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Veterinary Employment and Salary Trends

The Veterinary profession has continued to grow and evolve during the past several years. This has included changes regarding both employment trends and salary trends. In order to keep our candidates and clients, as well as our website visitors, up to date, we strive to stay on top of these trends, compile them, and present them as often as possible.

Below are the latest Veterinary employment and salary trends.

Veterinary employment trends

The three major Veterinary employment trends are a growing demand for Veterinary services, telemedicine and technological advances, and an emphasis on work-life balance and well-being. Below is a short description of each.

Growing demand for Veterinary services

The demand for Veterinary services has been steadily increasing. Pets have become an integral part of many households, and owners are increasingly seeking high-quality healthcare services for their animal companions. This trend has led to a rise in the number of Veterinary clinics, hospitals, and specialized practices, creating more employment opportunities for veterinarians.

In fact, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections, veterinarian jobs will increase by 19% between the years 2021 and 2031.

Telemedicine and technological advancements

Telemedicine has gained momentum, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote consultations, online monitoring, and telehealth services have become more common, allowing veterinarians to provide care and consultations to clients from a distance.

This trend has expanded access to Veterinary services, improved client convenience, and created new avenues for employment, such as telemedicine consulting and remote Veterinary services.

Work-life balance and well-being

There is a growing recognition of the importance of work-life balance and well-being in the Veterinary profession. Veterinarians are increasingly seeking opportunities that prioritize their mental health, job satisfaction, and personal fulfillment.

Flexible work arrangements, reduced work hours, and improved support systems are being implemented to address burnout and promote overall well-being among Veterinary professionals. This trend is driven by a greater understanding of the challenges veterinarians face and a commitment to creating a sustainable and fulfilling work environment.

Veterinary salary trends

Veterinary salary trends have seen significant changes and variations over the years, influenced by multiple factors. Recently, Veterinary salaries have generally been on an upward trend, especially regarding Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

As the demand for Veterinary services has grown, particularly in companion animal care, salaries have followed suit. The expansion of Veterinary clinics, specialized practices, and referral centers has created a more competitive market for veterinarians, leading to increased compensation packages.

The number of veterinarians working in the United States has grown dramatically during the past five years. In 2017, veterinarians held approximately 110,531 jobs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there were 124,069 positions held by U.S. veterinarians in 2022, more than a 12% increase.

Also, according to AVMA statistics, 78,717 veterinarians worked in private clinical practice in 2022, which represents 85% of the overall positions held by U.S. veterinarians. The average salary for veterinarians in private clinical practice is $114,027. The top five categories within private clinical practice include the following:

  • Companion animal exclusive — 2%
  • Mixed animal — 2%
  • Equine — 1%
  • Food animal predominant — 9%
  • No species contact — 4%

According to AVMA statistics, 14,158 veterinarians worked in public & corporate employment in 2022, which represents 15% of the overall positions held by U.S. veterinarians. The average salary for veterinarians in public and corporate employment is $173,509. The top five categories within public & corporate employment include the following:

  • Academia — 7%
  • Government — 5%
  • Industry/Commercial — 3%
  • Other — 8%

These numbers illustrate that although fewer overall veterinarians work in industry as opposed to working in private practice, they earn more in average salary.

This is often because industry veterinarians work in pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, or other corporate settings where they may be involved in product development, regulatory affairs, or management roles that typically offer higher compensation. Clinical veterinarians, on the other hand, work directly with animals in private practices, animal hospitals, or government agencies, which may have more limited earning potential. However, in recent years clinical salaries are increasing and bridging the gap and some clinical veterinarians do earn more than veterinarians in industry.

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