September 22, 2004
Every year as graduation approaches, senior veterinary students exploring their employment options ask what they should expect regarding salary, benefits, and work conditions. In June 2004, the school collected extensive raw data from the Class of 2004 and prepared a comprehensive analysis to assist veterinary graduates making employment decisions.
Of 113 graduating students in the class, 88 completed the salary survey. The average base salary reported was $53,749. This figure represents a weighted average that accounts for the differences in practice type or the differences in the number of people choosing a particular practice type.
Large animal practices offered an average base salary of $53,833 compared with $55,214 for small animal practices. Equine practices paid an average base salary of $48,000. A significant number of students (52) chose to work in internships to gain further clinical experience. These training positions paid much less than associate veterinarian jobs, an average of $24,298, and offered fewer benefits compared to the benefits offered in practice employment. Several elected to pursue graduate degrees, which are usually required for research or academic careers, with an average base salary of $34,800 reported .
Total Compensation: Salary + Benefits
Benefits added significantly to the complete compensation package. Although the weighted average base salary was $53,749, the additional value of pension plans, insurance, sick leave, vacation leave and other benefits resulted in an average total compensation package (salary + benefits) of $75,453.
Also, while starting base salaries reported by equine practitioners were lower than average at $48,000, the salary and benefits package brought total compensation for equine vets to an average of $76,229.
To determine the value of various benefits offered by employers, recognized sources were consulted. Those sources and the suggested value assigned for each benefit are footnoted in the analysis.
Values in parentheses on the chart reflect the number of individuals responding for each category of employment. The percent values noted in the benefit categories refer to the percent of respondents who reported being offered the specific benefit. (For example, 76% of respondents reporting acceptance of a position in Small Animal Practice reported having a pension plan.)
Seventy-one women and 17 men completed the survey. Women reported smaller salary + benefits packages in small animal and large animal practices, while men reported lower salaries than women did for internship positions on average.
With the participation of each graduating class, school administrators will update and refine this information to maximize its value as a resource for veterinary students making career decisions.
To view this year's salary survey:
Graduating Class of 2004 Average Employment Compensation Statistics
View Previous Year's Average Employment Compensation Statistics
You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the file.