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DVM salaries up since 2005, but trend could be slowing

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Nov 21, 2008
Schaumburg, Ill. -- Veterinary salaries are growing at a higher rate than inflation with private practitioners

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seeing an average annual growth rate of 4.6 percent since 2005, according to the 2009 AVMA Report on Veterinary Compensation released yesterday.

The biennial economic report shows the mean professional income of private practice veterinarians increased to $115,447 in 2007.

Salaries for food-animal exclusive and mixed-animal veterinarians improved the most over the past two years with an annual growth rate of 14.3 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively. In 2007, the mean annual income of food-animal exclusive veterinarians in private practice was $139,612, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Salaries for equine veterinarians remained relatively flat over the two-year period with an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent. Equine veterinarians had a mean annual income of $131,195 in 2007.

Companion-animal exclusive DVMs earned a mean annual income of $113,373 in 2007 with women seeing a higher annual growth rate than their male counterparts, 6.4 percent vs. 3.8 percent.

While incomes are increasing at a rate significantly ahead of inflation, that rate of growth may be slowing for those in private practice, AVMA reports.

From 1997 to 2001, the growth in salaries for clinical practitioner was 28.8 percent. From 2003 to 2007, the rate of growth dropped to 19.8 percent.

For public and corporate veterinarians, the growth rate has improved during that same time period.

From 1997 to 2001, the growth in salaries for public and corporate veterinarians was 20.9 percent and it improved to 23.8 percent from 2003 to 2007.