Veterinarians are animal doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating medical conditions affecting animals. They provide medical care, advice, and support to pet owners, farmers, and other animal caregivers. To become a veterinarian, one must obtain a degree from an accredited veterinary college, pass a licensing examination, and in some cases, gain additional certification in a specialty area.
There are many factors that impact how much veterinarians earn, such as years of experience, location, industry, and area of specialization. In this article, we will explore the earnings of veterinary professionals, including salary ranges, job outlook, and common salaries in different roles.
Salary Ranges for Veterinarians
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for veterinarians was $93,830 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $60,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $162,450.
The salary range for veterinarians can vary widely depending on various factors, as discussed below:
Like most professions, veterinarians’ earnings tend to increase with experience. For example, a veterinarian with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average of $68,000 per year. However, this can rise to an average of $96,000 per year for those with five or more years of experience.
Region and state can also play a significant role in how much veterinarians earn. For example, veterinarians working in metropolitan areas generally earn more than those working in rural areas. According to BLS, the top-paying areas for veterinarians in May 2020 were:
- Hawaii: $198,340
- New Jersey: $146,580
- Alaska: $139,520
- Massachusetts: $137,160
- New York: $135,930
Industry and Specialization
There are many different industries and specializations within the field of veterinary medicine. Some of the top-paying industries for veterinarians in May 2020 included:
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: $161,090
- Scientific research and development services: $129,220
- State government, excluding schools and hospitals: $119,110
- Spectator sports: $116,320
- Colleges, universities, and professional schools: $105,040
Specialization can also impact earnings. For example, veterinary pharmacologists, who research and develop medications for animals, earned a median wage of $135,900 in May 2020, while food animal veterinarians earned a median wage of $68,840.
Job Outlook for Veterinarians
The job outlook for veterinarians is generally positive. According to the BLS, employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
This growth is due to many factors, such as an increase in pet ownership, an expanding middle class in developing countries, and a growing demand for livestock products.
Common Salaries in Different Veterinary Roles
Below are some common roles in the veterinary industry and their corresponding median salaries, as reported by the BLS in May 2020:
|Veterinary Technologist or Technician||$36,260|
In conclusion, the veterinary profession can be a rewarding and lucrative career path for those with a passion for animal care. Veterinarians have a wide range of earnings potential based on various factors such as experience, location, industry, and specialization. The job outlook for veterinarians is positive, with a projected growth rate much faster than the average for all occupations.
- What is the average salary for a veterinarian? The average salary for a veterinarian was $93,830 in May 2020.
- What affects how much veterinarians make? Various factors can impact how much veterinarians make, such as experience, location, industry, and specialization.
- What is the job outlook for veterinarians? According to the BLS, employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Veterinarians. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm.
- Metropolitan State University of Denver. (n.d.). Earnings and Employment for Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.msudenver.edu/premed/veterinarymedicine/earningsandemployment/.