How much does a veterinarian make?
A Veterinarian or Veterinary technician is a person who looks after the medical health of animals. Often called ‘Vet Techs’, these people are responsible for a wide range of jobs including check-ups, vaccinations, administering medicines, and some types of surgeries. Veterinary is usually a private practice which sometimes occurs at facilities like zoos or animal health care. But when it comes to choosing a job, one of the most important questions is – “How well does it pay?”
Average Vet Tech Salary
As a beginner, everyone tends to earn low. A novice Vet tech in 2011 earned anywhere from $31,000-$66,000 dollars according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association.
As one goes on to become an established practitioner, they start earning more. This figure can be anywhere from around $66,000 to $110,000. The median of these salaries was found to be something around $87,000. This seems like a lot but it is hardly enough to cover the student loan debt incurred due to a veterinarian school. When compared to other professions of a similar nature, A physician earns about twice this amount. Whereas a veterinary technologist earns three times less and a physician assistant earns about the same amount.
General wage trends
If we look at the trend, it is evident that the worth and the importance of a vet tech’s skills have increased over time. Their average salary rose from $82,000 in 2006 to about $98,000 in 2014. The salary also depends on the city where the person is currently practicing veterinary medicine. In Santa Barbara, California, the average vet is paid about $175,000. Other cities with similar high pays include Ann Arbor, Honolulu, Palm coast, Oxnard (in descending order of average salaries with Oxnard at $145,000).
How to earn more as a veterinarian?
For every job, there is no particular limit to how much one can earn. Similarly, as a Veterinarian, you can do some things to increase your salary.
- Get veterinary certified
A certification can do wonders for you. Not only will it increase your salary (about $3-$4 per hour), but also it increases your value as an asset. Thus it is easier for you to get hired. The combination of being licensed as well as being experienced will definitely get you places in this occupation.
- Be the best at something
After getting licensed, this is the first step to increase your earnings. With a few more of years of training and logging more hours in your area of specialty you can start to earn a lot more than you used to. What you need is an NAVTA specialty certification. This allows you to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist or VTS. You can choose to specialize in zoology, surgery, behavior, internal medicine, anesthesia and several other things.
- Try a research lab
Research labs are often offered sizeable grants to carry out their research. If you already are a licensed VTS, you can try and join a research lab where the pay is significantly higher than that of a private practice or a facility.
- Try blogging about it
If you’ve already tried the above methods and still want some more money out of the whole thing, you can try to write articles or blog posts about the veterinary field. You are already an expert in the field, all you need is some writing skills and you can make a hefty amount on the side.
- Engage in teaching
A chunk of the massive amounts that one pays in a veterinarian school goes to the teachers. Thus it is always good to become a teacher if you have the skills. Most institutions require about 3 years of training and a certification to accept you. But if you do get accepted, your schedule would be a lot more flexible and you will be earning a lot more too.
After this article, I am sure you know all there is to know about the financial side about being a veterinarian. Now that you know all this, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to choose this career. You also know how to go about it and the steps you need to climb to get to the top of the game.