work in a variety of practice types and to build skills in a number of areas. Roo provides a platform where relief veterinarians and vet techs can be connected with hospitals and open shifts, so the common concerns of, “How will I find contract work? How do I network?” are alleviated. Ultimately, all of these benefits and more lead to vets and techs who are once again… happy.

Many workers are curious but may be apprehensive about starting contract work. It does require some legwork to get started, and common benefits of full-time employment, like guaranteed consistent income, insurance, and simpler taxes are appealing to many who decide to remain full-time employees. This article goes over the realities of starting contract work as an individual and how workers are solely responsible for their own taxes and insurance. However, Roo makes this process much easier by compiling all tax information for the shifts you work and paying you shortly after completing each shift.

Today's changing veterinary workforce

As millennials and even Gen Z-ers become an increasing portion of the workforce, they have inspired a variety of changes in the way that we work. 62% of contract workers are under 45, according to an NPR/Marist poll. Additionally, the poll found that 1 in 5 employees are contract workers, which shows that this “alternative career path” is steadily becoming more normalized.

According to Business Insider, “Millennials and Gen Z want the same things at work: flexibility and wellbeing.” They prioritize work-life balance and shun overly long hours and near-impossible workloads. It’s up to businesses to accommodate these needs and adapt to shifting paradigms, and veterinary hospitals can post relief shifts to meet these new demands and attract talent on an as-needed basis.

Have you considered resigning from your current job? If you’re beginning to realize that veterinary relief work might be right for you or want to test it out, visit to learn more.

Contract work for veterinarians
Contract work for vet techs
Contract work for hospitals

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