A new study shows that the average salary for private practice veterinarians increased from $115,447 in 2007 to $121,303 in 2009. The figures are based on the 2011 American Veterinary Medical Association Report on Veterinary Compensation, which is published every two years.
The private practice salary boost is largely due to the fact that companion animal exclusive veterinarians saw salary increases from $113,373 in 2007 to $124,768 in 2009, according to the AVMA study.
However, other private practice sectors—mixed animal, companion animal predominant and equine—faced salary decreases. The AVMA attributed the decline to the recession.
Specifically, mixed animal veterinarians saw the average salary drop from $117,201 in 2007 to $107,064 in 2009, companion animal predominant from $120,462 to $117,524 and equine from $131,195 to $126,641.
Food animal exclusive veterinarians also saw a dip in pay, from $139,612 in 2007 to $131,479 in 2009, but they are still the highest paid veterinarians working in private practice, according to the AVMA study.
All veterinarians working in public and corporate positions experienced salary increases between 2007 and 2009, according to the study.
The top earning veterinarians in 2009 worked in industry, on average earning $167,415.