An aquatic veterinarian is a veterinarian who provides medical care and treatment to marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates. In the US, aquatic veterinarians earn more than $75,000 per year compared to Canada where annual pay is C$72,000 ($57,256 USD). Those in New Zealand earn nearly NZ$74,000 ($52,398 USD) per year, followed by Australia at AU$64,000 ($49,881 USD), the UK at £31,000 ($37,422 USD) and South Africa at R441,000 ($35,648 USD). India rounds out the list of countries reviewed in this guide and shows annual pay of well over Rs549,000 ($8,601 USD). Details on aquatic veterinarian salary variations by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting are explained in this guide.
How Much Does an Aquatic Veterinarian Make per Year?
Annual incomes and hourly wages for aquatic veterinarians are found in the chart below.
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Factors that Influence the Veterinarian Salary
While geographic regions and work experience are strong influencers of earning potential for aquatic veterinarians, work setting does not greatly affect salaries for this career. Additional information on earning potential and career insight is provided in this guide.
1. Geographic Area
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in US
In the US, aquatic veterinarians receive about $75,000 per year plus up to $16,000 in bonus income. Some employers offer profit sharing that can potentially add another $26,000 to overall earnings. Early career aquatic veterinarians earn about $52,000 per year while senior level professionals receive roughly $115,000 annually.
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in Canada
Aquatic veterinarians in Canada see annual earnings of roughly C$72,000. Nearly C$10,000 in additional income can be earned through bonus incentives. Entry level aquatic veterinarians see earnings that can reach C$50,000 per year compared to their senior level colleagues who receive about C$103,000 annually.
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in UK
Aquatic veterinarians in the UK earn just over £31,000 per year and bonus income can add up to £11,000 to overall earnings. Entry level aquatic veterinarians can expect an annual starting salary of about £21,000, increasing with experience to nearly £48,000 for those with the most experience in senior level positions.
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in Australia
Annual compensation for aquatic veterinarians in Australia is about AU$64,000 in base salary and between AU$1,500 and more than AU$18,000 in bonus pay. Those who are early in their careers see annual earnings that can reach AU$48,000 compared to nearly AU$96,000 for senior level professionals.
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, aquatic veterinarians earn close to NZ$74,000 in annual salary and bonus pay can add another NZ$7,000 to overall earnings. Upon entering the career field, annual pay is well over NZ$53,000, increasing steadily with experience to about NZ$112,000 upon reaching the senior level.
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in India
Aquatic veterinarians in India see annual earnings of well over Rs549,000 plus nearly Rs99,000 in additional bonus pay. Early career aquatic veterinarians receive more than Rs237,000 annually compared to senior level professionals with annual pay that tops Rs1,149,000.
Aquatic Veterinarian Salary in South Africa
Annual compensation for aquatic veterinarians in South Africa is well over R441,000 plus another R49,000 in bonus pay. The average starting salary for those entering this career field tops R235,000 annually, increasing with experience to nearly R709,000 upon reaching the senior level.
The gap between entry level and senior level pay increases greatly with additional experience. While triple digit income growth is seen worldwide, the greatest increases occur in the regions with lower salaries. For example, annual salaries for senior level professionals in India are about Rs912,000 more per year, equating to an increase of 385%, compared those in entry level positions. The difference between entry level and senior level pay in South Africa is about R474,000 per year, an increase of 202%, while growth in the UK is about 129%, or £27,000 in additional annual salary. Salary growth ranges from 100% to 121% for the other geographic regions reviewed in this guide.
Aquatic veterinarians work at aquariums, zoos, and marine animal rescue facilities treating animals who have been injured in natural disasters or by watercraft and subjected to man-made disasters such as oil spills and water contamination. Some aquatic veterinarians work in research laboratories and in marine biology departments of universities, which may pay less compared to those employed by for-profit organizations. For-profit and private sector employment may also offer greater bonus potential.
Most aquatic veterinarians work full-time schedules of 40 or more hours. Those employed in research or educational capacities typically work during business hours from Monday through Friday with some evening or weekend hours necessary. Emergency situations may require those employed in marine rescue facilities to work during any time or day to provide critical care.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
It is common for aquatic veterinarians to bonus income, and in some regions, this additional pay can significantly boost overall earnings. Many employers also offer benefits packages that provide healthcare coverage for medical, dental, and vision services, in addition to paid time off for vacation, holidays, and sick time.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a growth rate of 18% is expected through 2026 for veterinarians, including those who specialize in aquatic animal care. This is a much faster than average rate of growth compared to all occupations. To work as an aquatic veterinarian, a bachelor’s degree followed by a degree in veterinarian medicine and additional training in marine wildlife is required, which can take up to eight years.
Aquatic veterinarians must complete several years of education and training, but are well compensated through salaries, bonus income, and benefits packages. Employment can range from universities to research laboratories to marine rescue centers. Much faster than average growth is expected in this career field which should provide sufficient employment in the coming years and support income levels.