Veterinary Salary Estimator for New Veterinarians FAQ

Q: What is the AVMA Veterinary Salary Estimator for New Veterinarians?

A: The estimator is a predictive tool that can be used to help you address a wide range of decisions regarding your career path. It provides possible ranges of salaries for employment scenarios for veterinarians seeking their first job, based on historical data. New veterinarians can use this, along with other information sources, to inform their first salary negotiations as well as make decisions regarding internships, post-graduate education, and other options. Because it is based on historical data, it is not an indication of "what should be" but, rather, "what has been."

Q: Who should use the AVMA Veterinary Salary Estimator for New Veterinarians?

A: This estimator is designed specifically for veterinarians who have one to six years of workforce experience. If you are a veterinary student gathering information for your first job, use the AVMA Veterinary Salary Estimator for Current Students

Q: How should the AVMA Veterinary Salary Estimator for New Veterinarians be used?

A: Use this estimator as one piece of information in your overall strategy for career management and salary negotiations. The estimator is designed to encourage you to think about the choices and factors that impact possible salary ranges, based on data collected from practicing veterinarians. We encourage you to run multiple scenarios to see how various factors have historically influenced possible salary ranges. Rather than accepting the results of any scenario at face value, use the estimator as part of your individual strategy to advocate for yourself during the salary negotiation process or to help guide your career decisions.

Q: Am I guaranteed to get a salary that is within the percentile?

A: No. This estimator is a predictive tool that provides possible salary ranges based on historic trends. The results of this estimator are a reference and are not intended to be used as recommendations or suggestions for a specific individual's salary. Actual salaries must be negotiated between the employer and veterinarian, in light of all relevant factors. A salary may be more or less, given the facts of the particular situation.

Q: What's the source of the data used to develop the salary estimator?

A: The estimator is based on data collected from the 2019 to 2023 AVMA Census of Veterinarians. The statistically significant factors used from the survey are years of experience (up to six years), geographic location of the practice, practice type, additional qualifications (e.g., board certified or practice owner), and number of hours worked per week.

Q: Why is veterinary school attended not included as a factor?

A: Your veterinary school attended is not a significant factor in predicting possible salary ranges. There is no evidence in the data that it is correlates with statistically significant differences in salary.

Q: Why do you ask about additional post-DVM/VMD education?

A: The question is asked because completion of additional educational qualifications is a statistically significant variable in providing possible salary ranges for veterinarians with up to six years of post-graduate work experience.

Q: Why do you ask about geographic location (ZIP code)?

A: Regardless of your profession, the area of the country in which you work has an effect on your possible salary range. A primary factor influencing this variable is the cost of living in that geographical area.

Q: Why does species focus affect salary results?

A: Data from the AVMA Compensation Survey indicate that possible salary ranges are impacted significantly by the species focus of the clinical practice. By including it in the estimator, the AVMA is not passing judgment on the suitability, future career opportunities or earning potential for any given species focus.

Q: How does the number of hours worked in a week influence salary results?

A: For veterinarians with up to six years of work experience, more hours worked correlates with a higher possible salary range.