New salary calculator tool helps students and recent graduates

Published on May 05, 2016
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studentsUpdate: please see our clarification post regarding the gender adjustment and other factors included in the calculator.

Remember what it felt like when you were looking for your first job and had no idea what kind of salary was reasonable to expect?

The AVMA has released a new tool to help veterinary students and new graduates develop a starting point for salary negotiations as they enter the profession.

The New Graduate Salary Calculator worksheet allows users to calculate average starting salaries for different segments of the profession in various locations. It takes into consideration variables such as practice type (private/industry/government/etc.), specialty, plans for continued education, expected work hours, geographic location, debt load, and gender to provide a realistic snapshot of what the average salary would be for each specific situation. The calculator uses the factors that have been shown to be statistically significant predictors of starting salaries for new veterinarians over the past 15 years.

The information can help both new graduates and those approaching graduation to better understand the market for new veterinarians and how to prepare for salary negotiations. Those who are unsure about their early career path can create multiple scenarios and compare the results.

The calculator is currently offered as a PDF, but the AVMA plans to develop a digital version in the future. It is available exclusively to AVMA and SAVMA members, and can be found among the student financial resources at and the recent graduate resources offered on

The new calculator is one of numerous financial tools under development by the AVMA to help guide veterinarians through all stages of their careers.  Already available to both AVMA and SAVMA members is the personal financial planning tool at, which allows veterinarians to plan and track income and expenses in order to save for the future while also paying off debt.


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