A veterinary surgeon is a veterinarian who has completed additional training for the surgical specialty. In the US, veterinarian surgeons earn more than $82,000 per year, slightly less than the US dollar equivalency in Australia where annual earnings are more than AU$110,000 ($84,615 USD). Annual salaries in US dollar currency are similar in New Zealand and Canada at NZ$93,000 ($65,025 USD) and C$80,000 ($62,482 USD), respectively, followed by the UK at £42,000 ($49,795 USD) and South Africa at $489,000 ($36,228 USD). Those in India fall on the lower end of the pay scale at Rs486,000 ($7,591 USD). Salaries vary worldwide for veterinarian surgeons by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting as further explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Veterinary Surgeon Make per Year?
Annual and hourly wages for orthodontist assistants are outlined in the chart below.
|Veterinary Surgeon Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Veterinary Surgeon Salary
A review of global salaries for veterinarian surgeons shows income fluctuations by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting. Earning potential and career insight for veterinarian surgeons are provided in this guide.
1. Geographic Area
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in US
Veterinary surgeons in the US earn well over $82,000 per year, plus an additional $1,400 in bonus income pay. The average entry level salary exceeds $58,000 per year while senior level pay is just over $102,000 annually.
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in Canada
In Canada, veterinary surgeons earn nearly C$80,000 per year in base salary and bonus pay is nearly C$1,400 in additional income. Entry level veterinary surgeons earn nearly C$56,000 per year while those at the senior level see annual pay that can reach C$99,000.
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in UK
The average annual compensation for veterinary surgeons in the UK tops £42,000 with another £700 in bonus pay. Early career veterinary surgeons with up to three years’ experience earn roughly £30,000 per year while the most experienced senior level professionals receive more than £52,000 annually.
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in Australia
Veterinary surgeons in Australia earn, on average, well over AU$110,000 in annual base pay and an additional AU$1,900 in bonus income. Entry level veterinary surgeons earn more than AU$78,000 per year compared to their senior level colleagues who see annual earnings of nearly AU$137,000.
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, veterinary surgeons earn about NZ$93,000 per year, plus another NZ$1,500 or more in bonus pay. The average entry level salary is about NZ$66,000 per year while senior level positions garner an average annual salary of just under NZ$115,000.
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in India
Annual earnings for veterinary surgeons in India are well over Rs486,000, and an additional Rs8,300 can be earned in bonus pay. Entry level veterinary surgeons earn nearly Rs350,000 per year compared to senior level professionals who see annual earnings of roughly Rs612,000 annually.
Veterinary Surgeon Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, veterinary surgeons see annual earnings of about R484,000 in base salary and another R8,200 in bonus incentive income. Early career orthodontist assistants earn close to R346,000 in their first three years of work experience while the most experienced in senior level positions receive nearly R605,000 per year.
While veterinarian surgeons complete many years of education and training, additional experience increases earning potential between 73% and 76%. The difference between entry level and senior level pay in the US, where annual salaries are among the highest worldwide, is about $44,000 more per year, an increase of 76%. Comparatively, while annual salaries in India are on the lower side for this career, senior level professionals see an increase of 75% in their earnings, equating to about Rs262,000 more per year. The UK experiences a smaller percentage of growth at 73%, equating to about £22,000 more per year for senior level professionals compared to their entry level counterparts.
Veterinarian surgeons are often in private practice, though some also work in a research capacity at universities and in laboratories. Those who are self-employed in private practice may see higher earning potential and greater flexibility in their scheduling and work compared to those employed by others. Employment in the private sector may also offer higher salaries and bonus potential compared to the public sector.
Veterinarian surgeons typically work full-time schedules with 40 or more hours per week. While surgeries are often scheduled during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, on-call hours and emergencies may require additional time in the evening, weekend, and holidays.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
A comprehensive benefits package including healthcare coverage and paid time off are common for veterinarian surgeons; however, those who are self-employed likely must cover these expenses on their own. While bonus income is seen worldwide, this additional pay does not significantly boost overall earnings.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an increase of 18% in veterinarians, including those who specialize in surgical care, between 2016 and 2026. While all veterinarians can perform surgery on animals, complex cases are often referred to those who specialize in surgery and have advanced training and access to state-of-the-art equipment. The American College of Veterinary Surgeons requires completion of a doctor in veterinary medicine degree, followed by additional internships and residency lasting up to four years to achieve the distinction of Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons or board-certified surgeon.
While veterinary surgeons typically earn less than surgeons who care for humans, their salaries are strong with somewhat lighter work schedules. Many veterinary surgeons are also self-employed, which can offer a greater level of flexibility. Compensation often includes benefits and bonus packages. Future growth in this career field is expected to continue faster than average, continuing to support income levels and offer many employment opportunities for newly trained professionals.