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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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 3,231
Graduate Certificate 66

What Veterinary Medicine Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to veterinary medicine and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Veterinary Medicine Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to veterinary medicine:

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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

A major in veterinary medicine will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with veterinary medicine:

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

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine 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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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a veterinary medicine degree.

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 careers associated with veterinary medicine require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for veterinary medicine careers below.

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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 2018-2019 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 2 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 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,559
Mental & Social Health Services 27,743
Dental Support Services 26,183
Health Sciences & Services 25,948
Communication Sciences 21,606
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,767
Medicine 19,720
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,354
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 11,961
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,279
Other Health Professions 8,168
Osteopathic Medicine 6,700
Dentistry 6,403
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 5,877
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,576
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Chiropractic 2,608
Optometry 1,747
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,685
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,624
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,044
Medical Science 809
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 782
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 597
Podiatry 579
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 444
Alternative Medical Support Services 191
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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