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average Veterinarian salary?

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by andwhat, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. andwhat

    andwhat Senior Member
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    can anyone please tell me what is the average Veterinarian salary nowadays?
    Midwest would be a great place to start, such as Chicago. Does anyone know what the salaries are nationwide? Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    Depends...I'm assuming you probably mean private practice instead of industry or public health/government/miltary? Food animal, equine, exotics, zoo, small animal or mixed? Associate or practice owner? Specialist (there's almost as many boarded specialists in vet med as in human) or general practice?

    I live a state away from Illinois, but I'd say someone right out of vet med school practicing in Missouri as general practice is probably around 55-70K. Give or take.
     
  4. Kanashimi

    Kanashimi Freak of Nature
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  5. andwhat

    andwhat Senior Member
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  6. projekt

    projekt UGA c/o 2012
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    According to an article in JAVMA, 2007 private practice starting salaries are around $58-60k, except Equine which is around $40k. Equine has historically had lower starting salaries, but they come up to par with experience.

    JAVMA, Vol 233, No. 6, September 15, 2008
     
  7. andwhat

    andwhat Senior Member
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    thanks a lot for the replies.. what do you guys think of the average debt, after veterinary school, from loans etc..
     
  8. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    it's a lot.

    mine will be over $200k, i can't remember exactly.

    probably be repaying loans for a good 30 years. but i also expect to be good at what i do and make a decent living at the same time.
     
  9. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    It's frightening as all get out. Our tuition costs are more or less identical, but our income potential is awful. Our ratio of education to income is the worst of about any profession. Even the highest paid boarded speciality (veterinary nutritionists) average only 200K, and that's mostly because there is so few of them (~50 in the world, give or take) and many of them work for industry. Boarded surgeons average 180K and IM is 150K. As bad as I feel for the community practice guys and gals who make "only" 150K a year, our average debt load is pretty much the same, but our income for a community practice veterinary doctor is half.

    +pity+ :thumbdown:

    Then they say, well, you don't have to pay nearly as much for insurance and malpractice! Unfortunately, if we go from ownership to "guardianship" like we may be headed and people can threaten to sue for damages like in human medicine, that will no longer be the case. Plus it will price veterinary care out of many regular Americans' hands, as only a small minority are insured with pet insurance. :( And then there's the pet insurance. :rolleyes: God help us if we get sucked into the managed care route. :eek: That's precisely why I being pre-med in the first place! :thumbdown:
     
  10. TonyProMed

    TonyProMed Tony ProMed

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    If you are a AVMA member there is a online salary calculator on their website
     
  11. rekesk

    rekesk Junior Member
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    Yikes. I work at a biotech/pharma company and after all of the animal handling work that I do on the job, I was considering that a veternairy degree would be something worth pursuing. Vets actually play an important role with respect to laboratory animal testing, and from what the vet at my company said, lab animal vets are in short supply and the demand for them is steady and strong. She also indicated that the pay was pretty good. I didn't get into figures but I figured I would ask here - does anybody know a vet who is working in the drug industry? Can you describe their role? Do you know what they make?

    Also, I'm extremely wary of taking on loads and loads of debt via the education route. I've seen people go to different schools, either not make it or not get the job they intended to when they got out. They are saddled with debt and can barely do anything aside from work to pay it off. If any vets on here (the seasoned ones) can share how they have handled their massive debts, it would be helpful.
     
  12. frozen_canadian

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    If you are truly interested in lab animal medicine, I wouldn't hesitate to go to vet school. The debt can be significant but there is a tremendous shortage in this area. Recent data shows the average salary for vets in industry is about $160,000 - and you can pretty much pick where you want to live. Some places will require a residency (3 years after vet school (I think)) so it might be 7 years from the time of starting vet school until you're in a position to make the big money. :)
     
  13. rekesk

    rekesk Junior Member
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    Where did you get that $160K figure? Also are there any small animal vets on this board?

    Thats the thing - I rarely heard about this path and I've only met two people whom have gone down this path before, and both of them were coworkers. Regarding the residency, are there specific qualifications you need to meet as a vet student to get accepted into it?
     
  14. Squiggy

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    I think you have to compete for a lab animal residency (and the match rates for vet residencies in aggregate is about 60%) which may also require you to do an internship prior to that. Only the top like 2/5th of the graduating class pursue them as well (lots of self-selection) so you can see how tough it is. There may be a shortage of lab animal vets precisely because there aren't enough residencies to provide adequate training.

    Were you pre-pharm at some point? I think if you're looking for career advancement in a pharmaceutical/biotech company you'll be much better off taking a risk and going to a top phD program.
     
    #13 Squiggy, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  15. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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  16. rekesk

    rekesk Junior Member
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    Long story short, I did an MS in pharmacology and stopped there. I had some research ambition but after the MS I learned that research really actually turned me off. So there's no way you could get me to do a phd, especially in a topic like pharmacology, which would bore me to death. Kinda wished I did an engineering degree instead. I've had thoughts about just bailing completely on my scientific career and becoming an ordinary accountant. Hey, it pays the bills.

    However it never dawned on me that vets play such an important role with laboratory science. So now I'm exploring what options I have.
     
  17. mooturkey

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    As far as I know... and I don't have a website or anything to back me up, it depends what kind of path you take in research. If you are a veterinary pathologist (extremely specialized) you could make 120-150K easily, because you are in demand. Of course, you would have to move where the jobs are, mainly east/west coast where the pharma companies are. As just a lab animal vet, I am not sure of the actual salary, but I definitely know it starts out paying way better than small animal. Also depends on the company... small biotech could only afford a certain amount, as where your larger companies (Pfizer, Merck, etc) could afford more, but would most likely require more experienced veterinarians.

    The role of the lab animal vet is pretty diverse. You check on the health of sentinel colonies and study animals. Many times the vet is a supervisor to various animal techs. They are on IACUC committees, and help to write up many of the protocols used in the company concerning animal welfare/use. Work with multiple species. They do a lot of things, depending on where you work and what they expect! :)

    Hope that helps somewhat...here are a few basic websites to get started! Goodluck.

    http://www.aboutbioscience.org/veterinarian.html
    http://www.aslap.org/index.php
    http://www.aclam.org/
     
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  18. Squiggy

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    I think in both lab animal and pathology, you either have to do residency (3 years perhaps?) or get double the length of the residency in related experience working under a diplomate in order to be boarded. However board cert. may not be necessary for the work. The vet at the lab I've worked at isn't boarded. I don't know how easy it is for a new grad to get a job in lab animal/pathology though.

    Does anyone know the availability of lab animal/pathology work?
     
  19. Pandacinny

    Pandacinny VMRCVM c/o 2013
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    Everyone I've spoken to at the labs where I've worked has said that it's pretty hard to find lab animal vets, so there seems to be demand. I don't have any statistics, though. A good place to look would be the ACLAM site someone posted above.

    I'm interested in lab animal medicine, too, after working with so many lab animal vets. Lab animal vets get to participate in some pretty interesting research. They also work with many different species - everything from mice and rats to monkeys. They act as advocates for the welfare of the lab animals they work with - caring for sick or injured animals and reviewing protocols with an eye for humane treatment. Lab animal vets can work anywhere research is done on animals - from universities to government work to working for pharma companies or biotech companies. I think it seems like a challenging, rewarding career.
     
    #18 Pandacinny, Feb 12, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  20. rekesk

    rekesk Junior Member
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    The ACLAM website is a gold-mine.

    http://www.labanimal.com/laban/jobs/articles/30-6-39.pdf

    Apparently the trend since the above article came out (2001) is for lab animal vets to either get certified via one of the residency training programs or get a ton of hands-on training. While the article is somewhat old now (holy **** its 2009), I think it's accurately describing what is being played out right now. Lab animal vets are retiring and there is still a very small percentage of each graduating class that decides that the residencies are for them. Considering that most of them might have never stepped into a drug company like I have, I can see why.

    So basically - how do you get matched for these residencies? Do you have to take the appropriate track in vet school? It seems like these guys want hard core research geeks and that's whats scaring off most of the vet school students, who want to do large or small animal vet stuff.
     
  21. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    As much as I'm enjoying our lab animal medicine class now and as much as I like a lot of those species, I think one reason I don't think I'd want to do lab animal medicine is the same reason I am not that interested in intensive production style food animal medicine, particular with large producers. Instead of being able to practice medicine, it's cull cull cull. That'd be a bit of a downer for me after a while, and I say this having done 4 years of research on animals and that's what it was like in our lab. Female gets a sore from cage mate's barbering? Cull. The box of a female with her litter gets flooded by a leaky water bottle? Cull. A male gets fight wounds from a cage mate? Cull both. I understand all too well the need to keep down the number of variables in an experiment, but yeah... :(
     
  22. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    Maybe that was the case where you did your research, but that is not always the case.
    Now that is just silly, we would seperate and treat, unless the sore was so bad it was inhumane
    Only cull moribund animals, otherwise dry and warm them up
    No, separate them.

    For Lab animal you do not necessarily have to do an internship and residency can be from 2-6 years depending on if you have a degree of PhD in addition to the residency.
     
  23. Pandacinny

    Pandacinny VMRCVM c/o 2013
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    Yes, Chris, I agree with you. We almost never just cull animals for small reasons where I have been. The animals are often too valuable to the researchers, who may've been working on breeding specific mice for years. Also, we almost never just "cull, cull, cull" larger animals like primates or livestock.
     

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