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How much should a veterinarian expect to make in their first few years of work?

I am curious about how much different professions make. There are many different answers on the internet, so I am curious on if there is a more definite number. #veterinary #medicine #veterinarian

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Tania’s Answer

A new veterinarian's salary depends on what area of practice you decide to choose (small animal, food animal, research, academics), and it also depends are where in the country you decide to practice. Working in a large metropolitan area may garner a larger salary than working in a more rural area. (But remember, living expenses are going to be more in a large city, too.)

That being said the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) studies and publishes information salaries of practicing veterinarians. According to their financial reports. The mean starting salary for veterinarians enter practice their first year out is about $76, 000. However, many newly graduated veterinarians seek additional training after veterinary school in the form of internships and residencies, these professional have a mean annual salary of about $30, 000.

The biggest impact on a newly graduated veterinarian, however, is the amount of debt they may have to take on to complete their training. In the USA, the average debt for a new vet grad is about $300,000.

After your first few years in practice, a veterinarian's annual salary will continue to increase, but here again, it depends on what type of practice you engage in and where. "In all professions, earnings generally rise with experience. However, after a few decades in the workforce, it is common to see the average income reach a peak" * According to data from 2016, the AVMA reports that this peak happens at about 20 years in practice with a mean salary of $140, 000. If you are a specialist or practice owner the salary may be upward of $250,000 and if you work at the university or are employed by the state or federal government it could be as low at $90,000-100,00.


Tania recommends the following next steps:

Salaries, debt for new graduates continue to increase (https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2018-12-15/salaries-debt-new-graduates-continue-increase)
Financing Your Veterinary Medical Education (https://www.avma.org/membership/SAVMA/financing-your-veterinary-medical-education)

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Jordan’s Answer

It, honestly, depends on where you want to work and what you want to do. The annual salary depends on state you are in and how far along in the profession you are. Starting out is going to be lower than normal, but thats only because you are starting out in the profession. It isn't horribly low though because starting salaries for new vets are actually really good. With continuous time and years, your salary will continue to increase most likely reaching average or even above average salary as a veterinarian.

Hopefully that is a little helpful information moving forward!

Jordan Arana
DVM Candidate 2020

Well-said! In general, the same for medical professional. Angela RM Crane, M.D.

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Richard’s Answer

Depends on location and type of practice; whether you join as a partner or are an employee of a large chain. Generally $69,000-130,000 per year