Rates and Benefits for Locum Vets


This varies on experience, skill set, practice, location and what you want to charge also. Here at TheVetService.com we offer free regional and job specific guidelines on rates and we are always on hand to discuss.

But basic rates currently are around:

Day Shift (eg. 9am-6pm):

  • UK – £300 – £600 per day
  • Ireland – €250 – €400 per day
  • New Zealand – $450 – $850 per day
  • Australia – $500 – $900 per day
  • USA & Canada – Negotiable 

These rates are all depending on circumstance and experience. Night rates, and OOHs are paid at a higher and more premium rate. These are basic rates and can vary accordingly but are a good guideline to start with based on locums we’ve worked with here at TheVetService.com.

As part of our service, we offer a rate/salary negotiating service to all of our candidates and clients to make sure fair pay is delivered at all times for both the practice and the locum. You can discuss rates of pay with our team at any time, and all conversations will remain confidential. International rates do vary depending on currency and market standards at the time but we will always be on hand to advise accordingly.

A locum can work off a shift or hourly rate but always remember to agree a start and finish time. TheVetService.com is well placed to advise any vet locum on pay rates in different practices or area as the market changes and fluctuates. You can connect with us at anytime to get further information on this.

What can I expect with shift lengths?

This is one of the perks of being a locum vet – you can set your own working hours! Although, most practices will expect you to work to their rota understandably, and so usual daytime shifts will be 9am- 6pm or whatever the opening hours of the practice are.

You should have a clear conversation with the practice manager or clinical director about what your responsibilities include and what the practice expects from you before your shifts.

How do I get paid?

This will depend on how you plan to contract yourself out. You have various options; Sole Trader, Limited Company, Umbrella Company, or Zero Hours Contract.

We partner with a fantastic umbrella company, get in touch with us via [email protected] and we will get you in contact with the team who will be help with financial advice.


If necessary, accommodation will often be provided by the practice. If not, then you may need to find and book your own. Most practices may recommend somewhere close by or provide a nightly allowance. Make sure to keep receipts for your end of year tax return.


Some practices may provide you with a work vehicle if necessary, or if you are using your own during work you may choose to charge an additional mileage fee of e.g. £0.45/mile to cover fuel and running costs. Always remember to record miles to and from work for your end of year tax return.

Where do I get drugs and equipment?

The practice should always provide this. However, it may be a good idea to gather a few things together depending on what type of practice you are working in.

Small Animal: 

  • thermometer
  • stethoscope
  • pens/permanent markers
  • maybe a name badge…
  • Scrub tops

Large Animal:

  • thermometer
  • stethoscope
  • waterproof coveralls/wellies
  • disinfectant, bucket and brush
  • scissors/hemostats
  • head torch
  • halter
  • casting rope
  • it may be beneficial if you like to use clippers to get some of your own.

The locum world is an extremely rewarding and helpful sector of the veterinary industry, but it can sometimes be challenging to get started because of the financial and insurance issues. We are always on hand to help with advice and job options for you.

What are you waiting for? Start your Locum career today and get in touch by contacting us on [email protected] for a confidential chat.

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