Veterinary Surgeon Income

In times of economic uncertainty and reduced income it becomes more and important to determine how your income compares to those of other vets. In January 2016 CM Research, through Vetspanel, asked over 3000 vets questions related to their income, job satisfaction, stress levels, and other related topics.

OK, straight to it. The average yearly income (before tax) for all the surveyed vets was £43,016. Half of vets earned up to £38,000 with the rest earning more. The highest yearly income was £300,000 but that came from a vet that declared to work 140 hours a week! On average vets worked 47 hours a week, with 25% claiming to work 50 or more hours a week.

This year’s incomes also seem to have stabilized as most vets consider their financial situation to be equal of better than last years. Only a third considers it to be worse. It’s therefore not a surprise then that these vets are also those the most stressed.

Overall working hours are long, with the average being about 47 hours worked per week. This however does increase in some cases up to 90 hours a week! When also taking into account income then the hourly pay rate is £18. There are however 9% of vets that earn less than £10 an hour. However vets don’t seem to be very concerned about the long hours.

While half of vets claimed to be stressed this was not due to their long hours, but rather due to the inadequacy of the income they received. While 39% of those that were completed unstressed said their income was inadequate this increased to 76% amongst those that were very stressed. And how much is a stress free work life worth a year? £85,000 is the magic number. Earn that much and you are almost guaranteed to be stress free!

The high levels of stress are leading many vets to consider leaving the profession. Currently about a third of vets often think about leaving the profession while only a quarter never do. Stress seems to be the main cause of this as most of those that do think frequently about leaving the profession have high levels of stress. They also work the longest hours. Not surprisingly those earning over £50k a year tend to never think about leaving the profession.