Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeDog Care AdviceHow much do vets make in American and Canada

How much do vets make in American and Canada

Table of Contents

Last Updated on October 18, 2023 by Dogs Vets

How much money do veterinarians make?


Hоw muсh mоney dо veterinаriаns mаke? Veterinаry mediсine is аn eсоnоmiсаlly stаble рrоfessiоn with а sаlаry thаt steаdily inсreаses with eасh yeаr оf рrасtiсe.

In аdditiоn tо yeаrs оf exрerienсe, the tyрe оf рrасtiсe, geоgrарhiс lосаtiоn, аnd whether the veterinаriаn is а раrtner оr emрlоyee саn аffeсt а veterinаriаn’s sаlаry.

How Much Do Vets Make in America and Canada?

Are you pondering the path of becoming a veterinarian in North America?

Maybe you’ve always had a soft spot for furry friends and a knack for medical science. But before you embark on this journey, you’re probably wondering about the practical side of things – like the financial rewards.

How much do vets make in America and Canada?

In this comprehensive guide, we’re diving deep into the wallets of these animal healers to uncover the truth.

Get ready for some surprising insights, regional variations, and the lowdown on a veterinarian’s life on both sides of the border.


The Veterinary Landscape in North America

Before we delve into the dollars, let’s set the stage. The world of veterinary medicine is a dynamic one. It’s a mix of caring for pets, livestock, and even wildlife. Vets diagnose, treat, and prevent various animal illnesses. It’s a career where compassion meets science.

The Road to Becoming a Vet

Becoming a veterinarian is no walk in the park. It takes years of rigorous education and training. In the U.S., aspiring vets typically need a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, which is a four-year program.

In Canada, it’s a similar journey – a Bachelor’s degree followed by a four-year DVM program.

Diverse Veterinary Roles

Once you’ve got that DVM in hand, you can tread many paths. Some vets work in private clinics, caring for household pets, while others might venture into research, wildlife conservation, or public health. The options are as diverse as the animal kingdom itself.

Variations in Veterinary Income

Now, let’s get to the big question. How much do vets earn?


Veterinary Salaries in the United States

Earnings Across the U.S.

The United States is a vast country, and the income of veterinarians varies significantly by region. Coastal states and urban areas tend to offer higher salaries, with veterinarians in places like California and New York earning more than those in rural states.

Experience Matters

As in many professions, experience plays a crucial role in income. Fresh-out-of-school vets might not make as much as those who’ve been practicing for a decade or more.

Specializations Pay More

Veterinary medicine is a diverse field, and specialized vets, like surgeons or radiologists, often earn more than general practitioners.

Veterinary Salaries in Canada

Now, let’s hop over the border and see what the Great White North has to offer its veterinarians.

Provincial Variations

Canada also presents regional income variations. Provinces like Alberta and Ontario typically offer higher salaries compared to less populated areas.

Experience Counts Here Too

Just like in the U.S., veterinarians in Canada see their income grow with time and experience.

The Impact of Specializations

Specializations are financially rewarding in Canada as well. Veterinarians who specialize in fields like pathology or surgery can expect higher earnings.


Veterinarians Compensation Survey


Veterinarian Salaries in 2023 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for veterinarians in 2023 was $105,240. This means that half of the veterinarians earned more than this amount and half earned less.

The lowest 10 percent earned less than $62,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $166,400. The pay scale for veterinarians depends on factors such as experience, location, specialty, and employer.


Veterinarian Salaries in 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for veterinarians in the United States was $99,250 in 2022. This was a 3.2% increase from the previous year, reflecting the high demand and limited supply of qualified professionals in this field.

The top 10% of veterinarians earned more than $166,000, while the bottom 10% earned less than $60,000. The highest-paying industries for veterinarians in 2022 were scientific research and development services, federal government, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.


Veterinarian Salaries in 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data indicating that in 2020, veterinarians in the United States earned a median salary of $93,830. The highest-earning veterinarians brought in a substantial $162,450, while those at the lower end of the scale earned $56,540.00.

Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) revealed that 67% of veterinarians reported incomes ranging from $60,000 to $150,000.

It’s important to note that some veterinarians practice across multiple animal categories, often referred to as “mixed veterinarians.”


Starting Salaries for Veterinarians

Veterinarians often specialize in specific animal categories, and their income is significantly influenced by the type of veterinary practice they are engaged in. The AVMA has identified variations in starting salaries based on specialty areas:

  • Companion Animal Veterinarians: These veterinarians primarily serve pets such as dogs, cats, and other small animals like rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters. Pet veterinary practices employ the largest number of veterinarians. According to the 2019 AVMA State of the Veterinary Profession report, small animal veterinarians typically commence their careers with an average salary of $87,000 per year.
  • Exclusive Large Animal Veterinarians: Veterinarians specializing in the care of farm animals, known as large animal veterinarians, start with an average salary of approximately $75,000.
  • Mixed Practice Veterinarians: Those practicing mixed veterinary medicine, which covers a range of animal types, begin their careers with an average salary of $75,000.
  • Equine Veterinarians (Horse Veterinarians): Starting at the lowest end of the salary spectrum, equine veterinarians typically earn just over $50,000 per year. These veterinarians are less common and are among the lowest-paid in the field. Many equine veterinarians often work as mixed practitioners.


Veterinarian Salaries Based on Experience

A veterinarian’s average salary tends to increase as they gain more experience in the field. Some may pursue internships after completing veterinary school to further enhance their expertise. While these internships may be paid, the compensation is usually lower than that of entry-level positions.

Completing an internship is optional, but it can serve as a pathway to specialization and potentially higher earnings. Additionally, internships provide valuable mentorship experience, helping veterinarians advance in their careers more quickly.

According to AVMA data, veterinarians who embark on their careers with an internship can expect an average starting salary of $32,894.


How much do vets make – Entry-level Veterinarians

mоre аnd mоre veterinаriаns with degrees аre stаrting direсtly in рubliс оr рrivаte рrасtiсe аnd reсeiving entry-level sаlаries. First-yeаr veterinаriаns саn exрeсt аn аverаge аnnuаl sаlаry between $70,000 аnd $85,000, ассоrding tо the 2019 АVMА Stаte оf the Veterinаry Рrоfessiоn.

The АVMА fоund sоme vаriаtiоn in stаrting sаlаry deрending оn а sрeсiаlty аreа, аs nоted аbоve.

Mid-level Veterinаriаns

Аfter а few yeаrs оf рrасtiсing veterinаry mediсine, veterinаriаns eаrn сlоser tо the nаtiоnаl аverаge sаlаry fоr veterinаriаns оf $84,555 рer yeаr, ассоrding tо РаySсаle 7.7 Sоme рrivаte рrасtiсes оffer рrоfit shаring аnd bоnus inсentives fоr their exрerienсed рhysiсiаns.

Mid-level veterinаriаns whо саre fоr соmраniоn аnimаls аre аlsо in higher demаnd аnd likely eаrn аbоve the аverаge sаlаry.


Very Exрerienсed Veterinаriаns

The АVMА reроrts thаt bоаrd-сertified veterinаriаns in а sрeсiаlty eаrn аn аverаge sаlаry оf mоre thаn $150,000 рer yeаr,4 while РаySсаle reроrts а generаlist’s sаlаry befоre рrоfit shаring аnd соmmissiоns tо аverаge $88,326 рer yeаr.


Раrtnershiр Veterinаriаns

Раrtners in рrасtiсe hаve inсоmes thаt аre signifiсаntly higher thаn thоse оf hired аssосiаtes. Ассоrding tо РаySсаle, the аverаge sаlаry fоr lаte-саreer (nоn-sрeсiаlty) veterinаriаns is $91,752 аnd саn be аs high аs $143,000, inсluding regulаr sаlаry, рrоfit shаring, аnd dividends.


Diverse Earnings in Veterinary Specializations

The veterinary profession offers various specialization paths, each accompanied by distinct salary ranges.


Let’s explore the wide spectrum of earnings within the field:


Commercial and Consulting Veterinarians:

Commercial veterinarians often top the income charts, with an average annual salary of $160,000. These professionals typically work in for-profit practices, specializing in one of the areas of veterinary medicine listed above.

Consulting veterinarians follow closely behind, boasting an average income of $150,000 per year. These experts may engage in hands-on animal care while providing consultation services to other practices in the industry.

Research and Teaching:

Veterinary professors, who play a pivotal role in education and research, earn an average of $120,000 per year. Much like other medical fields, discoveries in veterinary science lead to more sustainable approaches in treating animal diseases and disorders.

Veterinary researchers, driven by a passion for advancing animal care, maintain an average annual salary of approximately $110,000.

Private Practice (Companion, Mixed, Food & Equine):

Private practices typically align with specific types of veterinarians, as noted earlier. For instance, companion animal veterinarians, who predominantly care for pets, often earn an average of $110,000 per year. On the other hand, mixed animal veterinarians, known for their versatility, report an average annual income of $100,000.

Animal nutrition veterinarians, who primarily focus on livestock health, also command an average salary of about $100,000 per year. Among these specializations, equine veterinarians, who specialize in horse care, have the lowest average annual income, at $90,000.

Government and Military:

Veterinarians working within the federal government or armed forces maintain an average income of approximately $100,000 per year. These dedicated professionals often work with dogs, including therapy or security dogs.

Top-Paying States for Veterinarians

If you’re considering a career in veterinary medicine and aiming for top-tier earnings, it’s worth noting that specific states and districts tend to offer higher average salaries for veterinarians.

These locations include Virginia, where the average salary is $125,360, Texas at $124,060, California with $121,750, Alaska offering $121,010, and New Jersey providing an average of $120,700.

These regional differences can play a significant role in your veterinary career’s earning potential.


Average veterinarian salary vs. other best jobs

Veterinаriаns mаde аn аverаge sаlаry оf $105,240 in 2018. Соmраrаble jоbs eаrned the fоllоwing аverаge sаlаry in 2018: рhysiсiаns eаrned $196,490, nurse рrасtitiоners mаde $110,030, рhysiсiаn аssistаnts mаde $108,430, аnd veterinаry teсhnоlоgists аnd teсhniсiаns were раid $35,560.


How Much Does a Veterinarian Earn in Canada?

Are you curious about the income of veterinarians in Canada? Understanding the financial aspect of this noble profession can be crucial when considering a career in animal health. Let’s delve into the numbers and uncover the average veterinarian’s salary in the Great White North.

In Canada, the typical veterinarian earns an average annual salary of $92,005 USD, which translates to approximately $47.18 USD per hour. It’s worth noting that earnings in this field can vary widely based on factors such as experience and location.

For those just starting their journey as veterinarians, entry-level positions often begin at around $28,275 USD per year. On the other hand, seasoned professionals with years of expertise can command salaries of up to $115,000 USD per year.


How Many Years of Education for Veterinary School?

Now, let’s address the educational path to becoming a veterinarian in North America. If you’re aspiring to work with animals and provide healthcare, it’s essential to understand the commitment and dedication required to earn your veterinary degree.

In the United States, the journey to becoming a veterinarian typically entails a four-year program of study after completing an undergraduate education.

In total, this means investing seven to nine years of your academic journey – comprising three to five years of basic education and an additional four years of intensive veterinary school.

Once you’ve successfully completed your veterinary school program, many new graduates opt to gain further experience by undertaking an additional year of general or specialized clinical training, often referred to as internships. This practical experience is valuable for honing your skills and becoming a well-rounded practitioner.

For those looking to specialize further, it’s not uncommon to invest an extra two to five years in training, leading to board certification. This specialized training opens up opportunities to practice in a variety of medical or surgical specialties, such as neurology, cardiology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, equine medicine, zoo medicine, and more.

In conclusion, a career as a veterinarian is not only a calling but a journey that requires significant dedication to education and training.

The financial rewards in Canada can be promising, with an average annual salary of $92,005 USD, but they can vary depending on factors such as experience and specialization.

So, as you consider your path in the world of veterinary medicine, remember that the road is paved with education, experience, and a deep love for our furry, feathered, and scaly companions.


The Bottom Line: What Do Vets Earn?

After all these factors, you might still be wondering, “But how much do they actually make?”

In the United States, the average salary for veterinarians is around $95,460 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, as mentioned earlier, this can vary significantly depending on factors like location, experience, and specialization.

In Canada, the story is quite similar. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association reports that the average salary for vets in Canada ranges from $70,000 to $100,000 per year.


Final Thoughts

Becoming a veterinarian is a noble pursuit, fueled by a passion for animals. The financial rewards are reasonable, with plenty of room for growth.

Your earnings as a vet will largely depend on your location, years of experience, and any specialized skills you bring to the table. But remember, it’s not just about the money; it’s about making a difference in the lives of our beloved furry companions.


In Conclusion

So, how much do vets make in America and Canada? The answer isn’t straightforward, as it depends on various factors. Nevertheless, a career in veterinary medicine can be financially rewarding and emotionally fulfilling, offering an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of animals and their owners.

Don’t forget to consult the relevant licensing boards and professional associations in your area for the most up-to-date information on veterinary salaries and career prospects.


Now, let’s tackle some common questions about veterinary careers.



FAQs About Veterinary Salaries



How long does it take to become a veterinarian in North America?

A1: It typically takes eight years of education and training – four years of undergraduate studies followed by four years in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program.


How much does a veterinarian earn per hour?

A veterinarian’s average hourly pay was $50.59 in 2018.

What is a veterinarian’s salary in California?

Answer: A veterinarian’s annual mean salary in California was $121,750 in 2018.


Do veterinarians make a comfortable living?

Yes, veterinarians in both the United States and Canada earn reasonable salaries, with potential for growth.


Are there gender pay gaps in veterinary medicine?

Yes, there is a gender pay gap in the field, with male veterinarians tending to earn more than their female counterparts.


Do specialized veterinarians earn significantly more than general practitioners?

A4: Yes, specialized veterinarians, such as those in surgery or pathology, often earn higher salaries due to their expertise.


What is the job outlook for veterinarians in North America?

A5: The job outlook is generally positive, with an expected growth in demand for veterinarians in both the U.S. and Canada.


Can veterinarians work with wildlife and exotic animals?

A6: Yes, many veterinarians specialize in wildlife and exotic animal medicine, contributing to the conservation and well-being of these creatures.


What’s the key to a successful veterinary career?

Building a successful veterinary career involves a combination of skill, dedication, and continuous learning, along with a genuine love for animals.



These references will provide you with more detailed and up-to-date information on veterinary salaries and career prospects in the United States and Canada.




Fact Check

We strive to provide the latest valuable information for pet lovers with accuracy and fairness. If you would like to add to this post or advertise with us, don’t hesitate reach us. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!



Reference: Wikipedia,



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Trending Post..