SPVS Salary Survey 2021 now available - Veterinary Practice
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SPVS Salary Survey 2021 now available

Results of the 2021 SPVS Salary Survey are in, helping to track the recent changes in salaries and benefits across the veterinary profession

The SPVS Salary Survey covers everything from basic earnings, bonuses, dividends and overtime to benefits such as accommodation, car allowance and pensions and is broken down by type of practice and period qualified for each region, where numbers permit. With a record 1,605 respondents, the latest SPVS Salary Survey tracks the changes in salaries and benefits across the profession.

Looking at all vets, the median salary package for 2021 was £48,325. This is £3,000 more than the 2020 SPVS Salary Survey value. For all nurses the median package was £24,227 for 2021, and for head nurses this figure rose to £31,013.

The median daily rate for a locum vet has risen by over 16 percent since 2020 at £350 per day, and the hourly rate has increased by a staggering 36 percent to £41 per hour. In a similar fashion locum nurse daily rates have risen by over 30 percent since 2020 to £144 and their hourly rate increased by 14 percent to £20 according to the 2021 SPVS Salary Survey.

One noticeable takeaway from the 2021 SPVS Salary Survey concerns the new graduate salary package.  This package, at £32,700 in 2021, is £800 less than in 2020 (£33,500); however, the 2021 hourly rate has increased to £15.66 from £15.04 in 2020. Does this mean that newly qualified vets are earning less overall because they are working fewer hours (on average three hours less a week)? This may suggest that they are prioritising their work-life balance, with time off being more important than an overall salary.

In a female dominated profession it is no surprise that 81.8 percent of all respondents were female (although this is 4 percent less than 2020), but is the previously noted gender gap in salary reducing? The answer is no. The 2021 SPVS Salary Survey suggests that there is a still a median full time salary package difference of -21 percent when comparing women to men (this was -15 percent in 2020).

Why is this? The disparity can, in part, be explained by career progression, especially for vets greater than 15 years qualified. Within this category more male vets are in more senior positions, commanding a higher salary so the difference may be due to seniority, not necessarily gender.

Why are more male vets in more senior positions? The SPVS Salary Survey 2021 showed very similar numbers of males and females doing both clinical and non-clinical post graduate training, such as the SPVS unique ILM leadership course.

Why is this not converting into similar numbers accepting referrals or being in positions of leadership or seniority? The survey showed more than twice as many males than females are in these positions. Females are doing the extra training but not using this to progress their career. More research is needed to understand why this is the case.

As in 2020, SPVS have also looked at satisfaction in remuneration, hours worked, conditions, support and prospects and are using this data to create a separate document. This document will not only analyse this data, but also provide some reasoning and thoughts for the future and will be available soon.

As a profession, providing exceptional prospects is something we need to strive for, in order to motivate the next generation of vets. Ultimately, this will help build the retention we are all looking for in the veterinary industry.

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