How much money does a vet make in 2020? If you absolutely love animals and want a great paying and rewarding career working with them, then you probably want to know the answer to this question to make your decision. Being able to help animals on a daily basis makes being a Veterinarian (Vet) very rewarding and a smart career move. That is also what makes this one of the best careers working with animals.
We have done the extensive research to bring you the best information on the salaries of veterinarians, so that you can make a smart and informed decision for your career!
What do Veterinarians do?
You can think of veterinarians as the medical doctors of the animal world. Humans need doctors to help and maintain their physical health, well so do animals. Animals need a medically trained professional to take care of their health and wellness and a veterinarian is the one who does this for them. They diagnose and treat various medical conditions that animals can have to heal injuries and extend their life. Some of the tasks that veterinarians perform are:
- Routine medical checkups
- Diagnose illness and medical conditions
- Treat and dress injuries and wounds
- Vaccinate animals against disease
- Test animals for various types of diseases and develop a treatment plan
- Prescribe medication (Our pets also need medical prescriptions to get their medicine)
- Perform Surgery. This can be for injuries, neutering or spaying pets, removing tumors, and many other medically necessary reasons.
- Use medical equipment, such as x-rays and ultrasounds to evaluate, locate, and treat medical conditions
- Euthanize animals. This is the hardest part of being a veterinarian! But know that you are ending their severe pain and suffering
- Deliver baby animals. Everyone loves baby animals!
They can specialize in a number of different areas, such as a concentration in pet or companion animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles, and birds; Or Zoo animals like lions, polar bears, and elephants; Or even wildlife like, wolves, bald eagles, and koalas. Vets can even specialize in different parts of the body like the heart, brain, or reproductive organs just like their human focused counterparts.
Veterinarians have the option to work in a wide variety of locations. They can work in animal hospitals, private clinics, animal shelters, zoos, laboratories, farms, or on location helping wildlife. The choices of where you want to work are vast in the veterinary profession.
How Much Money Does a Vet Make?
We have analyzed data from the the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to bring you the best data for determining the answer to the question of “how much money does a vet make?”. The 3 biggest factors that determine how much a vet make are experience, location, and specialization.
We have broken down the average veterinarian salary into three categories for you. How much they make yearly, monthly and hourly; along with the top paying locations to help you on your way in making the decision to work in this amazing career field.
How Much Money Does a Veterinarian Make a Year:
The average yearly salary for veterinarians in the United States is $93,830. This is well above and almost twice the national average salary of $48,672 a year for all career fields.
Veterinarians are paid really well with the top 10% of vets making $162,450 or more a year, even the bottom 10% makes more than the national average with a yearly income of $56,540 or below.
The higher than normal salaries for veterinarians is due to the high demand for their services and the level of education required to become one.
How Much Money Does a Veterinarian Make a Month:
Taking the average yearly salary for veterinarians we find that they make around $7,819.17 a month. Well above the monthly average of $4,056 for all career fields.
We find that the top 10% paid veterinarians make over $13,537.50 a month in pay. While the lowest 10% get paid $4711.67 or under in monthly pay.
How Much Money Does a Veterinarian Make an Hour:
The average veterinarian gets paid $45.11 an hour. The national average is only $23.40 pay per hour.
The top 10% best paid veterinarians make over $78.10 an hour. While the lowest paid 10% still made $27.18 an hour.
How to Become a Veterinarian
Becoming a veterinarian requires an extensive education to get you prepared to help animals with their medical needs. You must complete your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and become fully licensed work as a veterinarian.
The DVM degree typically requires 8 years of education. Four years to receive your bachelor’s degree with classes in biology, chemistry, and animal sciences among other science and general education classes. Your grades must be good during your bachelor’s, because you must get accepted into a four year veterinary graduate degree program. These programs are usually comprised of three years of intensive classroom and clinical work. The final year is usually spent doing clinical rotations in a veterinary clinic to get real-world experience.
After graduation for veterinarians to practice medicine and treat patients they must also be licensed both nationally with the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination and at the state level by passing a state specific licensing examination.
After completing all necessary education and licensing, some areas you should look at that determines “how much money does a vet make?” are location and specialization. Not all locations are equal so finding the best paying places to work is a must. We have compiled a list below of the top paying cities in the U.S. for veterinarians.
Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Veterinarians
- Lubbock, TX:
Average Annual Pay $228,450
Average Hourly Pay $109.83
Number of Jobs 70
- Sherman, TX:
Average Annual Pay $213,260
Average Hourly Pay $102.53
Number of Jobs 30
- Naples, FL:
Average Annual Pay $161,280
Average Hourly Pay $77.54
Number of Jobs 80
- El Paso, TX:
Average Annual Pay $159,930
Average Hourly Pay $76.89
Number of Jobs 70
- Riverside, CA:
Average Annual Pay $151,350
Average Hourly Pay $72.76
Number of Jobs 500
- Austin, TX:
Average Annual Pay $145,180
Average Hourly Pay $69.80
Number of Jobs 560
- Trenton, NJ:
Average Annual Pay $144,420
Average Hourly Pay $69.43
Number of Jobs 80
- Houston, TX:
Average Annual Pay $143,820
Average Hourly Pay $69.14
Number of Jobs 1,100
- Hilton Head, SC:
Average Annual Pay $142,640
Average Hourly Pay $68.58
Number of Jobs 60
- Santa Maria, CA:
Average Annual Pay $140,750
Average Hourly Pay $67.67
Number of Jobs 150
Currently there are over 84,500 veterinarians working and helping animals in the United States. The number of jobs is expected to increase by 18% between now and 2028. This growth is well above and faster than the average job growth in the United States, making this a highly sought after field that is in high-demand.
Currently in the United States it is estimated that there are 76,811,305 pet dogs and 58,385,725 pet cats. Each of these pets at some point will require the care of a veterinarian. With the current amount of vets in the U.S. that leaves 909 dogs and 691 cats per vet to care for and treat. This isn’t taking into account the numerous other pet animals, farm animals, and wildlife that veterinarians care for. This shows that the veterinarian career field is and will continue to be in high-demand.
Top 10 Cities with the Most Veterinarian Jobs
- New York, NY
Number of Jobs 3,060
Average Annual Pay $122,280
- Los Angeles, CA
Number of Jobs 1,940
Average Annual Pay $133,360
- Washington, DC
Number of Jobs 1,750
Average Annual Pay $137,940
- Chicago, IL
Number of Jobs 1,690
Average Annual Pay $105,840
- Atlanta, GA
Number of Jobs 1,270
Average Annual Pay $96,490
- Philadelphia, PA
Number of Jobs 1,250
Average Annual Pay $128,170
- Dallas, TX
Number of Jobs 1,140
Average Annual Pay $120,670
- Miami, FL
Number of Jobs 1,130
Average Annual Pay $100,680
- San Diego, CA
Number of Jobs 1,110
Average Annual Pay $107,890
- Houston, TX
Number of Jobs 1,110
Average Annual Pay $143,820
Start Your New Career Now!
Now that you know the answer to your question of “How Much Money Does a Vet Make in 2020?” Get out there and take action on starting your career as a veterinarian. Not only do you get to work with animals all day, you also get a career that is highly rewarding and has a salary that is way above normal!
Want to work with animals, but still aren’t sure about becoming a vet quite yet? Well check out the 21 Best Jobs Working with Animals!