Do Veterinarians Make Good Money?

Although most people’s primary motivation for going into the veterinary field is their love of animals, let’s face it: finances are important. After all, if you go to veterinary school, you’ll have to pay back those student loans somehow! Therefore, if you’re considering becoming a veterinarian, you should have a basic understanding of what to expect in terms of salary. In this article, we examine veterinarian pay.  

Average Veterinarian Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median veterinarian salary is $93,830. However, veterinarian salaries can range from around $56,000 on the low end to around $162,000 on the high end. A survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association reported similar numbers, finding that 67% of veterinarian salaries fall somewhere between $60,000 and $150,000.

Average Veterinarian Salary by Experience Level

Experience level has big effect on veterinarian pay. Generally, a veterinarian’s salary increases as he or she gains experience. Below is an overview of veterinarian salary by experience level:

Entry-level veterinarian: First-year veterinarians can expect to earn an average annual salary of between $70,000 and $85,000.

Mid-level veterinarian: After gaining a few years of experience, veterinarians can expect an average annual salary of around $85,000. 

Experienced veterinarian: The salary of an experienced veterinarian with board certification in a specialty area commands an average annual income of around $150,000 a year, while an experienced generalist averages around $88,000 a year.

Veterinary partners: Partners in a veterinary practice earn around $92,000 per year. However, partners can earn over $140,000 when salary, profit sharing, and dividends are considered.

Average Veterinarian Salary by Type of Practice

A veterinarian’s practice area can have a big effect on salary. Below is a look at how practice area affect veterinarian pay:

Commercial and consulting veterinarian: Commercial veterinarians make an annual salary of around $160,000, while veterinary consultants earn around $150,000 a year. 

Research and education veterinarian: Veterinary researchers earn around $110,000 a year, and veterinary professors earn an average income of approximately $120,000 a year.

Private practice: Private practice veterinarians usually specialize in a specific type of veterinary medicine. Examples of private practice veterinarian salaries include:

  • Companion animal practice veterinarians earn around $110,000 per year. 
  • Mixed animal veterinarians earn an annual income of $100,000 per year.
  • Food animal practice veterinarians make $100,000 per year. 
  • Equine veterinarians make around $90,000 per year. 

Government & military veterinarians: Government and military veterinarians make around $100,000 per year. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Practice Consulting Attorneys 

A career as a veterinarian can be extremely rewarding, both personally and professionally. However, the profession isn’t without its risks, particularly if you own your own veterinary practice. The best way to manage the risks inherent in running your own practice is to contact an experienced veterinary practice consulting attorney. With an experienced veterinary practice consulting attorney in your corner, you can rest assured that you and your practice are protected. Please contact us today for a free consultation.