2017 Intern Salaries

February, 2018

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Introduction

According to the annual Senior Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 29 percent of 2015 graduates pursued additional training by internship (Dicks, Bain, & Knippenberg , 2016).  Recent graduates report receiving additional hands on training and mentoring, as well as pursuing specialized experience as reasons for pursuing internships. A smaller number of these professionals go on to pursue residency training with the goal of earning additional degrees and/or board certification.

 

Historically, post-DVM training programs have paid salaries far lower than the national average for recent graduates.  In 2017, AVMA reported new graduate veterinarians earned an average annual salary of $73,380 for 2016 graduates (Dicks, Knippenberg, Bain & Greenhill 2017). The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) reported an average salary of $33,262 for first year residents in training programs in the United States (Greenhill, 2016).

 

In an effort to broaden the profession’s understanding of trainee salaries, the AAVMC has partnered with the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) to study the full complement of residencies and internships offered through a matching program. This publication focuses exclusively on first year salaries for internship programs in the United States.

 

Methodology

The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) sponsors the annual Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP). The purpose of the program is to “expedite the selection of interns and residencies for participating veterinary colleges and private veterinary practices.” (AAVC, 2017). The VIRMP allows academic institutions and private practices to submit training positions to be filled and applicants to submit their applications and rankings to the VIRMP. Program coordinators review the applications and rank the applicants. Proprietary software used by the VIRMP determines the best matches based on the rankings and notifies the applicants and the program coordinators.

 

This process begins annually in September of each year when the training program coordinators from individual residency and internship training programs enter their program information into the matching program’s website ( www.virmp.org ). Program coordinators enter detailed information about the positions being offered; the salary being offered is entered as a free-text field.

 

In the spring of 2017, this data was provided to AAVMC for analysis. Prior to analysis, all free text entered salary information was standardized using US currency formatting. Residency position offerings were sorted by clinical and non-clinical types; clinical positions were again sorted by practice area. The position entry data included the state location and the name of the institution or practice offering each position. These data were organized using regional variables and a descriptive variable indicating whether the practice was located at an academic institution or a private practice.


Descriptive and ANOVA analyses were conducted using SPSS 22.


 

Definitions

Clinical interns are defined as individuals participating in a one year rotating or specialty clinical training program in veterinary medicine. The internship provides practical experience in applying knowledge gained during formal professional education and offers the opportunity for recent graduates to obtain additional training.

 

Summary of Findings for Internship Positions Filled through the Match Program

The number of internship positions offered in the United States through the VIRMP for the 2017-2018 training year was 1,254; 297 (23.7%) of these positions were offered by academic institutions. For all listed intern positions, the average starting salary was $32,103. There was a statistical difference between positions offered in academic or private settings, with privately offered internship applicants being offered $33,595 and academically offered internship applicants being offered $27,247 or 23.3% less (p=.000).

 

Internship positions listed through the matching program were most often located in the South (34.8%) and Northeast (26.2%).  Although only 23.4% of interns are expected to train in the Western region this year, that region continues to offer the highest starting salary of all listed intern positions at $35,000 which is 9% more than the national average. This statistically significant difference (p = .000) is likely attributable to differences in the cost of living, including housing, across regions.  A breakdown of average salary by region can be found in Table 1.

 

 

Table 1:

Average Salary Offered for Internship Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

15.7%

$29,154

$29,500

Northeast

26.3%

$32,570

$32,000

South

34.7%

$29,859

$29,500

West

23.3%

$36,893

$35,000

Total

100.0%

$32,103

$30,500

 

 

 Internship match offerings were sorted into categories associated with specialty areas (Table 2).

 

Table 2:

Average Internship Salary Offered by Practice Type

 

Area of Practice

Number of

Positions Listed

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median Salary

Agricultural Practices

1

0.1%

$25,801

$25,801

Ambulatory

3

0.2%

$28,500

$25,900

Anesthesiology

5

0.4%

$27,344

$26,153

Avian

9

0.7%

$30,640

$31,500

Cardiology

2

0.2%

$41,600

$41,600

Community Practice

11

0.9%

$39,864

$45,000

Dermatology

3

0.2%

$28,351

$26,900

Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

4

0.3%

$33,715

$32,000

Emergency Medicine - Small Animal

111

8.9%

$34,317

$33,000

Equine

23

1.8%

$26,764

$26,153

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

17

1.4%

$26,894

$26,500

Farm Practice/Production Animal Medicine

1

0.1%

$27,000

$27,000

Food Animal

8

0.6%

$28,806

$29,238

Large Animal Medicine/Surgery

13

1.0%

$25,923

$26,500

Large Animal Surgery

3

0.2%

$28,145

$27,500

Neurology

26

2.1%

$33,642

$31,500

Oncology

20

1.6%

$29,653

$28,750

Other

11

0.9%

$29,811

$30,000

Shelter Medicine

10

0.8%

$30,933

$31,250

Small Animal – Surgery

99

7.9%

$31,860

$30,000

Small Animal Internal Medicine

25

2.0%

$32,964

$31,000

Small Animal Medicine/Surgery

832

66.5%

$32,271

$30,500

Small Animal Surgery

10

0.8%

$28,341

$26,577

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

4

0.3%

$29,750

$29,500

Total

1251

100.0%

$32,103

$30,500

 

                                               

Although salaries within the sample ranged from $13,000 per year up to $50,000 per year, average salary offers across practice areas largely clustered in the low $30,000 range. Positions for internships in Small Animal Medicine/Surgery comprised the single largest group of positions listed (66.5%). Although most salary offers were fairly close to the mean, statistically significant differences were found across practice areas (p=.000).  These differences may well be mitigated by the very small sample sizes within practice categories. Internships in Cardiology offered the highest mean salary offer of $41,600, which is more than 27.7% more than the national average.

 

Academic Positions

There were 297 internship positions offered through the VIRMP for the 2017-2018 training year. As noted earlier, the mean salary offered by the US Colleges of Veterinary Medicine for internship positions was $27,247. The largest share of positions were offered at colleges in the South and Midwest (Table 3).

 

 

Table 3:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

32.3%

$26,914

$26,153

Northeast

17.0%

$28,205

$27,000

South

41.5%

$26,283

$26,153

West

9.2%

$30,998

$32,500

Total

100.0%

$27,247

$26,500

 

Higher internship salaries were offered by colleges in the West and Northeast regions by 13.8% and 3.5%, respectively.

 

An analysis of application requirements revealed that 1 in 4 intern positions required at least one previous year’s internship or comparable experience. An additional 3.1% of position offers indicated that a previous internship was preferred rather than required. These requirements are positively correlated with salary offers (P=.000). Mean salary offers featuring experience requirements were 3.3% higher than salaries without the requirement; positions for which colleges indicated a preference for previous experience were offered 16.5% more in salary (Table 4).

 

Table 4:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Experience Requirements

Previous Experience Requirements

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

No Previous Internship Required

71.4%

$26,886

$26,153

Previous Internship Required

25.5%

$27,766

$26,900

Previous Internship Preferred

3.1%

$31,333

$32,500

Total

100.0%

$27,247

$26,500

 

 

An analysis of position offerings by practice area reveals that the bulk of positions are in Small Animal Medicine/Surgery. Shelter medicine positions, though few at 1.7% of the total pool of positions, were offered the highest mean salary. Salary differences across practice areas were statistically significant (P=.004); Table 5 shows the mean salaries offered by practice area.

 

 

Table 5:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Practice Area


Practice Area

Percentage   of Positions Listed

Mean

Median

Agricultural Practices

0.3%

$25,801

$25,801

Ambulatory

0.7%

$29,800

$29,800

Anesthesiology

1.0%

$25,320

$26,147

Avian

0.3%

$27,000

$27,000

Dermatology

0.7%

$26,527

$26,527

Emergency Medicine - Small Animal

4.8%

$28,226

$26,900

Equine

7.1%

$26,647

$26,153

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

4.1%

$27,850

$26,693

Farm Practice/Production Animal Medicine

0.3%

$27,000

$27,000

Food Animal

2.7%

$28,806

$29,238

Large Animal Medicine/Surgery

4.4%

$25,923

$26,500

Large Animal Surgery

1.0%

$28,145

$27,500

Neurology

0.7%

$28,045

$28,045

Oncology

3.4%

$26,096

$26,000

Other

1.0%

$25,472

$25,000

Shelter Medicine

1.7%

$32,466

$34,600

Small Animal Internal Medicine

1.7%

$26,029

$25,801

Small Animal Medicine/Surgery

59.5%

$27,114

$26,153

Small Animal Surgery

3.4%

$28,341

$26,577

Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

1.0%

$29,000

$29,500

Total

100.0%

$27,247

$26,500

 

 

Limitations

The salary data acquired from the VIRMP only represents a portion of available internship positions offered in the United States. It is unclear how many positions are offered to new and recent graduates of the professional DVM program. Because of this, the authors are unable to claim that these data are wholly definitive of the salary ranges that may be offered to residents in the United States.

 

Conclusion

Interns are offered salaries less than half the national average salary earned by new graduates, however, there is a wide range of salaries within those offered. Finally, salaries are influenced by numerous things including location, practice area and whether the position is offered by an academic institution or a private practice.  

 

Acknowledgements

The AAVMC acknowledges the contributions of the staff of the VIRMP for providing access to the match data.

 


 

 

References

 

Dicks, Michael R., Bridgette Bain, and Ross Knippenberg.  2016 AVMA Report on Veterinary Markets. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, 2016. Print.

 

Dicks, Michael R., Ross Knippenberg, Bridgette Bain, and Lisa Greenhill.  2017 AVMA Report on the Market for Veterinary Education. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, 2017. Print.

 

Greenhill, Lisa M. "2016 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP." Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Sept. 2016. Web. 21 June 2017.



 

Please cite as:

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “ 2017 Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. February 2018. Web.

 

 

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