How much do vets earn? As of May 2018, the median veterinarian’s salary was $ 93,830 per year or $ 45.11 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some vets earn a lot more; the richest 10% earned $ 162,450, according to the BLS. But those starting their careers shouldn’t expect to hit six figures for a while. The average veterinarian salary for the Class of 2018 was $ 76,633, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
How much do vets earn?
Students who have obtained a doctorate in veterinary medicine, or DVM, can enter several sectors. Veterinary services are the most common – 78% of vets take this route – and the most lucrative, according to the BLS. But the median salaries of veterinarians in different industries are comparable:
Veterinary services: $ 94,130.
Social rights organizations: $ 93,900.
Educational services: $ 80,410.
Veterinarians in private practice can be remunerated in different ways. Some receive a lump sum salary. Other practices may pay vets an hourly rate, link wages to income generated by a vet, or combine a fixed wage with a wage based on production.
Many other factors influence the salary of veterinarians, including where they work, whether they are board certified, and whether they own their practice. The type of practice – for example, working on pets versus food animals – is also important. AVMA offers a tool that can help you estimate wages according to these variables.
Student loans and veterinarian salaries
Students should keep salary statistics in mind when determining how to pay for veterinary school. Ideally, you would want to limit the amount you withdraw by vet school loans not more than your projected salary for the first year.
But it can be difficult even if you earn more than the average starting salary for a veterinarian of $ 76,633. Average student debt for veterinarians in the class of 2018 was $ 183,014, according to the AVMA. This means that you could easily end your education with debt that more than doubles your income.
If you don’t earn enough to pay your payments: Go for a income based repayment plan. These plans generally set payments at 10% of your discretionary income. Payment amounts may change each year based on your income. Use this calculator to estimate the potential amount of your payments based on income.
If your salary comfortably covers your payments: Stick to your current repayment plan and look for opportunities to repay your loans faster. For example, depending on how you are paid, consider working more hours or doing extra procedures and spending that extra money directly on your loans.
You can also refinance your vet school loans at a lower interest rate if you have good credit and a manageable debt-to-income ratio. You may have to wait to do this until you have a few years in your career and your income has increased or you have paid off some of what you owe.
You should not consider refinancing if you qualify for a loan cancellation program or if you need to make income-tested payments. If you are willing to forgo these options, refinancing could reduce your monthly payments or the total you will repay overall.