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AVMA Survey Indicates Most Starting Salaries Are Up for New Veterinarians
Date:9/1/2009

practices, ranged from a low of $63,172 for food animal predominant positions to a high of $72,318 for food animal exclusive positions.

Graduates entering equine practice, according to the survey, continued to earn less than their counterparts in other types of private practice, with equine practices offering an average starting salary of $37,854 in 2009. That's a decrease of 9.1 percent from last year's starting salaries in the equine field. In contrast, the average starting salary in companion animal exclusive practices was $69,154, which was second highest only to food animal exclusive starting salaries.

While more than half of veterinary graduates sought employment immediately following graduation, many others decided to continue their education through internships, residencies or the pursuit of other degrees, such as a master's or Ph.D. The proportion of graduates seeking advanced education increased by 9 percent from 2008.

Other graduates sought postgraduate education or training in an AVMA-recognized, board-certified specialty. Over a third of graduates, or 38.1 percent, indicated in the survey that they were planning on seeking diplomate status with such entities as the American College of Internal Medicine, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American College of Emergency and Critical Care and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, among others.

Most of the news coming out of the 2009 senior survey paints a positive picture for those entering the profession, but the AVMA remains concerned about student debt upon graduation.

According to the survey results, 88.6 percent of students had debt at the time of their graduation from veterinary school, and all but 9.6 percent of that debt was incurred while the students were in veterinary school. Average debt increased 8.5 percent between 2008 and 2009, with student debt averaging $129,976 in 2009, c
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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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