Veterinarian Salaries in 2023 Highlights
- Wisconsin is the #1 highest paying state for veterinarians in the U.S. in 2023. Veterinarians in this state earn an average salary that’s 165% higher than the average salary in the state across all occupations.
- Other states in the Top 10 list for Highest Paying States for Veterinarians include Hawaii (153%), West Virginia (152%), Alabama (144%), Mississippi (139%), Arizona (133%), Maine (129%), Indiana (124%), Tennessee (120%), and Utah (118%).
- Topping the list for the Lowest Paying State for Veterinarians is Colorado, where veterinarians earn an average salary of $103,700, which is only 53% higher than the average salary across all occupations in the state.
- Other states in the Top 10 list for Lowest Paying States for Veterinarians include Virginia (56%), Nebraska (59%), Massachusetts (62%), Montana (63%), Washington (72%), New Mexico (75%), Missouri (76%), Wyoming (77%), and Oregon (79%).
- On average, a veterinarian can expect to take home a salary that’s 99% higher than the average salary across all occupations in their state. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, almost half of U.S. states fall below this 99% mark.
- When looking at dollar amount alone, Hawaii is the state with the highest salary for veterinarians ($155,570), while Montana comes in last at $85,160.
Veterinarian Salaries in 2023: Methodology
To account for the typical variations in annual mean wage found across different regions in the U.S. (e.g. a veterinarian’s salary in Montana being roughly $85,000 while a veterinarian’s salary in New York amounts to over $135,000), the Special Reports team analyzed three figures from the most recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022):
- 1: The average annual salary for a veterinarian in each state
- 2: The average annual salary across all occupations in each state
- 3: The percentage by which a veterinarian’s salary is higher than the average salary in each state
The Team’s rankings on highest and lowest paying states are based on the third figure in particular: the percentage by which a veterinarian’s salary is higher than the average salary in each state.
The Highest Paying States for Veterinarians in 2023
Leading the pack in this ranking is Wisconsin. Veterinarians in this state earn on average $148,680, which is 165% higher than the average salary across all occupations in the state. This is a significant comeback from 2020, when veterinarians in Wisconsin were taking home $99,860, a figure that was only 95% higher than the average salary in the state.
Other states in the top ranking include Hawaii, where veterinarians are now making over $50,000 more than they did in 2020, and Tennessee, where veterinarians have also pushed past the five-figure mark and now average an annual salary of $116,100.
The Lowest Paying States for Veterinarians in 2023
Colorado is the lowest paying state for veterinarians according to the Team’s analysis. While a veterinarian’s average salary in this state is not the lowest nationwide in terms of dollar value (that distinction goes to Montana), veterinarian salaries in Colorado are only 53% higher than the average salary across all occupations.
Considering most veterinarians in the U.S. take home a salary that’s 99% higher than the average salary in their state, Colorado’s figure is significantly low. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics, Colorado is not alone in this category: 23 states total (nearly half the nation) pay veterinarians a salary that’s lower than the 99% mark.
The States with the Highest and Lowest Salaries for Veterinarians
When simply looking at the dollar value of veterinarian salaries from state to state and comparing them to the national average for a veterinarian ($115,122), many new states appear in the ranking.
New York and California, for instance, appear in this Top 10 list, with salaries both north of $130,000, allowing veterinarians in this state to make 17% more than what their colleagues make nationwide. Hawaii, however, is where veterinarians are taking home the biggest paycheck in relation to other vets across the nation. In this state, a veterinarian’s salary is 35% higher than the national average for the occupation.
In terms of states with the lowest veterinary salaries, Montana leads the pack. In this state, veterinarians make just over $85,000 – nearly half of what veterinarians in Hawaii make. This figure is also 26% lower than the national average for veterinarians in the U.S.