In the United States, the average veterinarian salary can be anywhere between $72,709 and $88,490 per year (around $42.00 per hour), according to Payscale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even though this is the national average, the veterinarian average salary can vary from one place to the other, depending on the specifics.
After we have provided a guide for the average veterinarian tech salary, we’re glad to be back with key information about the general veterinarian annual salary.Feel free to find where your veterinarians salary would stand by analyzing the data below.
Veterinarian Salary Influencers
When speaking of veterinarian yearly salary estimates, you must always keep the employing industry in mind. For instance, you can’t expect a zoo veterinarian salary to be the same as the annual pay for a vet that’s specialized in small animals.
In this regard, Salary Genius informs us that the average wildlife veterinarian salary is around $61,200 – $91,800 a year. The equine veterinarian salary in America was $85,000 in 2009, as The Balance reports. As for the marine veterinarian salary, statistics from Payscale show that it can be from $46,000 to $88,300 annually.
There might also be separate numbers for the average traveling veterinarian salary, but authority sources don’t get into specifics.
2. Geographic Area
Did you know that no less than 14 states in America offer the average salary of a veterinarian of over $100k a year? We wanted to start this section off with this example so you can understand the essential role that location plays in determining an attractive average salary of veterinarian.
Coming in at first place with the highest veterinarian salary in the country is Hawaii, which offers professionals in this field $198,600 yearly. After that, here are a few more top-paying states for those with veterinarian education:
- Average salary veterinarian gets in New Jersey – $127,130
- Connecticut average veterinarian salary – $125,630
- Average salary for veterinarian in Rhode Island – $125,200
- Veterinarian degree salary in New York – $123,650
- District of Columbia veterinarian salary estimate – $118,580
Balance these numbers out with employments rates and you already have the right direction for searching for veterinarian schools and employers. The BLS offers us the top 5 states with job opportunities for those who meet veterinarian requirements:
- New York
Consequently, New York might be the most advantageous state for a veterinarian starting salary.
We do recommend that you avoid these states, however. They’re noted as the locations with the smallest salaries for vets (excluding Puerto Rico and Guam):
- Oregon – $80,040
- Alabama – $78,000
- Nebraska – $77,410
- Montana – $73,210
- Kansas – $72,210
So, what is the salary of a veterinarian in other states than those mentioned here? Take a look at our ‘Veterinarian Salary by State’ section below for all the info you need.
Your next question might be ‘how much do vets get paid according to experience?’. As you can expect, the veterinarian assistant salary or annual pay for a beginner is considerably lower. Payscale reports that an entry-level veterinarian makes about $70,000, while a professional in their late career rakes in more than $90,000 annually.
If you have between 5 and 10 years of experience, you will likely receive a yearly salary of $80,000. After exceeding 10 years, your veterinarian salary increases to $86,000.
Working Hours and Environment
The typical working environment for this category of professionals is in a clinic, but it vary depending on their specialization (like a zoo). The veterinarian job description also involves working overtime, nights and weekends, due to emergencies.
Even though it is highly recommended that you are a genuine animal lover, it’s just as important to be able to overcome the pain and discomfort of seeing one in pain. Vets are also exposed to scratches and bites, as well as disease or infections (even though safety measures are always taken).
Veterinarian Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
|District of Columbia||118,580|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Surprisingly, vets don’t have as many health benefits as you would expect. Only 66% have medical coverage, 32% have dental insurance and 22% vision benefits.
Nevertheless, veterinarians do receive compensations and performance-based bonuses, which can total to $14,764 a year.
These benefits might not be as great as for other occupations. However, those who prepare to be veterinarians do it, above all, for the love of animals. The annual wage for veterinarians is enough to cover up for the lack of average health benefits.
On the bright side, it seems that there will be more and more employment opportunities for veterinarians in the years to come. The percent change in job opportunities that is projected for 2014-2024 is 9%, which is faster than the national average for all occupations in the U.S. economy.
Animals will always be in need of specialized care, so you don’t have to worry about not having the opportunity to have a positive impact on their lives.
To conclude, the veterinarian salary in the United States is probably greater than most would think. Nonetheless, this occupation requires a strong set of skills that are obtained through specialized education and extensive training. This is the ideal profession for those who are passionate about animals and want to make a true difference. From an emotional standpoint, being a veterinarian can be an extreme challenge, but the results greatly outweigh the efforts.
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