Veterinarian earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Veterinarian salary by state

State Name Average Salary
Pennsylvania $109,580
Virginia $97,500
Texas $99,040
California $107,880
Alaska $99,540
New Jersey $113,860
Nevada $95,410
New York $105,560
Maryland $113,700
Delaware $110,020
South Carolina $99,940
Illinois $102,472
Massachusetts $101,910
Oregon $87,020
New Hampshire $94,590
Rhode Island $105,050
Connecticut $99,970
North Carolina $91,550
Ohio $95,310
District of Columbia $93,230
Florida $92,410
Idaho $89,650
Michigan $84,820
South Dakota $77,380
Arizona $93,690
Kansas $87,970
New Mexico $94,060
Vermont $96,750
Minnesota $90,750
Iowa $88,690
Tennessee $84,330
Alabama $85,430
Washington $89,180
Colorado $90,630
West Virginia $84,310
Arkansas $76,170
North Dakota $88,230
Georgia $84,040
Missouri $89,230
Wisconsin $83,820
Maine $87,880
Indiana $87,830
Louisiana $76,370
Kentucky $80,170
Puerto Rico $78,460
Wyoming $76,970
Oklahoma $79,340
Nebraska $77,620
Montana $76,910
Mississippi $76,940
Utah $77,950

How much does a Veterinarian earn?

According to the 2011 figures released by the American Veterinary Medicine Association, new veterinarians saw a wide variance in salaries - 40% earned $31,000 or less, while others reported salaries in excess of $90,000 (however 52% of those respondents were in residency or post-graduate programs). When those are removed from the equation, the 48% who'd formally entered practice earned an average of $66,469. Veterinarians pay almost as much for their schooling as medical doctors, but have much less earning power to compensate for their debt load (doctors easily earn two to three times as much).

The type of practice has a great deal to do with a new veterinarian's income. Roughly three-quarters of all vets in private practice treat pets or companion animals. In 2011, first-year salaries for vets in exclusively pet-oriented practices were $69,789. Exclusively food-animal practices paid $71,096. Equine practices paid the least, at $43,405, while general mixed-animal practices averaged $62,655.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinarians in research facilities were paid the best, at an average income of $124,610, while those working for pharmaceutical companies earned $113,270. Veterinarians in private practice averaged $91,160.

Geographically, the state with the highest average salary for veterinarians was Connecticut, at $125,810. New Jersey, Hawaii, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania were also among the highest-paid jurisdictions. Montana had the lowest average salary, at $60,590.

How do veterinarian salaries compare to similar careers?

Veterinarians earn 13% less than similar careers in the United States. On average, they make less than orthodontists but more than zoologists.

Career Median Salary
Orthodontist salary $231K
Dentist salary $156K
Podiatrist salary $126K
Veterinarian salary $95K
Chiropractor salary $70K
Aquacultural manager salary $71K
Coroner salary $69K
Zoologist salary $63K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)