Veterinarian Salary

Veterinarian examining a puppy.  The average salary for an animal doctor is $86,640 per year. 

The average Veterinarian Salary is calculated by the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics from a variety of sources. Veterinarians work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics and other settings.

A Veterinarians salary will vary depending on the location and the setting. Area of specialization also plays a part in how much they earn. The assumption was made that the Veterinarians reflected here were working an average of 40 hours per week with a total of 2080 hours per year.

Median Hourly & Annual Data

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A Veterinarian average salary is $46.22 per hour. The lowest 10% earn $25.61 per hour and those in the upper 10% earn more than $72 per hour.


On an annual basis the average Veterinarian salary is $86,640. The lowest 10% earn less than $53,270 per year while the upper 10% earn more than $149,530 per year. These salaries are calculated as a mean or average.

The current trend is that people are more willing to spend money on keeping their pet healthy and treating injury and illness. This fuels an increase in demand and helps keep salaries growing.

Top 5 States

The highest paying states to earn a Veterinarian salary are Hawaii $122,150, Connecticut $121,480, New York $115,350, Pennsylvania $114,640 and California $113,660.

Top 5 Metropolitan Areas

The 5 highest paying city or metropolitan areas to earn a Veterinarian salary are Honolulu, HI $167,600, Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA $165,360, San Francisco $156,560, Palm Coast, FL $153,420 and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division $147,430.

Click here to see the salary of Veterinarians for all 50 states

Other Industries that Employ Veterinarians.

Spectator sports, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medicine manufacturing, and scientific research and development services also employ Veterinarians.

Employment Data

It is estimated that there are over 56,000 Veterinarians employed in the U.S.

Where They Work

Over 51,000 Veterinarians work in clinics and veterinary hospitals. Local, state and federal government agencies employ about 2,000. A small number of these professionals are in the military. Colleges and Universities employ approximately 600 with social advocacy programs employing less than 600.

Private Practice vs. Employment

Veterinarians like many physicians are considered to be primarily in private practice or self-employed. A number of the big pet store chains have established relationships with veterinarians who establish a practice onsite or next door to the pet store. Similar to the arrangement optical centers have with opticians the veterinarians provide the services, frequently at a discount, to the pet store clients. Both the pet store and the veterinarian benefit from this arrangement.


Fringe benefits will vary depending on business size and other factors. A typical benefits package for an employee can be worth more than $20,000 per year.  If they are self employed they can structure a self-funding benefits package that includes an IRA or 401K, health coverage, and other benefits.

International Salary

United Kingdom (UK)[1]

The average starting salary is around £21,800 to £33,500 a year, depending on experience. Further training and experience can increase salary to £36,500 per annum. Senior vets can earn around £44,000 to £53,000+.

Salary levels can vary according to further training, specialisation, whether you are working as a practice partner and the size and location of the practice. Salary packages may include a car and/or accommodation.

Many veterinary practices offer a 24/7/365 service. This means that a vet's working hours may be irregular, as it is important to be available for emergencies. Many vets work in private practices, and experience as a vet can lead to buying into, or setting up, a practice. Locum work is often possible.


Examples of some job titles are: veterinarian, veterinary pathologist and veterinary inspector.

According to the latest figures, the highest hourly average wages are earned in Calgary, Alberta at $48.46 per hour and the lowest average wages are earned in Montreal, Quebec at $24.49 per hour.

A typical full-time annual salary for this occupation is in the region of $90,000 – $110,000. Employment prospects for veterinarians are good in Canada. The government forecasts that employment growth for physicians, dentists and veterinarians will be one of the highest among all occupations.


Veterinarians work with animals. They diagnose animals and work to treat and prevent their diseases. They also patch up animals after injuries and offer advice for preventative care to animals owners.

  • Starting salary: $60,000 P/A
  • Senior salary: $95,000 P/A
  • Average salary: $75,000 P/AWages will vary according to your level of skill, experience and employer
  • Employment level:10,600 as of November 2012 (Projected employment levels in 2017 of 12,100)
  • Average weekly hours: Average weekly hours worked for a full time Veterinarian is 45.8 hours
  • Employment by region: The top three regions for employment as a Veterinarian include:VIC: 30.8%QLD: 26.1%

NSW: 17.9%

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