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Staff Compensation: Meeting the Market and Making it Work for Your Practice

In today's difficult hiring market, the most important aspect of compensation is that it meets job applicants' expectations and compares well to what other competing practices are paying. However, compensation isn't just about the money that shows up on a paycheck—it's also about whether the benefits package appears fair compared to the job expectations and the practice culture, as well as what team members can expect for higher pay. As practice owners, it doesn't matter anymore what we think is fair and appropriate. It matters what employees want and what gets them to stay with your practice.


  • Identify sources of comparative staff compensation and benefit information
  • Understand the trends in the hiring market and what employees are looking for
  • Explore changes practices can (and should) make to better attract employees

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Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA

karen felsted


Karen Felsted is a CPA as well as a veterinarian and has spent the last 20 years working as a financial and operational consultant to veterinary practices and the animal health industry. She also spent three years with the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues as CEO. She is active in multiple veterinary organizations, has written an extensive number of articles for a wide range of veterinary publications, and speaks regularly at national and international veterinary meetings. In 2011 and 2017, she received the Western Veterinary Conference Practice Management Continuing Educator of the Year award, and in 2014, the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member award.