Veterinary Employment and Salary Trends

The number of veterinarians working in the United States has grown dramatically during the past 15 years. In 2000, veterinarians held approximately 59,000 jobs. According to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there were 108,427 positions held by U.S. veterinarians in 2015, more than a 100% increase.

According to AVMA statistics, 65,066 veterinarians worked in private clinical practice in 2015, which represents 60% of the overall positions held by U.S. veterinarians. The top five categories within private clinical practice include the following:

  • Companion animal exclusive—65.9%
  • Companion animal predominant—9.2%
  • Mixed animal—6.4%
  • Equine—5.9%
  • Food animal predominant—5.3%

The average salary for veterinarians in private clinical practice is $94,000. Below are the top three categories in regards to salary (2013 median income before taxes):

  • Food animal exclusive—$100,000
  • Companion animal exclusive—$95,000
  • Companion animal predominant—$92,000

According to AVMA statistics, 43,361 veterinarians worked in public & corporate employment in 2015, which represents 40% of the overall positions held by U.S. veterinarians. The top five categories within public & corporate employment include the following:

  • College or university—41.6%
  • Industry—20.8%
  • Other public & corporate—14.3%
  • State or local government—6.7%
  • Uniformed services—5.0%

The average salary for veterinarians in public & corporate employment is $117,000. Below are the top three categories in regards to salary (2013 median income before taxes):

  • Industry—$168,973
  • Federal government—$120,000
  • Other public & corporate—$117,000

These numbers illustrate that although fewer overall veterinarians work in industry as opposed to working in private practice, they earn more in average salary. In fact, those who work in industry earn an average of $23,000 more than those who do not.

Click here to access full statistics from the AVMA website, including exact definitions of the species categories listed above.