10 Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs to Consider

10 Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs to Consider

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We used the latest data and insights to identify the Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs so that you can learn and earn more.

Salary is not the only factor to consider when choosing a career, but it’s certainly a big one. If you’re interested in a career in veterinary medicine, you may want to focus your studies on higher-paying positions.

Veterinarian salaries vary by specialty, experience, education, and location. Compensation for veterinarians in private practice continues to increase.

We compiled the highest-paying veterinary jobs using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and other top career sites.

Let’s get started!

#10. Military Veterinarians

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $20,000 per year
  • High Range: $102,500 per year
  • Median Pay: $56,448 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pixabay
Credits: Pixabay

What do they do?

Military veterinarians are an essential part of the U.S. military. They provide medical care to animals involved in military operations, including horses, dogs, and other animals that serve in the military.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Military veterinarians must have a veterinary medicine degree from an accredited college or university. You must have a license to work as a veterinarian in the military. Some states require extra training beyond your undergraduate degree.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

A licensed veterinarian may work for the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or other agencies within the government that deal with military operations on a regular basis.

What is the best way to get this job?

Once you’ve gotten your degree and passed your tests, you’ll be ready to apply for your position. One of the best ways to get this position is by visiting the websites of the United States Army Veterinary Corps or Air Force Medical Service Corps. These sites have all the information you need about applying for a position as a military veterinarian.

What’s it like to be a military veterinarian?

#9. Zoo Veterinarians

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $12,500 per year
  • High Range: $128,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $62,060 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pixabay
Credits: Pixabay

What do they do?

A zoo veterinarian is a medical professional who looks after the health and well-being of animals in zoos. They’re responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries, as well as providing preventative care to keep the animals healthy.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This job requires a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine or biology. A master’s degree is not necessary but may improve your chances of getting a well-paying position.

Employers look for people who are compassionate about animals and willing to help save endangered species from extinction by protecting their natural habitats. They want employees who are motivated to learn new things every day and can communicate effectively with other team members.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Zoo veterinarians work at wildlife centers, zoos, and aquariums.

What is the best way to get this job?

With your degree in veterinary medicine, you can apply for entry-level positions as a vet assistant or technician. After gaining experience, you may apply for higher-paying jobs in the same zoo or any aquarium with open positions.

What’s it like to be a zoo veterinarian?

#8. Small Animal Veterinarians

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $51,000 per year
  • High Range: $99,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $70,012 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Small animal veterinarians are responsible for treating pets, from cats and dogs to rabbits and ferrets. In addition to treating animals with injuries or illnesses, they also perform preventive care such as vaccinations and deworming.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

To become a small animal veterinarian, you will need at least an undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine from an accredited school. You may also get certified through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 

Small animal veterinarians need to be able to think critically, communicate clearly with their clients, and have strong interpersonal skills. They also need to be compassionate, patient, flexible, and detail-oriented.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

They work in animal clinics, shelters, zoos, and aquariums.

What is the best way to get this job?

 You should start by earning a degree from an accredited college or university with veterinary medicine programs to get this job. After passing your certification exam, you can look for internship positions in clinics or hospitals to gain valuable experience.

What’s it like to be a small animal veterinarian?

#7. Food Animal Veterinarian

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $16,500 per year
  • High Range: $121,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $70,477 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

A food animal veterinarian is a professional who specializes in the treatment of animals that farmers raise for food, such as cattle, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. These professionals may practice as mixed-animal veterinarians. 

What degrees and skills are usually required?

To become a food animal veterinarian, you must graduate from an accredited veterinary school with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Some employers may require additional training or experience before hiring new employees in this field. However, most entry-level positions will accept new graduates straight out of school.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

They work primarily on farms or ranches, but they may also work at an animal shelter or a zoo.

What is the best way to get this job?

After graduating from veterinary school, it’s crucial that you gain experience working with animals in different settings before applying for this job. Some employers may require that you have at least two years of experience working with large animals such as horses or cows before considering hiring you—but this is not always necessary. It’s also important that you have strong communication skills because your primary responsibility will be communicating with farmers about their animals’ needs.

What’s it like to be a food animal veterinarian?

#6. Equine Veterinarians

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $19,500 per year
  • High Range: $118,500 per year
  • Median Pay: $72,468 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

An equine veterinarian is a highly-trained professional who has a deep understanding of horses’ health, care, and treatment. They are responsible for diagnosing and treating the horse’s anatomical and physiologic issues.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

To become an equine vet, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine from an accredited college or university. In addition to this basic education requirement, equine veterinarians also need clinical experience as well as certifications in certain areas of expertise, such as internal medicine or surgery.

Employers look for people who are compassionate and have good communication skills. They also want someone who has a strong interest in horses and their care.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Equine veterinarians work in various settings: private practice, military, and government agencies, zoos, research laboratories, and universities.

What is the best way to get this job?

Once you’ve graduated from college with your bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine (DVM), you’ll need to apply for licensure through the state where you plan to practice medicine—and pass their exam before practicing medicine legally anywhere else.

You should then volunteer at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic to get some hands-on experience with different types of animals before applying for an entry-level position in the veterinary industry.

What’s it like to be an equine veterinarian?

#5. Veterinary Hospital Manager

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $53,000 per year
  • High Range: $142,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $81,232 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Veterinary hospital managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a veterinary hospital. They are generally responsible for keeping track of appointments and ensuring that all animals under their care receive proper treatment.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The level of education that employers require varies depending on your position. Many veterinary hospital managers have bachelor’s degrees in animal science or business administration. Some employers may require an MBA or higher degree instead of an undergraduate degree. 

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Most vets have their own practices, so this position is usually available at small clinics or animal hospitals. However, some large vet clinics may also employ someone with this title. The hours vary depending on the location and type of practice. Many managers work early mornings or late nights since most animals need care during those times.

What is the best way to get this job?

To become a veterinary manager, you’ll need at least an associate’s degree in business administration or a related field. A bachelor’s degree would be even better. You may also want to consider pursuing an MBA or other advanced degree if your ultimate goal is to get this top position. You can start with lower positions, such as assistant veterinary manager, and work your way up the ladder.

What’s it like to be a veterinary hospital manager?

#4. Veterinary Ophthalmologist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Salary.com
  • Low Range: $73,999 per year
  • High Range: $153,674 per year
  • Median Pay: $110,695 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Veterinary ophthalmologists are the eyes and ears of the animal kingdom. They perform diagnostic tests and surgeries on animals’ eyes, including removing cataracts and repairing trauma to the eye. These professionals also provide pre-surgical care to pets who are going under anesthesia for other procedures.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The career path for a veterinary ophthalmologist is long. You need to earn a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree (M.S.), and complete rigorous training after graduating from veterinary school. After that, you must pass a national board exam to become certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO).

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Veterinary ophthalmologists work primarily in animal hospitals, but they may also work in research facilities or university settings.

What is the best way to get this job?

Once you’ve earned your certification, you can apply for jobs in private practice, at veterinary schools, or in research facilities. Your employer will want to see that you have experience treating eye diseases before hiring you as an employee or intern.

What’s it like to be a veterinary ophthalmologist?

#3. Public Health Veterinarians

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $86,000 per year
  • High Range: $179,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $118,425 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Public health veterinarians help to ensure that animals are safe from communicable diseases. These professionals work closely with the local community to educate them about how to care for their pets.

A typical day for a public health vet includes:

  • Performing vaccinations and testing for rabies.
  • Working closely with local animal shelters and pet stores to ensure that all animals are healthy.
  • Visiting farms and ranches to ensure proper food safety.
  • Assisting veterinarians with emergency calls.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Some employers require a master’s degree in veterinary medicine, while others only need a bachelor’s degree. You can also get these jobs with an associate’s degree.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

They work with animal owners, health departments, and other agencies to create programs that keep people safe from dangerous diseases.

What is the best way to get this job?

To become a public health veterinarian, you’ll need a master’s degree in veterinary medicine focusing on animal science or public health. You’ll also want to get experience working at an animal clinic or animal shelter to learn about different types of animals and how they interact with humans.

What’s it like to be a public health veterinarian?

#2. Veterinary Radiologist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $18,500 per year
  • High Range: $398,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $136,983 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

A veterinary radiologist’s job description includes:

  • Taking X-rays and other images of animals’ bodies.
  • Interpreting these images.
  • Sending them back to their clients (veterinarians).
  • Providing advice on how best to treat the patient after seeing their X-ray pictures.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

To become a veterinary radiologist, you must complete an undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine (DVM) from an accredited veterinary medicine school. You can then go for one or two years of residency training in diagnostic imaging. 

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Veterinary radiologists can work in almost any area where animals are cared for—including dog shelters and veterinary hospitals. They might also work in research labs studying animal diseases.

What is the best way to get this job?

With your degree in veterinary medicine, you can apply for residency training in diagnostic imaging at an accredited veterinary school or university.

You can then look for internship opportunities at a local veterinary hospital or clinic.

What’s it like to be a veterinary radiologist?

#1. Certified Veterinary Surgery Specialist

How much do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $121,000 per year
  • High Range: $269,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $170,668 per year
Highest Paying Veterinary Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

A Certified Veterinary Surgery Specialist (CVSS) works as part of a team to support the veterinarian’s work. They work in hospitals and clinics, performing surgery on animals and preparing them for surgery. 

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Board-certified veterinary surgery specialists have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a veterinary surgery-related program from an accredited school. They have a solid mastery of surgical procedures.

Who’s hiring for these jobs?

Certified veterinary surgery specialists work in clinics and hospitals that specialize in performing surgeries on animals. Depending on the facility’s size and structure, they may work alone or with other veterinarians.

What is the best way to get this job?

One way to get this job is by applying directly through an employer’s website or contacting local hospitals or clinics directly for more information about their hiring practices.

With your certifications, you can also get this job through networking and asking around—you never know who might know someone who knows someone in need of your services.

What’s it like to be a certified veterinary surgery specialist?

Conclusion

The veterinary medicine field remains one of the most popular jobs in America, so it pays to check out the jobs that pay the most. If you are willing to relocate and can embrace traveling, you can open yourself up to a higher-paying job in a field you may already love.

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Joannah W.
Joannah has been a science publisher with close to 20 years of experience. She wants to help students and researchers stay ahead of the trends and developments in the science community by making science more accessible to everyone.

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