With the aim to assess levels of burnout and work engagement in junior veterinarians and identify predictors of burnout and work engagement in male and female veterinarians, 1760 veterinarians who had graduated in The Netherlands between 1999 and 2009, received an electronic questionnaire. Veterinarians numbering 860 (73 per cent females) participated. Levels of exhaustion, cynicism and work engagement were significantly lower compared to the norm group (a random sample of the Dutch working population). Male veterinarians were less exhausted and more engaged than female veterinarians. Exhaustion decreased over the years. Job demands positively related to exhaustion were work-home interference and workload. Job resources positively related to work engagement were opportunities for professional development and skills discretion (ie, the ability to use and develop skills on the job. Personal resources explained more of the variance in work engagement of female and male veterinarians (31 per cent and 42 per cent) than of the variance in exhaustion (19 per cent and 21 per cent) and cynicism (19 per cent and 10 per cent). Personal resources positively related to work engagement were self-efficacy and proactive behaviour. Relative importance analysis revealed differences between men and women in the importance of various job demands, job resources and personal resources in explaining burnout and engagement in young veterinary professionals.