Veterinary Salary Estimator for Current Students

Use this tool to guide salary negotiations in your fourth year of veterinary school, to map out different earning scenarios or use it for budgeting and financial planning purposes.

What it is
Do you want to know what you might expect to earn as a veterinarian—whether in a clinic, animal health company or a position in government or academia? The AVMA Veterinary Salary Estimator for Current Students can provide you with approximate salary ranges to use as a guide for pay negotiations, budgeting and financial planning, through the use of historical data trends.

How it works
Using our economic data, we’ve identified several key variables that statistically correlate to differences in salaries for a new graduate’s first job. This estimator allows you to easily calculate different earning scenarios and is designed to help you address a range of decisions you might encounter. Where do you want to live? What type of job do you want? Are you interested in pursuing more formal education? We encourage you to calculate multiple scenarios!

Note: For the scenarios to yield statistically accurate results, you must input all variables in each calculation.

Remember, this information is based on historical averages. The critical word here is averages. An important part of any salary negotiation is to pinpoint your unique skills or experience, determine their value, and include that in your individual discussions with a potential new employer.

For more information on the Veterinary Salary Estimator check out our FAQ. 

Or, estimate your salary by answering 5 quick questions.

Please input your anticipated graduation year.

For years prior to 2018, please use the Veterinary Salary Estimator for New Veterinarians

Graduation Year:

Graduation Year:

What is your next step after graduation?

When you graduate, you may choose to go into practice (private or public) or to continue in an advanced education program such as an internship.

PRIVATE PRACTICE:

  • Companion Animal Exclusive: >90% of species contact is canine, feline, or exotic (including non-poultry avian)
  • Companion Animal Predominant: >50% of species contact is canine, feline, or exotic (including non-poultry avian)
  • Equine Practice: >90% of species contact is equine
  • Food Animal Exclusive: >90% of species contact is a combination of bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine, cervid, camelid, or poultry
  • Food Animal Predominant: >50% of species contact is a combination of bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine, cervid, camelid, or poultry
  • Mixed Practice: species contact includes at least 25% companion animal and 25% either food animal or equine

PUBLIC PRACTICE:

  • College or University (employed by a college, i.e. professor or researcher)
  • Federal Government (employed by the US Government)
  • Industry (veterinary or pet industry companies, such as pharmaceuticals)
  • Not-For-Profit (i.e. 501c3 or 501c6)
  • State or Local Government (employed by a state or local government)
  • Uniformed Services

OTHER VETERINARY EMPLOYMENT:

  • Any full-time employment in the veterinary field not included above.

CONTINUED EDUCATION:

  • Internship
  • Master of Science
  • MBA
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Preventative Veterinary Medicine
  • Other Education
  • PhD
  • Residency

Continued Education:

Geographic region is correlated to higher or lower starting salaries. Regions are defined by the starting number of the ZIP code. Living expenses vary greatly between and within regions. Research the cost-of-living in your desired areas so that you are adequately informed.
State:

State:

In the social sciences and across non-veterinary fields, demographics are often correlated to differences in earnings. Our economic data has identified correlations between personal demographics and statistically significant differences in new graduate starting salaries. Age is correlated to differences in starting salary, with older graduates on average reporting higher starting salaries. It is important for veterinary students to be informed so that they can use information about historic trends to prepare for their own negotiation process.

Age:

Calculate

Student debt load was found to be a statistically significant factor impacting starting salary for veterinary students. Although it is not fully understood how debt load is related to starting salaries, some theories include the speculation that students with higher debt negotiate more aggressively or accept higher offers to have a manageable lifestyle while repaying debt.

For fourth-year veterinary students, there is also a negative correlation between the number of work hours and salary. This seems counterintuitive but the research so far shows that for veterinarians already in practice, the trend is what you’d expect: increased hours are associated with higher salaries. The data used in this estimator (compiled from the AVMA Senior Student Survey) shows there’s something else going on that is potentially masking another not-yet-identified variable (e.g., practice setting, number of doctors in practice). It could also be a reflection that veterinary students who are anticipating longer working hours tend to get paid less overall. The best example of this are intern hours with the average intern working about 10 hours more per week than those in full time positions in spite of significantly lower pay. If you are not sure of your anticipated hours, we recommend using 40 hours per week.

Debt:

Hours:

Based on the information provided, the following is the estimated salary range:

For the data available, this range is a 95% confidence interval. This means that for the inputs you used, you can expect to fall within this salary range 95% of the time.

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