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Department of Veterinary Sciences

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Cost of Veterinary College in the USA

Each year the American Veterinary Medical Association, through its professional journal, publishes summary information on salaries, debt load and starting positions for veterinary graduates.  The information below is draw from J Am Vet Med Assoc 229: 1087 - 1089, Oct 1 2006.

According to survey of year 2006 graduates, most graduates (63.4%) are going into private practice.  About one third (32.9%) were doing advanced study, most commonly in the specialties of veterinary internal medicine or veterinary surgery.

Starting salaries: mean starting salary in private practice for 2006 is $55,031, an increase of 7% from 2005.  Mean starting salaries tend to be higher in large animal exclusive practices (mean of $61,026), and lowest in equine practices (mean of $40,130).  Additional mean cash compensation in private practice ranged from $7,091 (mixed animal practice) to $12,641 (equine practice).  The mean starting salary in advanced study programs for veterinarians in 2006 is $25,496.

Education debt: Mean education debt among those with a debt on graduation is $100,805, an increase of 12.3% since 2005.  Some 88.6% of DVMs had debts at the time of graduation.  All but 8.4% of the debt was incurred while in veterinary college.


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