PhunkeyPhish

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I saw some numbers being thrown around on some other posts. I don't exactly know what the average starting salary for a vet is, I assumed it was around 50K a year, but then I saw some numbers in the 70K on a post here. So anyone have some solid information on starting salaries?
 

runnerDC

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I think they really do vary widely based on your area of interest (private practice, industry, government, etc), the size of the practice you join (if you go the private practice route), and, very importantly, what part of the country you work in.
I'm not sure how helpful averages are going to be (especially if they include internship salaries mixed in with non-internship salaries) to anyone without consider the underlying reasons for the differences.



I saw some numbers being thrown around on some other posts. I don't exactly know what the average starting salary for a vet is, I assumed it was around 50K a year, but then I saw some numbers in the 70K on a post here. So anyone have some solid information on starting salaries?
 

Nexx

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I have a friend who just graduated from UF at the end of last year. She is now working in the suburbs of Tampa making $65k/year + benefits

$60k seems to be the average new grad salary for private practice in Florida's mid-section. My friend had offers in the $55k-$70k ranges interviewing in Tampa/Orlando areas.

Here's a link to the 2008 first-year employment stats courtesy of the AVMA. Looks like 35% of new grads are making under $30k, but that figure is probably inflated since the survey includes graduates in advanced study (looking further, it actually is about the same percent of respondents who report undergoing advanced study). Above that, it looks like a good chunk are making around $50k-$67k

http://www.avma.org/reference/marketstats/1yremploy.asp
 
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Jochebed

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hopefulvet21

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Jochebed,
You seem to know a lot about this. Can you tell me anything about what is a reasonable sized loan to handle after graduation? I posted my question on another thread, but I'd like to hear what you say. I am guessing my loan debt is going to be somewhere in the 100-130k range. How much should I expect for monthly payments and for how long? Finaid.com gave me a grim prediction, but I think I just didn't enter in the right number for interest and stuff...
 

ri23

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Also keep in mind that the average veterinary graduate will interview at 4 places and get 3 offers. So it's definitely a hiring market. To a degree you can pursue the practice style, compensation, benefits, etc that you want.

The AVMA publishes numbers every year on the previous graduating class's salaries, job areas, etc which is really helpful. The average starting salary in most practice types are around $65K, with equine being more like $50K.

Keep in mind as well that it's not all about that single number. I know that that's the number out of which you will pay back your student loans, but most practices will also pay for your CE, AVMA membership, health insurance, vacation etc. There is a limit (due to taxation - I think the rule is something like your total compensation - salary plus all benefits - can't surpass more than like 25-28% of your gross) on the overall percentage that your employer will be able to compensate you on. So if you find a job with a higher starting salary, say $80K, it may be that they are providing fewer other benefits. A lower starting salary might be providing really fabulous benefits. So there is a lot to keep in mind.

Also, there are several different methods of compensation, the 4 I know of - straight salary, straight commission, "Pro-Sal" (guaranteed base salary + some commission), and base salary OR commission (in other words, you are guaranteed a certain salary, say $65K, OR say 18% of your gross - which is a great method as a new grad. You are guaranteed a certain salary starting out but have incentive to work hard and bring in a lot of money because eventually you will benefit from that when 18% of your gross surpasses your base salary amount - this is how NVA compensates their veterinarians).

So between benefits, different types of compensation, the hiring market - you really do have control of your financial destiny so don't let straight numbers intimidate you, there's a lot more going on below the surface.
Good post. I don't know that there is a taxation limit, but normal compensations range in the 18% (without benefits) to 22% (with benefits) of gross. If someone is making 25-28% of gross - that is really high.
 

Jochebed

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hopefulvet21

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Thanks, that was helpful and helps me understand the process better. It's nice to know it will be possible to pay my loans back before I'm 30 and then enjoy a decent salary doing what I love!
 

EqSci

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My husband and I currently rent a place for $440 a month
Wow, a house for $440 a month? Mind me asking what general area you live in? I'm currently paying over $1200 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment, which is average/low for the area I'm in. The place where I grew up is rural and much, much, cheaper... but still not $440 a month for a house! That's a great find.

Your info was helpful to me as well, thanks!
 

david594

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Jochebed,
You seem to know a lot about this. Can you tell me anything about what is a reasonable sized loan to handle after graduation? I posted my question on another thread, but I'd like to hear what you say. I am guessing my loan debt is going to be somewhere in the 100-130k range. How much should I expect for monthly payments and for how long? Finaid.com gave me a grim prediction, but I think I just didn't enter in the right number for interest and stuff...
Based on a 100k loan you would be paying $1150 a month for 10 years.

hopefulvet21 said:
Thanks, that was helpful and helps me understand the process better. It's nice to know it will be possible to pay my loans back before I'm 30 and then enjoy a decent salary doing what I love!
That might be a bit of a stretch. Assuming graduating from undergrad at 22 and vet school at 26...

A 100k loan would have you paying ~$2400 a month if you wanted it paid off by age 30(4 years).


And you cant forget that loans are getting paid with money after taxes.

So the $1150(net) a month is closer to $1500(gross) a month you are paying. And the $2400 a month would be more like $3200.
 

hopefulvet21

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Hmm, I worked it out differently based on what Jochebed said. And I'll be graduating at 25 if I get in to vet school this year.

(1700)(12)=$20,400 yr.
(100,000)/(20,400)= 4.9 years. to pay back loan debt of this size.

You said 1150 a month for 10 years.
(1150)(12)= 13,800
(100,000)/13,800= 7.24 years

sorry to be obnoxious and write it all out, but how did you come up with those numbers? When you mention taxes, are you talking about annual income taxes and stuff? How does that factor into what my monthly payments are?
 

Jochebed

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david594

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sorry to be obnoxious and write it all out, but how did you come up with those numbers? When you mention taxes, are you talking about annual income taxes and stuff? How does that factor into what my monthly payments are?
Assuming you have all federal loans you are also paying 6.8% interest on those loans!

And Joe is right, the taxes dont factor into the monthly payment, but they do factor in when you are talking about how much you pay in loans relative to ones gross salary.
 

david594

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I forgot to mention this before, but you also have to account for the interest on the loan capitalizing while you are still a student. So if you are planning to take out $100k in loans you will actually graduate ~$120k in debt due to capitalization of the interest.

So go back to finaid.org and use their loan calculator. Assuming you borrow 100k(25k x 4 years) you will want to enter $120k for the loan amount and 6.8% as the interest rate. Then enter the duration you want(5 years ifyou want it paid off by age 30). That will give you your monthly payment.

Then to take into account you are paying that with money after taxes multiply it by 1.33 to get a rough idea how much you will need to earn each month just to pay off you loan.
 
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hopefulvet21

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thanks David, my 100k estimate already includes the interest rate. I used good ol' M=P(1+R)^n to figure out the loan size I would actually be paying back. And depending how much living costs and stuff are at school it is still in the 100-130 range. I also used an earnings after taxes calculator on some other website and if I can manage living off 35k a year I should still be able to pay back my loans in 5-6 years taking taxes into account (this obviously assumes a starting gross salary of at least 60k a year). Do federal loans still accumulate interest while you are in school? I thought they started after graduation.
 

tealamutt

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Federal subsidized loans don't accumulate interest while you're in school, but federal unsubsidized loans do.
and the interest is capitalized so you're better off trying to at least pay the interest on them, if you can. That way you're not paying interest on interest when you get out!!
 

hopefulvet21

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what does it mean for the loans to be capitalizing while you are in school? Which loans are subsidized and which are not? Is it possible to get subsidized loan for the full cost of your education (or at least half of it maybe?) thanks.
 

nyanko

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what does it mean for the loans to be capitalizing while you are in school? Which loans are subsidized and which are not? Is it possible to get subsidized loan for the full cost of your education (or at least half of it maybe?) thanks.
There's a maximum amount of subsidized loans that an individual is allowed to take out both per year and over a lifetime. The current limit for graduate/professional students is $8,500 per year allowed to be subsidized. The rest that you take out will be unsubsidized.
 

david594

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And the interest capitalizing means that each year the interest is added to the principle and the following year you pay interest on the new sum(principle + interest accrued).
 

Electrophile

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Good post. I don't know that there is a taxation limit, but normal compensations range in the 18% (without benefits) to 22% (with benefits) of gross. If someone is making 25-28% of gross - that is really high.
Did you switch the percentages by chance? We learned in our business class it's usually like 18-20%ish with benefits and 22-25% without as it costs the employer less in benefits. They also said the percentages often much higher in large animal (like up to 40% if I recall from our class).
 
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