How Much Do Vets Make A Year?
Are you an animal lover? Do you enjoy caring for furry friends and educating pet owners on animal care and health? A career in veterinary care might be for you! But how much do veterinarians earn and how can you become a vet?
These are important factors to consider before choosing any career path. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming veterinary care roles.
What types of veterinary jobs are there?
When you think of a vet, you most likely think of a companion animal vet. These vets look after domestic pets and companion animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals. This is the most common type of vet and the one you are probably most familiar with.
If you have ever had a pet, you would have visited the vet at a private practice for annual vaccinations, check-ups, neutering procedures, or even for injuries or emergency medical assistance.
1. Livestock veterinarians
Large animal or food animal vets look after livestock and other farm animals. These might include cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and horses. It’s important these animals are healthy as they will end up being a food source for humans one day, and there are lots of diseases that can get passed from animals to humans, like trichinosis from consumption of pork.
There are lots of laws and regulations about how these animals should be treated, and a food animal veterinarian also makes sure that livestock is kept according to local health codes.
2. Exotic animal veterinarians
You might also be interested in specializing in exotic animals or zoo animals. These types of veterinarians have specialty knowledge about many different species of animals, like reptiles or avian veterinarians.
They may work with a zoo to develop breeding programs for endangered animals, or inform zoo keepers on dietary requirements and enrichment programs for their animals. Zoo veterinarians may be required to work on weekends, or to be available on call for emergencies. They also need to have special skills to work with wild animals that can often be dangerous.
3. Research veterinarians
Research veterinarians conduct research on animals to help prevent and treat diseases. They might work on clinical research to better inform public health and safety regulations, or manage disease control. They may use laboratory animals for different experiments and ensure they are treated correctly in these environments.
4. Veterinary assistants
Veterinary assistants work alongside qualified veterinarians and assist in their consultation and animal management. They will generally care for animals recovering from treatment at veterinary clinics, including monitoring their vital signs and cleaning and changing bandages.
A typical job description as a vet assistant may include handling animals during checkups and procedures and updating medical records for pets treated at the clinic.
5. Veterinary technicians
A vet tech is a role similar to medical technicians that work in hospitals and clinics, often conducting medical tests, analyzing samples, or using tools and machinery to administer treatments. A vet tech does the same things, but for animals in veterinary practices.
They help veterinarians with their work during consultations, surgery, or analyzing results of tests and animal samples that can help identify disease or illness. They are generally more qualified and earn a slightly higher base salary compared to vet assistants.
How much do vets make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a qualified veterinarian is around $95,000 a year. Other sources suggest that vets earn an average of $48.95 per hour.
The starting salaries for veterinarians are around $60,000 a year, and the average veterinarian salary changes depending on your experience level and expertise. Veterinarian salaries may also depend on the type of practice that you work for, and who your clients are.
For the top 10 percent of veterinarians, pay might be as high as $160,000 per year.
Salaries for vet technicians and veterinary assistants are significantly less than salaries for veterinarians, as the training and qualifications requirements are not as extensive. Vet assistants often only need a high-school diploma and a short course or on the job training to begin. The national average salary ranges for these two positions are between $25,000 and $35,000 a year.
When you’re looking at veterinary job openings, you should always consider the average base salary that is being offered and how it affects your personal finances. Do you have a credit card to pay off or do you own or want to invest in real estate? If you are job searching in other states or regions, consider the cost of living there and how much you need to earn to support yourself and pay off any personal loans.
How to become a veterinarian?
Becoming a qualified veterinarian is a long process, and you must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree through accredited veterinary schools. This course takes four years to complete and entry into these programs can be competitive. At many vet schools, you are required to have a relevant bachelor’s degree prior to admission, which is also four year to complete.
Financing eight years of college can be daunting, and many students take out student loans to help pay for their studies. The cost of tertiary education means that many students end up in debt and with a poor credit score. Student loan refinance calculators can help you determine if you should refinance your loan, as a lower interest rate can save you money in the long term.
Veterinarians must also be licensed in order to practice and these requirements vary state by state. They are required to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination as well as state-based exams.
Veterinary technicians are usually required to complete a two-year associate's degree. The American Veterinary Medical Associations accredits veterinary technology programs, and it provides pathways for foreign graduates to become licenced and certified to practise in the United States.
Veterinary assistants mostly receive on the job training and don’t require formal qualifications. However, completing a short course will definitely give you a competitive edge against other job applicants, and demonstrate your commitment to this career.
Veterinary Assistant Certification Online Course
Perhaps you’re not ready to sign up for a veterinary medicine course or the length and cost of beginning a veterinarian career make you nervous. Our Veterinary Assistant Certification Online Course will prepare you for working as a veterinary assistant. This vet assistant online course, delivered by a qualified veterinarian and college instructor, will give students all the information needed to prepare them for working in a veterinary environment.