How Much Do Vets Make in Different U. S. States in 2022

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Over the last 7 days, we chatted with:
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Are you earning enough as a qualified veterinarian? How much do vets make across your state? Could you be earning more in other cities or states?

If you’re a qualified vet wondering whether you are being paid enough, based on your location, level of experience, and type of practice, we take a closer look in this article, using the most up-to-date extensive research possible. 

According to The American Veterinary Medical Association, as of the end of 2021, there are 121,461 veterinarians in the U.S. AVMA membership isn’t mandatory for vets. However, given the range of benefits membership provides, 99,500 vets are members of the AVMA, with around 82% of veterinarians based in America. 

As the AVMA voluntarily asks members for salary information, the most recent data from them indicates that vets can earn anything from $60,000 to $150,000 (2019 figures). This is in line with The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reporting a median salary of $93,830, with earnings between $56,540 and $162,450 (figures accurate for 2019).  

How much vets make depends on a number of factors: experience, location, and the type of practice, as well as whether you are on staff, working as a partner, or self-employed. All of these variables influence how much you can earn, with our data showing that vet salaries by state vary widely. 

Firstly, we need to measure the impact of experience on the amount a vet can earn. 

How much do vets make depending on experience 

Once you’ve qualified as a vet, you can choose to go the internship route. Most of these are paid, although at a much lower salary than entry-level graduate veterinary jobs. 

  1. Internships are great ways to gain experience and potentially pursue sub-specialties which is a pathway towards being able to earn more throughout your career. The internship may last a year or even more and generally paid in the $33,000 range. However, that figure will have increased since the AVMA produced a report on salaries in 2019. 
  1. Entry-level roles for graduates are usually between $70,000 and $85,000, according to the 2019 AVMA Economic State of the Veterinary Profession report. Yet again, the median range for starting salaries is likely to be higher now, and this varies according to your specialty and where you live. 
  1. Once you’ve gained some experience and practiced veterinary medicine for several years, salaries start to increase. As our research shows, across every state, the average salaries reported were between $65,000 (New Mexico, Indeed.com) and $144,608 (Delaware, Indeed.com). How much a veterinarian earns can include profit-sharing for more experienced vets, alongside other revenue or bonus-based incentives. 
  1. Partners of veterinary practices and those who’ve achieved board certification can earn even more, usually in the $110,000 to $150,000 range. Vets’ compensation will fall on the higher end of the scale if you have 10  or more years of experience or when you are a part-owner,  partner, or in a practice with multiple sites. 

How much do vets make depending on the type of practice 

Earnings also vary depending on the type of practice. Veterinarians can practice medicine in a number of settings: 

  • Commercial and consulting 
  • Private practice (with a variety of options for that route) 
  • Research and education 
  • Government
  • Military
  • Non-profit 

Naturally, the amount a veterinarian earns also depends on their level of experience, and location, as our research shows. 

Commercial (i. e. for-profit practices specializing in one of the veterinary types) vets can make the most, generally in the $160,000 range, with enough years of experience under their belt. Consultants can make slightly less, in the $150,000 range. 

The private practice covers a wide range of specialties — companion animal, mixed animal, food animal (e.g., farm animals), and equine — with average salaries in the $100,000 to $120,000 range — with enough experience. Food and equine vets usually earn less, in the $90,000 to $100,000 range, depending on experience and the state where they practice.

Vets who go the academic route can earn up to $120,000, and those working for the government, or branches of the military or police can earn in the region of $100,000 to $120,000. 

Non-profit veterinary practices or non-profits that employ vets to treat animals usually pay around $90,000. 

However, as with the above figures, this is based on AVMA 2019 data, and salaries are likely higher now, as our own research shows. 

pets

Galaxy Vets salary study: how we did the research 

As there is a lot of research out there on veterinary salaries, we wanted to conduct our own. Comparing open-source data on Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com, we were able to pull together a table of the average salaries of users listed on those sites, creating the database you can review. 

One thing we noticed straight away is something of a gap between the salaries listed on both sites. In almost every case, the salaries on Indeed were higher than those listed on Glassdoor. Both are hugely popular platforms with millions of users across the U.S., covering thousands of professions, careers, and sectors. 

However, one of the reasons for Glassdoor providing lower averages, and more data, is they show salaries from cities and states, whereas, Indeed only averages this data out across an entire state. Salaries for vets in cities are often higher than in rural areas, so states with fewer cities and not as many vets in those cities (compared to rural areas) are going to show a lower overall average figure. 

Now, let’s dive into the list of the top five states with the highest salaries for vets. 

Top 5 states with the highest veterinary salaries 

Based on the research (see the full comparison table below), the top 5 states with the highest average veterinary salaries across the country are: 

#1: Delaware (DE): $132,304.00

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that supply and demand could be one of the reasons why salaries are so high in Delaware, with vets as a percentage of the workforce in the 0.4 – 0.79% range.

#2: California (CA): $128,580.50

In California, the number of vets within the workforce, according to BLS figures, is in the 0.8 to 1.24% range. However, given the number of pet owners in this state, it’s understandable that the number of vets overall is higher than in other states. According to Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) figures, there are 7,490 vets in California, not counting those who are self-employed. 

#3: New Hampshire (NH): $113,162.00

According to the BLS, the number of vets as a percentage of the workforce is quite low in New Hampshire — in the 0.4 – 0.79% range.

#4: New York (NY): $112,498.50 

According to the BLS, the number of vets within the New York State workforce is in the 0.8 to 1.24% range.

#5: Rhode Island (RI): $110,844.50 

Rhode Island is another state with a potential supply-demand ratio that is boosting veterinary salaries, with BLS data showing a workforce percentage of 0.8 to 1.24%. 

All five states are above the national average according to the same research, which is currently $106,814.50. We got these figures from an average of the two sets of data taken from Indeed and Glassdoor. 

5 states with the lowest veterinary salaries

Based on the table below, we found the states with the lowest salaries are: 

#1: Kansas: $90,558.00

#2: Wyoming: $88,556.00

#3: Mississippi: $89,352.00

#4: Montana: $88,238.00

#5: New Mexico (Lowest in the country): $76,645.00

So, there we go; the state with the lowest salaries for vets is New Mexico. Whereas, in Delaware, vets have the highest average salary. Now let’s take a look at the raw data, a comparison of the salaries shown on Indeed and Glassdoor for every state, followed by what vets can expect to earn across various U.S. cities. 

State-by-state veterinary salaries comparison table

State Average Salary
(Indeed data)
Average Salary
(Glassdoor data) 
Real Tax Rate
(for this state) 
U.S. nationwide$113,014$100,615
California$135,453$115,70835.7%
Texas$111,056$101,95028.4%
Florida$116,294$100,83028.4%
Tennessee$101,923$89,49628.4%
Alabama$106,726$94,41632.2%
Alaska$114,659No data28.6%
Arizona$115,379$102,43830.9%
Arkansas$92,552$94,88533.6%
Colorado$101,617$90,94432.5%
Connecticut$110,257$108,07335.4%
Delaware$144,608$120,00033.4%
Georgia$99,422$101,95033.4%
Hawaii$126,026$93,09535.5%
Idaho$103,507$94,88633.8%
Illinois$102,474$100,30233.0%
Indiana$113,673$96,20531.4%
Iowa$92,841$92,80333.1%
Kansas$90,118$90,99833.1%
Kentucky$89,987$92,82432.9%
Louisiana$102,588$94,68932.6%
MaineNo dataNo data34.2%
Maryland$110,182$111,45332.7%
Massachusetts$118,201$105,49233.3%
Michigan$101,178$96,96132.4%
Minnesota$93,450$100,15434.2%
Mississippi$84,395$94,31032.7%
Missouri$103,560$95,65032.6%
Montana$90,624$85,85233.6%
Nebraska$88,238$108,47033.8%
Nevada$126,324$100,00028.4%
New Hampshire$109,589$97,75128.4%
New Jersey$117,960$113,25432.1%
New Mexico$65,511$93,77932.4%
New York$118,341$106,63833.8%
North Carolina$111,766$93,87732.9%
North Dakota$95,020No data29.9%
Ohio$101,350$97,28931.4%
Oklahoma$95,729$85,14332.6%
Oregon$118,783$99,01335.6%
Pennsylvania$108,958$98,86031.3%
Rhode Island$118,297$103,39233.1%
South Carolina$107,281$93,96734.5%
South Dakota$88,664$94,17728.4%
Utah$128,873$96,14733.0%
Virginia$122,409$101,54133.3%
Washington$108,972$102,60728.7%
District of Columbia$112,752No data34.8%
West Virginia$95,144$94,43933.4%
Wisconsin$100,459$96,50334.0%
Wyoming$85,988$91,12428.4%
How much do vets make in different U. S. states: a comparison table

Veterinary salaries across major U.S. cities 

In some of America’s largest and most populous (and therefore, most expensive) cities, salaries can be higher than the statewide averages. 

In New York City (NYC), for example, the average median salary for a vet is $121,000, somewhat higher than the average for that state ($112,534.50).

The same goes for San Francisco (a city almost as expensive to live in as NYC), with the average median salary for a vet in the $126,674 range. In L.A., the average salary is $131,314.00. 

In Washington DC, the average is $113,993.50. Whereas, in Kansas City, the average is surprisingly high, at $132,453, compared to the rest of Missouri, where the average vet can earn $99,605, according to the same data sources and research. 

A quote from Dr. Tara McCarthy, Head of Community Engagement at Galaxy Vets

dr tara mccarthy

Veterinarians are in high demand and salaries are a hot topic. With so many models of compensation, it is necessary for each person to define what is important to them.

With a priority to reduce burnout and promote better work-life balance, Galaxy Vets will compensate team members without the pressure of production-based salary. Top-of-the-market wage combined with equity and perks to all employees who work 24 hours a week or more will allow each individual veterinarian to design the financial and time freedom that works best for them.

We do not want our employees to work themselves into the ground and burnout. We want them to thrive, make choices that work best for them and create financial freedom for the future with our equity sharing program.

Key takeaways 

According to our research, the state with the highest average salary for vets is Delaware, with vets able to earn around $132,304.00. And the state with the lowest average salary for vets is New Mexico, with the average almost half that, in the $76,645.00 range. 

Location does play a role in what a vet can earn. As does the type of practice and number of years in practice. When you’ve gained more experience, you can earn more, and if you are a partner in a veterinary practice or a private consultant, salaries and bonuses or profit-sharing can boost your take-home earnings. 

Being a vet means you can work anywhere. Your skills are in demand, whether that means working in private practice, treating farm animals in rural areas, or working for the government.

If you aren’t happy with what you are earning from your years of hard work and study, then consider working at Galaxy Vets. We offer the proven highest salaries within the market. In addition, you’ll receive an equity share for your effort after working here for a certain time.

Want to learn more about the veterinary industry? Check our Learning Center.

Thinking about selling your veterinary practice?

Let’s grow together! Sign up as a practice owner and calculate your profit from the
sale below. Embrace the opportunity to partner with Galaxy Vets, founded and
funded by vets, and get the highest payouts on the market.
Sign up
Over the last 7 days, we chatted with:
11
practice owners
50
employee candidates
in Southern California
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