Lower salaries, fewer job offers for vet grads

Veterinary graduates are earning lower salaries and receiving fewer job offers, according to an AVMA survey.

In a Sept. 30, 2011 news release, the AVMA announced that first-year salaries decreased 3.5 percent between 2010 and 2011, and that fewer graduates were receiving full-time job offers.

The annual survey looked at all fourth-year veterinary students in the 28 U.S. veterinary schools and colleges.

The survey showed that 74.3 percent of students had received at least one job offer (or offer of advanced education) in 2011. That number is down from 2010 (78.9 percent) and 2009 (79.5 percent).

"This decline in job opportunities for veterinary school graduates is a persistent problem. In 2008, fourth-year veterinary students had received 2.5 job offers on average at the time of the survey, but in this year’s class that has dropped to an average of 1.6 job offers," Dr. René A. Carlson, AVMA president, said in the news release. "Unfortunately, the cost of achieving a veterinary medical degree continues to rise while compensation for that investment and hard work has fallen."

According to the survey, student debt also increased 6.5 percent from 2010. The average debt in 2011 was $142, 613.