2019 Internship Salaries Offered through the VIRMP

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

May, 2019

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Introduction

According to the annual Senior Surveys conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 34% percent of 2017 graduates pursued additional training by internship (Bain, Salois, Ouedraogo, Hanson & Dutton, 2018).  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 2018, AVMA reported new graduate veterinarians earned an average annual salary of $76,633 (Larkin, 2018). The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) reported an average salary of $33,738 for interns in training programs in the United States (Greenhill & Young, 2018).

 

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 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, 2019). 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 2019, 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 2019-2020 training year was 1,371 across 442 employment sites; 345 (25.2%) of these positions were offered by 29 academic institutions. Overall, this represented a 4.1% increase in the total number of internship positions offered through the VIMRP this year. For all listed intern positions, the average starting salary was $35,423, a 5.1% increase over the previous year’s salary of $33,738. There was a statistical difference between positions offered in academic or private settings, with privately offered internship applicants being offered $37,794 and academically offered internship applicants being offered $28,372 or 24.9% less (p=.000).

 

Internship positions listed through the matching program were most often located in the South (33.9.7%) and Northeast (24.9%).  Nearly 1 in 4 internship positions were offered in the Western region of the U.S. Positions in the Western region offered salaries significantly higher than in other regions, $42,100, and 19% higher than the national average internship salary.

 

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

17.1%

$31,000

$31,000

Northeast

24.9%

$34,900

$34,900

South

33.9%

$31,500

$31,500

West

24.0%

$43,680

$43,680

Total

100.0%

$35,423

$33,000

 

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

2

.1%

$26,064

$26,064

Ambulatory

1

.1%

$25,000

$25,000

Anesthesiology

5

.4%

$28,931

$27,500

Avian

12

.9%

$30,313

$31,250

Cardiology

5

.4%

$41,323

$36,000

Community Practice

18

1.3%

$40,748

$40,000

Dermatology

4

.3%

$34,183

$33,450

Diagnostic Imaging & Radiology

6

.4%

$34,592

$32,000

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

108

7.9%

$40,708

$43,000

Equine

21

1.5%

$28,195

$27,000

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

22

1.6%

$29,040

$30,500

Farm Practice/Production Animal Medicine

3

.2%

$29,667

$31,000

Food Animal

8

.6%

$28,367

$28,000

Large Animal Medicine/Surgery

13

.9%

$27,742

$28,000

Large Animal Surgery

3

.2%

$27,371

$27,212

Neurology

43

3.1%

$38,742

$42,000

Oncology

27

2.0%

$29,332

$27,500

Ophthalmology

4

.3%

$34,875

$31,750

Other

11

.8%

$33,204

$35,000

Shelter Medicine

23

1.7%

$37,133

$34,900

Small Animal Internal Medicine

35

2.6%

$37,577

$34,000

Small Animal Medicine/Surgery

878

64.0%

$35,399

$34,000

Small Animal Surgery

115

8.4%

$34,540

$32,000

Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

4

.3%

$31,190

$31,750

Total

1,371

100.0%

$35,423

$33,000

                                               

Mean salary offerings across practice area ranged from $25,000 to $41,000, with average salary offers largely clustered in the low $30,000 range. Small Animal Medicine/Surgery internship positions continued to make up the largest group of positions (64%). Although most salary offers were fairly close to the median, 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 $41,323.

 

Academic Positions

There were 345 internship positions offered through the VIRMP for the 2019-2020 training year. As noted earlier, the mean salary offered by the academic institutions for internship positions was $28,372. The largest share of positions were offered at colleges in the South and Midwest (Table 3). Higher internship salaries were offered by colleges in the West and Northeast regions by 8.1% and 3.3%, respectively.


Table 3:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Region

Region

Percentage of

Positions Listed

Mean

Salary

Median

Salary

Midwest

32.8%

$27,696

$27,000

Northeast

15.1%

$29,304

$27,212

South

40.6%

$27,919

$27,000

West

11.6%

$30,656

$28,000

Total

100.0%

$28,372

$27,212



Mean salaries by state are shown in Table 4.

Table 4:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by State

State

Mean

Median

N

% of Total N

Alabama

$25,765

$26,000

17

4.9%

Arizona

$35,000

$35,000

4

1.2%

California

$41,067

$43,482

5

1.4%

Colorado

$29,038

$28,000

13

3.8%

Florida

$31,000

$31,000

17

4.9%

Georgia

$29,065

$29,160

12

3.5%

Illinois

$26,153

$26,153

18

5.2%

Indiana

$29,050

$29,050

8

2.3%

Iowa

$26,000

$26,000

11

3.2%

Kansas

$32,774

$32,774

12

3.5%

Louisiana

$26,327

$26,660

15

4.3%

Massachusetts

$27,406

$27,212

20

5.8%

Michigan

$26,250

$26,250

14

4.1%

Minnesota

$27,786

$28,000

14

4.1%

Mississippi

$24,733

$24,000

9

2.6%

Missouri

$27,000

$27,000

13

3.8%

New York

$34,900

$34,900

13

3.8%

North Carolina

$32,000

$32,000

21

6.1%

Ohio

$28,167

$28,000

12

3.5%

Oklahoma

$26,722

$26,500

9

2.6%

Oregon

$31,776

$31,776

6

1.7%

Pennsylvania

$27,474

$26,500

19

5.5%

Tennessee

$25,000

$25,000

13

3.8%

Texas

$27,291

$26,670

17

4.9%

Virginia

$27,600

$27,000

10

2.9%

Washington

$26,064

$26,064

12

3.5%

Wisconsin

$27,427

$26,900

11

3.2%

Total

$28,372

$27,212

345

100.0%


An analysis of application requirements revealed that 13.3% of intern positions required at least one previous year’s internship or comparable experience. These requirements are slightly positively correlated with salary offers (P=.000). Mean salary offers featuring experience requirements were 4.3% higher than salaries without the requirement (Table 5).

Table 5:

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

86.7%

$28,212

$27,212

Previous Internship Required

13.3%

$29,414

$26,660

Total

100.0%

$28,372

$27,212


An analysis of position offerings by practice area reveals that the bulk of positions are in Small Animal Medicine/Surgery. The single cardiology internship position offered the highest mean salary of $32,774, which is 17.6% higher than the national average. Salary differences across practice areas were statistically significant (P=.013); Table 6 shows the mean salaries offered by practice area.


Table 6:

Average Salary Offered for Academic

Internship Positions by Practice Area

Practice Area

Percentage of Positions Listed

Mean

Median

Agricultural Practices

.6%

$26,064

$26,064

Ambulatory

.3%

$25,000

$25,000

Anesthesiology

1.2%

$28,038

$27,000

Avian

.6%

$27,000

$27,000

Cardiology

.3%

$32,774

$32,774

Community Practice

.3%

$27,212

$27,212

Dermatology

.6%

$30,527

$30,527

Diagnostic Imaging & Radiology

.6%

$31,687

$31,687

Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

5.2%

$31,241

$28,139

Equine

4.6%

$28,257

$27,106

Exotic/Wildlife/Zoo

4.1%

$29,813

$31,000

Farm Practice/Production Animal Medicine

.9%

$29,667

$31,000

Food Animal

2.3%

$28,367

$28,000

Large Animal Medicine/Surgery

3.8%

$27,742

$28,000

Large Animal Surgery

.9%

$27,371

$27,212

Neurology

1.2%

$26,054

$26,032

Oncology

4.9%

$27,751

$26,153

Other

1.2%

$27,562

$27,705

Shelter Medicine

3.5%

$30,665

$30,400

Small Animal Internal Medicine

1.2%

$26,351

$26,202

Small Animal Medicine/Surgery

58.6%

$28,038

$27,000

Small Animal Surgery

2.9%

$28,351

$26,830

Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation

.6%

$31,750

$31,750

Total

100.0%

$28,372

$27,212

 

 

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

 

Bain, Bridgette; Salois, Matt; Ouedraogo, Frederic; Hanson, Charlotte; and Dutton, Barbara. 2018 AVMA Report on Veterinary Education. Schaumburg: American Veterinary Medical Association, 2018. Print.

 

 Greenhill, Lisa M. "2018 Resident and Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP." Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, May, 2019. Web.

 

Larkin, M. (2018). Salaries, debt for new graduates continue to increase. Available at:https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/181215f.aspx [Accessed 7 May 2019].

 

Please cite as:

Greenhill, Lisa M. and Kendall Young. “2019 Intern Salaries Offered through the VIRMP.” Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. May, 2018. Web.