The survey attracted 1582 respondents from across the profession between January and March, reflecting a world prior to the advent of Covid-19 and will undoubtedly be a useful benchmark as the profession grapples with new ways of working that are likely to be with us for many months to come.
In addition to basic salary, the survey asked about other quantifiable elements such as accommodation and CPD budget and found that a typical package for a first-year vet was worth £33,500. Across all respondents the median value of the salary package was £46,400 in small animal/exotic practice, £42,206 in equine practice and £40,333 in mixed practice. Median salaries for qualified veterinary nurses ranged from £21,663 to £28,875 depending upon the degree of seniority.
Among veterinary surgeons there was an overall gender pay gap of 15%, although this was skewed by the results for vets qualified more that 15 years. Below this age the gap varied from 3-6%. When compared with their male counterparts, women qualified 15 years or more were more than 3 times as likely to describe themselves as an ‘assistant or associate veterinary surgeon’ rather than a more senior role, suggesting that differences in career progression account for at least part of the headline pay gap.
In the survey 14% of respondents said they had another role in addition to their main veterinary one, and 10% of all respondents gave figures for locum work. Just over 23% of employed veterinary surgeons were working part-time in their main role (34 hours a week or less) compared with 12.5% in 2015. These figures suggest an increasing interest in flexible ways of working, something to which the profession as a whole is learning to adapt.
This year in a new addition to the survey, SPVS asked respondents about their level of satisfaction with their remuneration, hours and condition of work, support received and prospects for career advancement. Overall the highest levels of satisfaction were found amongst practice managers and veterinary surgeons working in industry or field-based roles. Generally speaking, veterinary surgeons and nurses were more satisfied with their conditions of work and less happy with their remuneration or career prospects.
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