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You’ve worked hard, you’ve studied endlessly, and you’re in the field of your dreams: veterinary medicine. But the need for veterinarians  has been on the rise  for the last several years, so it’s important to ask yourself this question: D o you know how much veterinarians make?  With the consistently rising need for more professionals in this field, the fluctuation in salaries has also changed. But clearly this isn’t the easiest question to answer since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. There are a number of factors that go into how much a veterinarian makes: experience, education, and specialty. However, there are several factors to consider when you are evaluating your salary.  The first thing to consider is the overall compensation based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their most recently obtainable report (as of November 2019). It was stated that veterinarians earn a median salary of $93,830, with the best-paid veterinarians receiving salaries of $162,450 and the lowest at $56,540. How do we determine where you fall in the pay scale and if it’s accurate?   There are plenty of variables that help to answer this. First, we can look at what specialty in animal care you fall into, as well as your practice. The largest majority of vets are comprised of companion veterinarians who take care of non-exotic household pets such as cats, dogs, rabbits, etc. Since they serve the largest population for clients who will need to see them with regularity, their salaries come in around $87,000 a year. Vets that serve large animals such as farm animals, exotic animals, or zoological animals are the second-highest paid at around $75,000. The lowest-paid vets are equine-only veterinarians who get paid $50,000 a year, however, this is a reflection of the fact that they serve the smallest population needed. There are also vets who serve a mixed clientele of the above, and they generally make around $75,000.  If you are still questioning your salary after reading the above, there may be additional factors to consider. The first of which is experience level.  It should come as no surprise that experience dictates salary. It should not be surprising that an internship is often lower-paying, though required for some degree programs or to gain specialization in a field. Most post-graduate internships are paid, but they are below the mean and lowest average at around $33,000. Following that intern experience, entry-level positions at public or private practices can expect to start anywhere between $70,000 to $80,000, also depending upon location and specialization. And like other similar fields, gaining more experience results in developing within your specialty as well as attending and expanding your knowledge base with frequent training and enrichment programs. As a result, mid-level veterinarians can expect their salary to be around $85,000. Board-certified vets in a particular specialty have salaries that are around $150,000. Generalized ones are around $88,000. By the time you are later in your career and are prepared to become a partner at a practice, you can expect your salary to be anywhere from around $92,00 to as high as  $110,000.  Are you wondering about more factors that play into getting the most out of your career and salary?  Then it is time to explore industries outside of private practices. There are plenty of industries that will start you at a great salary with the opportunity to make even more the more you progress within the field. These industries also consider that specialty and location will still play a factor.  Some of these industries include working for the government. Government and military veterinarians will work mainly with dogs and other animals which are integral to the federal government and armed forces. They can also expect to help at the local and state level with the removal of diseased animals. The medium income for this industry is around $100,000.  Veterinary professors who work with education and research can make anywhere from $110,000 to $120,000 yearly. Meanwhile, vets who work for non-profit practices who work at animal rescues make around $90,000. The industry that you can make the most money in is commercial practices, which include a specialization from above, which pays around $160,000. The vet that makes the most following that is consultants at around $150,000 a year.  When you are next evaluating your request for a salary re-negotiation, make sure that you keep all of the above in mind when assessing your worth. It’s important to also consider the importance of location when thinking about these factors as some locations will dictate higher salary requirements. A good tool to get the most accurate idea of salaries in the veterinary field is the  salary calculator provided by the AVMA . //   //
It is not a surprise to anyone reading this blog that at this current juncture there is a major shortage of veterinarians and veterinary technicians. While you might have experienced this only anecdotally, there is research-based evidence to this shortage. On September 12, 2019, eminent veterinary economist James Lloyd, DVM, Ph.D., presented his research which quantified the number of open veterinary positions on job-seeking sites to the number of available veterinarians from AVMA and AAVMC data. The results showed that there is indeed factual evidence of a shortage of animal care professionals.  Armed with this knowledge, it is essential to maintain highly qualified staff capable of performing to the best of their abilities. But retention and development of the staff within your practice might not speak to the needs you’re experiencing. And because of that, being capable of selling your practice and crafting the perfect job ad is an essential skill. Your ability to draw qualified individual’s resumes is the ultimate goal and there are a number of ways to go about achieving your aim.  However, it is important to know what a job ad isn’t . Do you know that a job is not? A job ad isn’t merely a description of the open position. Typing up a flavorless job description doesn’t detail the qualities of the candidate you are looking for, and will likely result in you getting resumes from people who are not an adequate fit for either the open position or the unique nature of your practice.  So how do you write an effective job ad?  Utilize tone and voice when writing the ad. A dry job description doesn’t denote the personality of your practice, and it’s important to write the job ad in a way that reflects that personality. Try ensuring that the ad is friendly and welcoming while still being professional--after all, that’s the kind of candidate you are likely looking for.  Speak to your potential candidate’s career ambition and let them know that your practice is the place for them to advance. Be direct about how placement within your practice is the ambitious yet logical next move for them to hone their skills and that further advancement within the field is available via the open job.  Be sure to talk about the culture of your practice. Be openly informative about your team and speak to the environment of the practice. Within the ad, speak to the personality you’re looking for along with the job skills that will best suit the role. You don’t want to draw someone with the skills you’re looking for but will ultimately not be a well-suited addition to an established team.  Before even writing the ad, think deeply about who the ideal candidate is. After you envision that candidate think about what would draw them to respond to an ad. Think about your imaginary candidate’s driving motivations and what qualities they would like to see included in a veterinary job ad.  Be thorough about what tasks will be required and the expectations you have about the performance of those tasks. No need to write a very long list, try to narrow down the main responsibilities to no more than five items.  Think thoroughly about what makes your practice that much different than the next. Being unique and standing out is essential when job boards are flooded with tons of ads. So taking individualized and unique approaches will help you stand out.  Ultimately, you will want to couple these tips with research. Go onto different job boards and check out the different ads. Take note of what you find impressive, be aware of what you found lacking and not compelling, and after you’ve finished researching write an ad that will stand out among the best of the best of the ads you read.  But knowing what to do isn’t exclusively the most helpful. Knowing what not to do will also assist in crafting the very best job ad.  What are some things to avoid when writing your job ad? Avoid defaulting to veterinary jargon when writing the ad or the feeling that it was developed by an HR overseer. This means your job ad will be packed with unfeeling filler making it easy to skip over.  While attempting to be unique and welcoming, make sure you don’t become cutesy or cliche. Avoid pet puns and over familiarity or you risk attracting people who won’t take the position seriously or treat it with the gravity that it deserves.  Coming off as desperate. There is nothing that will draw a candidate away from a role than appearing too desirous to immediately fill an open position.  Don’t oversell. While you are looking to get a great candidate who will fit the culture of your practice, you can’t achieve this by misleading people. Be honest about the expectations of the position and the leading benefits of working for your practice. Don’t offer things you can’t provide.  Don’t make a list of all of the latest equipment that is utilized in your practice. This isn’t a relevant or motivating detail to a qualified candidate.  Keep it brief! You’ll be able to go into greater detail once you find a resume that speaks to you.  Now that you have the tips and research, it’s time to write your job ad. Do you know the outline of a job ad? A job ad is broken down into several brief sections that will flow together with a confident voice that eliminates the obviousness of the structure. Start with a short job heading that is exactly what you’re looking for. If the job is more complicated than a six-word header, you can utilize a subheading to clarify the position. Address three key points: location, salary, and benefits. Have a very short introductory job description that summarizes the subsequent job ad with immediacy. Following that, a job ad will have an opening paragraph, which will immediately engage the reader. After the opening paragraph, provide a quick overview of the practice. This should speak briefly to the culture and nature of the practice. Open you’ve established the overview of the practice, address three essential elements of the job and following that provide three things that you are seeking in a qualified candidate. Once you’ve established those things, offer three key benefits of being part of your team and follow it with why they should apply to your practice and how to apply to the position. Provide a one-sentence conclusion that will leave the candidate looking to learn more.  Knowing how to write the perfect veterinary job ad is an essential skill that will lead to the right candidate coming to your practice. It is worth the time, practice, and research to perfecting this ability--in the end, it will make your team and your practice stronger. Happy writing! Do you want to post a job ad on ?  First you will need to create a Free Employer Profile .  Then you can select one of our job posting subscriptions .  Once you've purchased a job posting subscription you will be able to post your job and search our vast resume database . //   //
Being an animal care professional requires a tremendous amount of commitment. While being a veterinarian is incredibly rewarding, it also comes with a significant number of frustrations. There are times when you can smile through the vexation, acknowledge that there are certain aspects that won’t change, and work through what’s troubling you. And often, your job satisfaction can come by balancing self-care (as discussed last week) and being confident in your own carefully honed skills. However, there are signs to take note of when it comes to veterinary job satisfaction. These can be signs that your commitment to your current position is holding you back from your career goals. They can also be signs that your dissatisfaction goes further than just everyday frustrations and that it’s time to find other opportunities elsewhere. What are these signs? It’s careful to be cognizant of when loving what you do interferes with making the best choices for your career. Here are some of the things to be aware of: 1. You are not moving forward in your career   The landscape for veterinary care and studies is constantly changing. If you are not developing within your career and your field, it might be time to start looking for new opportunities. You deserve to be working in an environment where your desire to learn about new treatments, medications, procedures, and skills is encouraged and supported. Your skill set is contingent on being on top of new medical trends, and growth is essential in being able to provide the best care to your patients. If this isn’t supported, you could fall behind in the essentials within your field of specialty and it could compromise your abilities. Do you feel like you’re not moving forward in your career? Is your employer not assisting you in achieving further educational opportunities? If so, it is likely time you moved on to a new position. 2. Your attention is elsewhere Do you experience trepidation and anxiety about going into your office or clinic? When you get to your workplace do you find it hard to concentrate on the day’s tasks? The unease of being in your place of work can cause you to shift your focus to other things, namely being the moment when you can leave to go home. If your job dissatisfaction starts to lend itself to your concentration becoming compromised or you are more focused on how quickly you can get out of the office, it might be time to start moving on. You can mitigate these problems by asking for assistance from higher-ups in the form of additional trainings or exploring new job opportunities. However, if this assistance isn’t supported you should likely start exploring job opportunities elsewhere. 3. Lack of support from your team Do you feel like the majority of your conversations outside of work are focused on the negatives of being there? Is the lack of support within your workplace lending itself to a toxic environment? Animal care is a competitive field filled with professionals who need to be at the top of their skillset to handle difficult cases and explain complicated issues to pet owners. This kind of personal pressure can start to dissolve the feelings of working on a team. But collaboration and professional and emotional support should be a part of your workplace. If you are experiencing a workplace where you are being undercut by other members of your team, are feeling unable to say “no” to the requests and demands from other professionals, or are having your judgment calls second-guessed, then it’s time to leave. Being a veterinarian is difficult enough without having to work in a place where collaboration and support aren’t encouraged and supported. It is not part of your job to put up with bullying and unconstructive criticism, it’s essential to find an environment where you and your skills are supported. 4. Concerns about patient care Every day is going to be different when you’re a veterinarian. Some cases will be more difficult than others, requiring hard calls when it comes to the health of a pet. However, if you are feeling that the care being provided at your clinic doesn’t meet professional standards, then it is time to leave. Staying in a place where ethics are compromised and bad patient care is performed could compromise your reputation and dissolve the years of work you’ve put into your skills and professionalism. It is not worth it to stay in any place where patient care isn’t being promoted as the most essential aspect of your job responsibilities. 5. Your physical and emotional health is compromised In the last two posts, we discussed the importance of focusing on self-care and noting the signs of when it’s time to focus on your well being. Within those blogs, we looked at how the difficulties of the job can affect your mental and physical health. But when you consider all of the signs of stress in your work environment, such as lack of job opportunities, bullying, or poor patient care, it can start to manifest in physical problems. If these problems are causing you distress, be it mental, emotional, or physical, it is necessary and important to explore job opportunities elsewhere. You will not be able to deliver the best pet care if you are suffering from the stress of your workplace. You deserve to work in a place where you are supported, offered great opportunities, and where your skills are lauded and celebrated. Veterinarians are highly in demand and if you are experiencing stress and burnout because you are working in an uncooperative and toxic clinic it is time to move on. Your future self will thank you for making the best decision when it comes to your career. Is it time for you to find a new position in the veterinary field? If the answer to that question is yes, then we're here to help!  With  you can post your resume, search and apply to jobs across the United States for free!  CLICK HERE to create a free job seeker profile and find your dream veterinary job today!   // // //
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