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Resident & Intern Salaries at U.S. Schools and Colleges of Veterinary Medicine

February 2013

Introduction

Each year the American Veterinary Medical Association conducts a survey of senior veterinary students covering veterinary students’ employment choices and expected salaries. The most recent survey revealed that 30.2% of graduating students chose to pursue positions in advanced educations programs, defined broadly as internships or residencies and expected to earn an average salary of $29,628 per year1. Just over 25% of seniors accepted residency or internship positions within academic institutions. While the AVMA study provides useful data concerning the larger landscape of students pursuing advanced education; there is a need for more targeted data which explains the salary trends for residents and interns housed within the nation’s accredited schools and colleges of veterinary medicine.


Methodology

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) conducts an annual data collection of its 28 accredited members in the United States. As a part of this annual collection, institutions are asked to report their mean and median salaries for residents and interns within the institution.

The colleges recognize two kinds of residents, non-clinical and clinical residents. Non-Clinical residents are defined as individuals involved in basic science training programs. Clinical residents were defined as individuals involved in a three year advanced training program in a specialty area in veterinary medicine. This training may or may not lead to a specialty board certification and may or may not be embedded into a graduate program. Clinical interns were defined as individuals involved in a one year flexible clinical rotation in veterinary medicine beyond the professional degree. The internship provides practical experience in applying knowledge gained during formal professional education and offers the opportunity for recent graduates to obtain additional training.

Twenty-seven member institutions in the United States voluntarily reported salary information for a veterinary residents and interns in the 2012 survey. Collected salary information does not distinguish between non-clinical and clinical resident salaries; these figures are aggregated at the institutional level. Each veterinary medical school surveyed calculated and reported both its mean and median salary for both categories. The AAVMC reports these data and also calculated and reported the mean of all the U.S. veterinary medical schools’ means and the mean of all the U.S. schools’ median salary data for each job category. Additionally, regional average mean and medians for each category were calculated. Excel 2010 was used to produce the calculations presented here.


Results

The colleges reported a total of 963 veterinary residents and 231 veterinary interns by headcount training in the 28 Colleges of veterinary medicine. Seventy-two residents are designated as non-clinical residents; with 891 trainees designated as clinical residents.

Resident average salaries ranged from $28,500 to $40,315; the national average salary $30,330. The national median for resident salaries was $30,029. Intern average salaries ranged from $21,840 to $34,461, with a national average of $25,756. The national median for intern salaries was $25,474.


Discussion

Numerous factors may impact the distribution of salaries for residents and interns including regional economies and what year a trainee is in his or her training. In an effort to explain some of the disparities in resident and intern salaries, regional distributions were calculated. Member institutions were broken into four regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, and West) as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau2; there no colleges of veterinary medicine in the Pacific Region as designated by the Census Bureau. Weighted regional distributions were calculated using the number of residents and interns in the region.

Residents

The nine colleges of veterinary medicine located in the Midwest region of the country were found to have the largest number of residents, and their salaries tracked with the national salary average. Residents at institutions in the Northeast and West regions earned salaries higher than the national average, 10% and 19% respectively.

The regionalized veterinary resident salary trends mimic national trends with the Midwest and South regions earning less than workers in the Northeast or West3.

Table 1


Total Number of Residents

Mean Salary

Midwest

330

$29,782

Northeast

175

$33,206

South

273

$28,874

West

185

$36,752

US

963

$29,782

Interns

Colleges of veterinary medicine in the South have the largest number of veterinary medical interns as well. The salary distribution across regions is not as disparate as that seen among resident salaries. Intern salaries are 5.24% lower than the national average in the South. Salaries in the Northeast (1.7%), Midwest (1.1%) and West (2.2%) regions were closer to the national average of $25,756.

Table 2


Total Number of Interns

Mean Salary

Northeast

44

$26,195

South

95

$24,407

Midwest

76

$26,027

West

16

$26,312

US

231

$25,756


Conclusion

The AAVMC maintains the most current information concerning residents and interns working at schools and colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. The data provided here augments other data sources relating to salaries earned by recent DVM graduates.

Please refer questions concerning these data to Lisa Greenhill, AAVMC Associate Executive Director for Institutional Research and Diversity at lgreenhill@aavmc.org.


References

1. Shepherd AJ, Pikel L. Employment, starting salaries, and educational indebtedness of year-2012 graduates of US veterinary medical colleges. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2012 Sep 26;241(7):890–4.

2. Census Regions and Divisions of the United States [Internet]. U.S. Census Bureau. 2012 [cited 2013 Jan 18]. Available from: http://www.census.gov/geo/www/us_regdiv.pdf

3. DeNavas-Walt C, Proctor B, Smith J. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011 [Internet]. Washington, DC: United States Census Bureau; 2012 Sep p. 1–89. Report No.: P60-243. Available from: http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p60-243.pdf

 


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