Veterinary surgeon’s salary is around $96,000 in the United States. Veterinary surgeons, unlike all veterinarians, are trained and qualified to perform some surgical procedures. They can perform orthopedic or general surgical procedures on different animals. As surgeons for animals, they are required to operate on animals within the sterile environment of their private practice. But in the case of an emergency, their work might involve traveling to the livestock’s location and perform surgeries at unusual hours and in non-sterile environment, which might be full of germs and diseases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the salary for all veterinarians, including the veterinary surgeon’s salary, is $84,460. Their employment growth is estimated to be 12%, which is as fast as average, from 2012 to 2022. Keep reading for more information about veterinary surgeon salary and career requirements.
Veterinary surgeon job description
Veterinary surgeons are vets who specialize in the surgical treatment of animal diseases and injuries. They perform surgical procedures that are both orthopedic and general in nature. Their routine duties include examining the animal patients before the surgery, running diagnostic tests, checking nuclear scans and radiographs, using specialized equipment, performing operations, writing case reports, supervising animal care after an operation, and working with veterinary technicians and other support staff.
Some veterinary surgeons also opt to teach at a veterinary college, conduct research and publish the results, create new diagnostic tests and medical devices, and provide consultations. Because they are involved in the academia, their work usually includes giving lectures, supervising student research, serving as student adviser, and supervising activities in the laboratory.
How much does a veterinary surgeon make ?
Average veterinary surgeon salary
The average veterinarian’s salary, including the veterinary surgeon’s salary, is around $96,140. Their average wage is around $46.22, according to the BLS.
Veterinary surgeon salary in the US
According to PayScale, the total veterinary surgeon’s salary ranges between $45,977 and $151,399. Their base salary ranges between $46,100 and $148,375, while their bonus may reach up to $19,866. The median veterinary surgeon salary is reported to be around $86,740.
As per the BLS’ Occupational Employment and Wages report as of May 2013, the industry with the highest levels and highest concentration of employment for veterinary surgeons is that of the other professional, scientific, and technical services. The surgeon in this industry earned $96,510 per year. On the other hand, the industry with the highest veterinary surgeon salary of $134,320 is that of the scientific research and development services. The other industries with high salaries for these surgeons include employment services, where the veterinary surgeon’s salary was $127,250; wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers, $119,180; other personal services, $102,410; and management of companies and enterprises, $101,060.
Veterinary surgeon salary by city/state in the US
Veterinary surgeons were paid the most in Hawaii, with an annual pay of $122,150 in 2013, according to the BLS. The veterinary surgeon’s salary was also quite high in the top paying states of Connecticut, where the pay was $121,480. The rest of the list includes New York, Pennsylvania, and California, where veterinarian surgeon earned $115,350, $114,640, and $113,660 per year.
These surgeons also earned the highest veterinary surgeon salary of $167,600 in the metropolitan area of Honolulu, Hawaii. They also earned $165,360 in the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, California area. They took home $156,560 in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California; $153,420 in Palm Coast, Florida; and $147,430 in the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California area.
Veterinary surgeon salary in Canada
PayScale reports that the median veterinary surgeon’s salary in Canada is C$65,000. Their basic salary ranges from C$54,631 to C$90,604. On top of this, they receive bonuses that reach up to C$48,936. Their total salary ranges from C$57,767 to C$140,000.
Veterinary surgeon salary in Australia
The typical veterinary surgeon’s salary for those employed in Australia ranges from AU$43,879 to AU$100,726. However, their base salary ranges from AU$42,608 to AU$98,775 and their bonus reaches up to AU$15,100, based on PayScale reports. Their wage ranges between AU$23.79 and AU$50, while their overtime pay ranges between AU$29.48 and AU$61.04.
Veterinary surgeon salary in the UK
The veterinary surgeon’s salary for those working in the UK ranges between £22,330 and £44,302. However, their base salary ranges from £21,905 to £42,144m their bonuses may amount to £4,960, their profit sharing may reach up to £322.50, and their commission may range from £600 to £12,000, according to PayScale. Their wages vary from £13.90 to £25.78, while overtime pay reaches up to £30.41.
Prospects, a salary website, showed that the starting veterinary surgeon’s salary ranges between £21,800 and £33,500, depending on the surgeon’s experience. With more experience and training, the annual pay may increase up to £36,500. Senior veterinarians may take home between £44,000 and £53,000.
Veterinary surgeon salary in South Africa
PayScale reported that the veterinary surgeon’s salary for those working in South Africa ranges between R117,446 and R551,494. PayScale also showed their median pay to be R296,608.
And how much does a veterinary surgeon make in Mexico
A veterinary surgeon performs surgery on animals which have been diagnosed with diseases or have injuries. They mainly treat domestic animals like cats, dogs, cows and horses but are also involved in performing surgery on wild animals in the zoo. One has to go through medical school and obtain a license afterwards that will act as a permit for one to practice veterinary surgery.
In Mexico, veterinary surgeons are likely earning the more or less the same amount as general practitioners. Doctors in general practice usually take home a salary between MXN139,620 and MXN623,404, as reported by PayScale. However, with time the salary earned increases since one continues to gain the necessary experience and skills required in this profession.
How to become a veterinary surgeon
To become a veterinary surgeon, one needs to have a bachelor’s degree to get into a veterinary school. However, not all veterinary schools require their student applicants to complete an entire program, as long as they completed some undergraduate coursework, including chemistry, microbiology, and zoology. Some schools also look at applicants who have taken social sciences, math, and humanities coursework favorably.
Aspiring veterinary surgeon can pursue a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, which takes four years to complete. It consists of three years of classroom and laboratory work, while taking classes in animal anatomy and physiology, diagnosing diseases, and treatment and prevention. The last year is spent in clinical rotations at veterinary clinics and hospitals, taking care of small and large animals.
To get a license, veterinarians should learn about the specific licensure requirements in the state where they want to work. However, the most common requirements include passing the North American Veterinary Licensing examination.
To develop their specialization, veterinarians must spend one year as an intern and gain more veterinary experience, after which they need to spend three years as a resident. Residents have to work under the supervision of board-certified surgeon, who can teach them more surgical techniques.
After their residency, veterinarians may pursue an ACVS Diplomate, or become a board-certified veterinary surgeon. On top of this, they need to conduct research about a topic relevant to veterinary surgery and publish it in a journal. They must pass both written and practical exams to get certified.
Conclusion about veterinary surgeon salary
Veterinary surgeon earns a median pay of $86,740. Based on the salary of veterinarians, the top earners make around $149,530 or more, while the bottom earners take home only $53,270 or less. Veterinary surgeon salary is above average.