In today’s world, more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of their pets’ health. As a result, the demand for veterinary medicine has exponentially grown. However, one of the most pressing questions on the minds of aspiring veterinarians is how much they can make weekly. In this article, we will explore the facts and figures, the factors that determine veterinary salaries, and a few suggestions for aspiring veterinarians.
The Average Salary of a Veterinarian
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for veterinarians is around $93,830, which is approximately $1,805 weekly. The lowest 10% of veterinarians make $60,080 per year, which is roughly $1,154 per week, while the top 10% earn more than $160,780 annually, which roughly amounts to $3,092 per week.
It is essential to consider the salary range since it is influenced by various factors, such as experience, location, specialization, type of veterinary practice, and work setting.
Areas of Specialization
Small Animal Medicine
Small animal veterinarians are the most common veterinary professionals, and they work with domestic animals like cats and dogs. They may work in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals or have a private practice. Small animal veterinarians earn an average of $88,886 annually or $1,708 weekly.
Large Animal Medicine
Large animal veterinarians work with livestock and other farm animals. They handle medical examinations and treatments, surgical procedures on-site, and provide disease prevention and treatment for herd health programs. This area of veterinary practice tends to be more lucrative than small animal practice, with an average income of about $116,874 per year, equivalent to around $2,247 per week.
Exotic Animal Medicine
Another specialization available to veterinarians increases salary margins due to its unique nature. Exotic animal medicine focuses on the health of exotic animals, which may include reptiles, primates, birds, and other exotic animals kept as pets or in zoos. The average salary for veterinarians in exotic animal medicine is $221,247 annually, which is approximately $4,251 per week.
Factors that Influence Veterinary Salaries
One of the significant contributors to salary growth in veterinary practice is experience. Due to the subjective and diverse nature of veterinary medicine, experienced veterinarians earn more than less experienced ones.
For example, an entry-level veterinarian starting their career would earn an average weekly salary of $1,027. However, a veterinarian with ten or more years of experience could expect to earn an average weekly salary of $2,166, which is more than double that of a novice veterinarian.
The demand for veterinarians varies by location, which plays a significant role in determining their salaries. For instance, veterinarians in New York City or Los Angeles may earn more than their counterparts in Alabama or Kentucky. In particular, metropolitan areas have a higher demand for veterinarians and pay salaries that reflect this need.
Type of veterinary practice
Veterinarians who work in animal hospitals, research facilities, or emergency animal clinics generally make more money than those who work in private practice. This is primarily due to the different types of services and cases they handle, which often require specialized training and a particular set of skills.
The work setting of a veterinarian also affects their salary. In general, veterinarians who work in rural areas or remote locations earn less than those who work in urban or suburban areas. This is because rural areas typically have lower costs of living, which is reflected in the salaries paid to veterinarians.
How to Become a Veterinarian?
To become a veterinarian, candidates must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or DVM degree from an accredited veterinary college. The degree usually takes four years to complete and comprises courses on subjects like chemistry, biology, microbiology, animal behavior, and animal health.
After earning their degree, veterinarians must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) licensing exam to start practicing. The NAVLE exam is a rigorous test requiring that candidates have a strong understanding of veterinary medicine’s concepts and principles, diagnostic skills, and problem-solving abilities.
The Bottom Line
Veterinarians play an essential role in the health of domestic, farm, and exotic animals’ health. The salaries of these professionals vary widely, depending on various factors, such as experience, location, type of practice, and specialization. However, the median weekly salary for all veterinarians is $1,805. This shows that becoming a veterinarian can be a lucrative career option.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What is the average salary of a veterinarian?
- A: The median annual salary for veterinarians is around $93,830 or approximately $1,805 weekly.
- Q: How much do small animal veterinarians make weekly?
- A: Small animal veterinarians earn an average of $88,886 annually or $1,708 weekly.
- Q: What is the typical salary for veterinarians in exotic animal medicine?
- A: The average salary for veterinarians in exotic animal medicine is $221,247 annually or about $4,251 per week.
- Q: What factors determine veterinary salaries?
- A: The factors that determine veterinary salaries include experience, location, type of practice, and specialization.
- Q: What qualifications are needed to become a veterinarian?
- A: A doctor of veterinary medicine degree from an accredited veterinary college and a pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) licensing exam is required to become a veterinarian.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Veterinarians
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- North American Veterinary Licensing Examination