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Veterinary Medicine Major

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Veterinary Medicine

$105,240 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Veterinary Medicine Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many veterinary medicine graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 3,169
Graduate Certificate 6

What Veterinary Medicine Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, veterinary medicine majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Veterinary Medicine Majors

Veterinary Medicine majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Veterinary Medicine Majors

When studying veterinary medicine, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Veterinary Medicine Majors

As you progress with your veterinary medicine degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

What Can You Do With a Veterinary Medicine Major?

People with a veterinary medicine degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Veterinarians 18.8% $93,830

How Much Do Veterinary Medicine Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that veterinary medicine students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $77,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $77,300 (25th percentile) and $77,300 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to veterinary medicine.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $105,240 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to veterinary medicine. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Veterinary Medicine Major  ( 105240 to 122320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with veterinary medicine may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to veterinary medicine have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 5.8%
Master’s Degree 16.7%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 12.6%
Doctoral Degree 51.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 9.7%

Online Veterinary Medicine Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 32 schools offered some type of veterinary medicine program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 32 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Veterinary Medicine Worth It?

The median salary for a veterinary medicine grad is $105,240 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 164% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,306,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to veterinary medicine.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125
Public Health 34,089
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,068
Dental Support Services 27,155
Mental & Social Health Services 26,783
Health Sciences & Services 24,436
Communication Sciences 21,520
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,962
Medicine 19,418
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,295
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 15,451
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,807
Other Health Professions 8,426
Dentistry 6,518
Osteopathic Medicine 6,392
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 6,056
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,875
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,481
Chiropractic 2,503
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,714
Optometry 1,674
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,608
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,089
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 804
Medical Science 738
Podiatry 543
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 535
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 373
Alternative Medical Support Services 244
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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