Becoming a veterinarian can allow you to make a very comfortable living performing a duty that is very important and very rewarding. Becoming a veterinarian requires a lot of hard work and dedication, and of course quite a bit of schooling. All of the hard work and long hours of studying will pay off when you land your dream job and get to work as a veterinarian. But how much money can you expect to make? What is the average veterinarian salary?
Average Veterinarian Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a veterinarian is $39.44 per hour or $82,040 per year. It is important to be aware that the amount of money you can make may vary dramatically from what the average salary is. There are a number of factors that will affect the amount of money you can earn. Where you live and work, whether you work for a large company, how many years of experience you have, and several other factors will determine how much you are able to earn. It’s also important to note that the most up-to-date data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was published back in 2010 and it is likely that those figures are now higher.
Although the data available on the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) website shows an annual income of approximately $82,000, the numbers on some of the popular job search websites differ quite a bit. For example, on salary.com the average veterinarian salary is listed at just $66,127 per year and on indeed.com the average salary is listed at just $40,000 per year. However, when you start to dig a little deeper and look at some of the job listings on those sites, you can see that there are many positions that pay considerably more than the averages listed on those sites.
The Salaries Listed for Some Current Job Openings
Here are some examples of some current job openings and their salary ranges. There is an opening for a veterinary medical officer at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the salary range for that job was listed at $68,000 to $85,000 per year. There is a listing for an ER veterinarian in Florida with a salary range of $80,000 to $120,000 per year, working just 3 to 4 nights per week.
I also found a listing for an assistant director/veterinarian with a salary range of $105,000 to $125,000 per year and a listing for an associate veterinarian in North Carolina with a salary range of $60,000 to $90,000 per year. The point of listing all of these examples is to show you that you can expect to earn much more than the $40,000 average salary listed on indeed.com and the $66,000 listed on salary.com as an average salary seems to be the absolute minimum when you start taking a look at the job openings available.
Career Outlook for Veterinarians
There is more good news for anyone interested in a career as a veterinarian. In addition to a rewarding career with excellent pay, the job outlook for veterinarians is very good. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the projected rate of average growth for all occupations from 2010 to 2020 is expected to be approximately 14% while job growth for veterinarians is expected to be approximately 36%, which is quite a bit higher than average. So not only will you be able to work in a rewarding career and earn an excellent living, but it also appears that you will have job security because you will be in a field that will remain in demand for the foreseeable future.