A veterinarian provides medical care and treatment to companion animals, as well as conduct research to improve public health. In the US, a veterinarian earns a median annual salary of about $75,112. Annual earnings in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia are similar when looking at the US dollar equivalency at C$72,202 ($57,683 USD), NZ$79,870 ($52,684 USD), and AU$64,921 ($35,895 USD), respectively. Veterinarians in South Africa earn about R478,143 ($36,862 USD) compared to £30,845 ($35,895 USD). On the lower end of the earning scale is India at Rs520,294 ($8,082 USD) per year. Income levels vary depending on geographic region, professional experience, and work setting as further detailed in this guide.
How Much Does a Veterinarian Make per Year?
Annual income with US dollar equivalents are provided for select countries worldwide in the chart below.
|Veterinarian Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Veterinarian Salary
Payscale provides salary and career information for veterinarians worldwide. This guide provides information on key influencers of income: geographic region, professional experience, and work setting.
1. Geographic Area
Veterinarian Salary in US
In the US, veterinarians earn a starting salary of just over $53,000 early in their careers. Salaries increase significantly for senior level veterinarians to more than $103,000. There is potential for bonus pay that may exceed $15,000, and some employers offer profit sharing income and commission that, when combined, can range from $3,000 to more than $72,000 in additional earnings.
Veterinarian Salary in Canada
Entry level veterinarians in Canada earn just under C$52,000, with incomes increasing with experience to nearly C$93,000 for senior level professionals. Bonus pay can reach roughly C$7,000, and additional C$10,000 can be earned in commission payments.
Veterinarian Salary in UK
Veterinarians in the UK earn between £21,000 and more than £45,000 per year. Bonus pay can further boost overall earnings between £300 and £11,000, and some employers offer profit sharing income that may reach an additional £1,200.
Veterinarian Salary in Australia
The annual income for veterinarians in Australia ranges from more than AU$48,000 for thoe early in their career to more than AU$89,000 for senior level professionals. Bonus pay can add another AU$1,000 to more than AU$18,000 in overall earnings. Some employers also offer profit sharing pay of nearly AU$2,000 and commission that may reach AU$8,000 in additional overall income.
Veterinarian Salary in New Zealand
Entry level veterinarians in New Zealand earn nearly NZ$52,000 per year. Annual salaries increase greatly for senior level veterinarians to a level of nearly NZ$103,000 per year. Bonus pay may add another NZ$5,000 in overall earnings.
Veterinarian Salary in India
In India, the median annual salary for entry level veterinarians is nearly Rs242,000, increasing to nearly Rs940,000 with experience and additional responsibilities. Bonus pay can add another Rs2,000 and some employers offer additional incentive pay that may reach Rs30,000.
Veterinarian Salary in South Africa
Veterinarians in South Africa earn between nearly R215,000 and more than R703,000 per year. Some employers offer bonus pay that can further increase overall annual earnings another R27,500 per year.
Experience greatly affects salaries worldwide for veterinarians with those in the countries with the lowest salaries seeing the largest increases over the course of their careers. In India, annual income increases nearly Rs700,000 per year, equating to an increase of 288% in salary for senior level veterinarians compared to their entry level counterparts. The difference between entry level and senior level pay in South Africa is about R488,000 per year, representing an increase of 227%. Veterinarians in the UK also see a triple digit increase with experience as annual earnings increase 114%. The other countries reviewed in this guide experience increases in pay between 79% and 94%.
Veterinarians work in animal clinics and hospitals, private practice, universities and government agencies. Those who work in research are often employed by universities and government agencies, which may offer lower salaries in comparison to for-profit businesses. These for-profit businesses likely also offer bonus and profit sharing opportunities, and they sell products that can provide commission payments. Some veterinarians are self-employed and own and practice in their own clinics, which can provide larger incomes.
Veterinarians who work for universities and government agencies typically work during business hours from Monday through Friday; however, some weekend and evening work may be necessary, especially to care for and monitor animals around the clock. While veterinarian clinics are often open during normal business hours, some offer extended hours and weekend times to accommodate clients and on-call hours may be necessary for emergencies. Veterinarians working in animal hospitals may be subject to work during any day or hour to care for animal patients needing acute care. Most veterinarians work full-time hours, but there are some opportunities for part-time hours, especially for those who may be later in their careers.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Globally, most veterinarians receive bonus pay. Some employers offer profit sharing and commission payments that can add sizeable amounts to overall incomes. Many veterinarians worldwide report a lack of healthcare benefits provided by their employers, which may be due to a large number of veterinarians who work in private practice and may be responsible for their own healthcare coverage. Veterinarians in the US and Canada report the highest percentage of healthcare coverage with about one-third in each country indicating receipt of these benefits.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9% growth is expected in the demand for veterinarians between 2014 and 2024. While this growth rate is faster than average compared to all occupations, high competition is expected for newly trained veterinarians. A career as a veterinarian requires a degree and training in veterinarian medicine, and licensure is required in the US.
Veterinarians receive solid incomes that offer a good return on their educational investment. Additional payments through bonus, profit sharing, and commission can significantly boost overall earnings; however, many veterinarians indicate they do not receive healthcare benefits. Faster than average growth is anticipated in this career field, but competition is also expected in the coming years.