Global Vet Salary Report 2024

The Global Vet Salary Report for 2024 highlights some interesting facts across the industry. The report aims to uncover salary ranges and hourly rates for veterinary surgeons and locums worldwide. It also queried veterinarians about their perceptions of their pay, whether or not they’d move abroad to improve their salary and if they got paid for overtime.

So which countries have the highest salaries for veterinarians?

And how do global vet jobs salary rates compare across permanent and locum roles. Salaries are shown in local currencies, converted into USD below.

 Permanent
New Graduate Salary
(1 – 2 years experience)
Permanent
Vet Salary
(2 – 10 years
experience)
Permanent
Experienced Vet Salary
(10+ years experience)
Locum / Relief Pay Rate
Per Day
USAUSD $100,000 – $120,000USD $120,000 –
$160,000
USD $160,000 –
$250,000
USD $400 – $1000
UK

GBP £35,000 – £37,000 ($44,100 – $46,688)

 
GBP £37,000 – £55,00 ($46,668 – $69,400)GBP £55,000 – £72,000 ($69,400 – $90,840)GBP £400 – £500 ($504 -$630)
New ZealandNZD $80,000 – $87,000 ($49,000 -$53,000)NZD $85,000 – $140,000 ($52,000 – $85,750)NZD $140,000 –
$180,000 ($85,750 – $110,000)
NZD $450 – $800 ($275 – $480)
AustraliaAUD $85,000 – $90,000 ($55,500 – $58,700)AUD $90,000 – $140,000 ($58,500 – $91,000)AUD $140,000 –
$180,000 ($91,000 – $117,000)
AUD $600 – $850 ($390 – $555)
CanadaCAD $90,000 – $100,000 ($66,900 – $74,000)CAD $100,000 –
$150,000 ($74,000 – $111,500)
CAD $150,000 –
$200,000 ($111,500 – $148,000)
CAD $400 – $800  ($310 – $618)
Hong KongHKD $500,000 – $1,000,000 ($63,00 – $127,900)HKD $1,000,000 –
$1,400,000 ($127,900 – $179,000)
HKD $1,400,000 –
$1,800,000 ($179,000 – $230,000)
N/A
IrelandEUR €40,000 – €50,000 ($43,000 – $45,500)EUR €50,000 – €65,000 ($53,800 – $69,900)EUR €65,000 – €90,000 ($69,900 – $96,800)EUR €350 – €500 ($375 – $538)
UAEAED 120,000 – 160,000 ($32,000 – $43,000)AED 180,000 – 220,000 ($49,000 – $60,000)AED 260,000 – 350,000 ($70,000 – $95,000)N/A
QatarQAR 200,000 – 240,000 ($55,000 – $65,000)QAR 260,000 – 345,000 ($71,000 – $95,000)QAR 360,000 – 450,000 ($98,000 – $122,000)N/A
South AfricaZAR 350,000 – 420,000 ($20,100 – $25,000)ZAR 450,000 – 500,000 ($26,800 – 29,8000)ZAR 700,000 – 1,000,000 ($42,000 – $59,500)N/A

This data was compiled by global vet recruitment agency The Vet Service using client salary data (English-speaking roles only). All client data accurate as of February 2024. Please feel free to use on your site with a hyperlink reference to The Vet Service.

What are the highest-paying countries for veterinarians?

The salaries for veterinary surgeons have risen significantly over the past 12 months. The average veterinary surgeon’s salary across the countries has grown by around 5% Year-on-Year.

But there are wide variations across these countries. Veterinarians in the United States with 2 – 10 years experience ($120,000), the highest place on the list, earn almost five times the amount of colleagues in South Africa ($26,800), the last of the 10 countries surveyed.

Vets in the United Kingdom are also shown to earn significantly less than colleagues in countries with a similarly developed economy. The country comes 7th on the list of 10 countries with salaries in the $46,668 – $69,400 range for vets with 2 – 10 years’ experience.

Here is a look at the top 3 highest paying countries for veterinarians based on experience:

New Graduates:

1. United States: $100,000 – $120,000

2. Canada: CAD $90,000 – $100,000 ($66,900) – ($74,000)

3. Hong Kong: HKD $500,000 – $1,000,000 ($63,00 – $127,900)

2-10 Years’ Experience:

1. United States: $120,000 – $160,000 

2. Canada: CAD $100,000 – $150,000 ($74,000 – $111,500)

3. Hong Kong: HKD $1,000,000 – $1,400,000 ($127,900 – $179,000)

10+ Years’ experience:

1. United States: $160,000 – $250,000 

2. Hong Kong: HKD $1,400,000 – $1,800,000 ($179,000 – $230,000)

3. Canada: CAD $150,000 – $200,000 ($111,500 – $148,000)


What are the Best Day Rates for Locum Vets Worldwide?

 Pay rates for locums have also risen sharply over the past 12 months. This highlights how working practices are changing across the industry. More vets are choosing to work as locums, with increased flexibility in working hours cited as the reason.
 

The United Kingdom fares much more favourably when locum rates are taken into consideration. Locums in the UK are paid between £400 – £500 per day ($504 – $630), which puts them in the second position just behind the United States where you can earn between $400 – $1000/day.

Locum/Relief Day Rate:

1. United States: $400 – $1000

2. United Kingdom: GBP £400 – £500 ($504 – $630)

3. Canada: CAD $400 – $800  ($310 – $618)


How does Pay Vary Between Different States/Regions?

As well as country-wide differences there are also a large variation in salaries between states and regions. In the United Kingdom, for example, vets in Scotland are paid around 20% less than similarly qualified vets in England and Wales.

In North America, veterinarians working in South Carolina earn around 30% more than vets working in Oklahoma. The difference can likely be explained by the amount of arable vs livestock farming in these regions. We have examined pay disparity between states more closely in our guide on the Highest Paying US States for Veterinarians.

It is also worth mentioning that there are variations in cost of living between countries and even within areas of countries which are not outlined in this report and this is a factor you should always consider when assessing salary levels – if you want to speak more about salary vs. cost of living speak to a vet recruitment specialist.


Do Veterinarians feel like their earnings match the work they do?

A. Yes – 52.6%

B. No – 47.4%

A slight majority of veterinarians, 52.6%, feel that their earnings match the work they do, indicating a level of satisfaction with their salary.

However, a significant portion, 47.4%, do not believe their earnings reflect the work they put in, highlighting a potential issue when it comes to keeping vets happy in their roles and working in the industry.

Would vets consider moving abroad to better their salary?

A. Yes – 60.5%

B. No – 36.8%

C. Possibly – 2.6%

A substantial 60.5% of veterinarians would consider moving abroad to improve their salary, suggesting a strong inclination among veterinary professionals to seek better financial opportunities outside their current country of practice.

36.8% would not consider moving abroad, indicating perhaps that the preference of living in their home country outweighs any salary improvements in another country. A small fraction, 2.6%, are undecided, possibly weighing the pros and cons of such a significant life change.


Were vets paid for overtime work?

A. Yes – 47.4% 

B. No – 52.6% 

The statistics show a concerning trend: over 50% of veterinarians (52.6%) report not being paid for overtime work, compared to 47.4% who do receive overtime compensation.

This indicates that a majority of veterinary professionals are required to work beyond their regular hours without additional pay, highlighting a significant issue within the industry regarding fair labour practices and compensation for extended work periods.


Summary: Global Veterinary Salaries on the Rise

Reports like this are invaluable to students and experienced workers in the veterinary sector. They establish a starting point for salary negotiations, help to reduce the gender pay gap, and allow locums to set a fair price for their services.

The outlook for veterinary employment in all major regions across the world remains good. Salaries are increasing across the board for both permanent and locum positions.

But the best-paid jobs remain in highly productive areas such as the USA and Canada and Hong Kong, although AustraliaNew Zealand, the UK and the Middle East are also highly competitive.

The report also found some interesting results about earnings vs work perception, with the majority of veterinarians feeling valued for their work, although most would also consider moving abroad to better their salary. The revelation that most vets do not receive overtime pay is quite concerning, and something the industry needs to address to keep vets working in the sector.

Get in touch with The Vet Service today to see how we can find your ideal veterinary position worldwide.

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