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AAEP Salary & Life Style Survey 2008


AAEP survey from 2008 outlining salary and life styles of equine practitioners from USA and Canada.

AAEP survey from 2008 outlining salary and life styles of equine practitioners from USA and Canada.

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  • 1. A Confidential Lifestyles and Salary Survey Conducted on behalf of American Association of Equine Practitioners April 2008 ByMONITION: This research was conducted for the exclusive use of the American Association ofEquine Practitioners (AAEP) and their designated agents. Duplication of the material is prohibitedwithout the expressed consent of the AAEP. If any material contained in this document is releasedto the general public, the research consultant reserves the right to release any and all additional datato clarify and/or accurately report findings of this study. This specific policy and the methods bywhich data have been collected and reported are consistent with the bylaws of the AmericanAssociation for Public Opinion Research.
  • 2. Table of Table of Contents _____________________________________ 2Contents Survey Design & Methods ______________________________ 3 Background & Administration __________________________ 3 Major Findings _______________________________________ 4 Salaries Among Equine Practitioners Overall ________________ 4 Salaries Among Equine Practitioners in Private Practice_______ 12 Salaries Among Equine Practitioners in Academia ___________ 23 Benefits Provided to Equine Practitioners _________________ 27 Attitudes Regarding Lifestyle___________________________ 30 Overall Job Satisfaction_______________________________ 41 Likelihood of Encouraging Equine Medicine Career __________ 43 Open-ended Questions _______________________________ 45 Participant Profiles __________________________________ 47 Demographic Breakouts ______________________________ 47 2
  • 3. Survey Background & Administration T he American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP)Design & commissioned a lifestyles and salary survey among itsMethods members in the fall of 2007. Although the association had salary information from the sub-sample of equine practitioners in the periodic AVMA salary survey, AAEP sought to conduct a more comprehensive survey that also included attitudinal questions concerning lifestyle issues. Data for the following report were collected by Preston- Osborne of Lexington, Kentucky using a Web-based survey. In early October of 2007, an e-mail was sent to approximately 6,076 DVM members in the United States and Canada inviting them to participate in the member survey. The e-mail, which was in the form of a memo from AAEP President, Doug Corey, included a hotlink to the online survey form. Those who received the survey invitation by e-mail were given a deadline about two weeks from the time the invitation was sent. Right before the deadline, a reminder e-mail was sent to those who had not clicked through to the survey form (i.e. non-responders). At roughly the same time that the e-mail invitation was sent, postcards were mailed to the remaining 856 U.S. and Canadian DVM members of the AAEP for whom the association did not have an e- mail address on file. The postcard closely mirrored the e-mail invitation and included the URL for the online survey. The deadline for survey returns was October 31. Surveys were accepted and included in the dataset, however, until November 3, 2007. A total of 1,253 valid∗ surveys were completed by that date and are included in the study. Based on a universe of 6,932, this represents a response rate of 18 percent. This report summarizes results from the study. All figures in this report exclude “no responses,” unless otherwise noted. ∗ A small number of surveys were considered invalid and were, therefore, omitted from the final dataset. These include partial surveys that didn’t include salary information, as well as surveys from retirees or those not employed in equine medicine. 3
  • 4. Major Salaries Among Equine Practitioners Overall O ne of the two primary goals of this study was toFindings determine the average annual salaries of equine practitioners, both overall and among specific subgroups, such as first-year practitioners. The survey instrument, therefore, began with a series of demographic questions (the results of which are reported later in this document) designed to categorize respondents in a wide variety of ways. Some of these key variables included gender, age, graduation year from veterinary school, whether they work in private practice, what type of practice they work in, their specific role within their practice, marital status, whether children are present in the home, and where respondents are located, among others. Before discussing these findings, it is important to note some general observations. Based on information provided by the AAEP, the average age of the members of the association is older than the average among survey respondents. (The AAEP’s information regarding the age of their members is, by their own admission, limited, but is considered to be more reflective of the overall membership population than the survey sample.) The fact that the final survey sample is somewhat skewed to a younger member is especially noteworthy due to the fact that, while the industry once was populated largely by males, it is now seeing a sharp increase in the number of females entering the profession. The end result for this survey is that the average age of male respondents was mid-40s, while the average age of female respondents was early-30s. For the salary section of this report, charts and tables exclude respondents who were students in 2006 and, therefore, were not practicing equine medicine. Also, in the salary section, due to the small number of respondents falling into some of the subgroups, the number of cases, or n-size, is reported for each. 4
  • 5. To provide context for the discussion of salary findings, the fulltext of the question, as it was posed to members, follows: What wasyour TOTAL PERSONAL INCOME—before taxes—from allveterinary medical related activities during 2006? Includeincome from: salary; bonuses; practice profits; consulting fees;and retirement/profit-sharing plan contributions made on yourbehalf. (Please indicate your response in U.S. dollars factoring inthe appropriate exchange rate if you are a non-U.S. respondent.) As Figure 1 illustrates, the average salary among all surveyrespondents was $111,340, and as the figure also demonstrates, thereis a notable salary differential when examining results by age group,with respondents 50 or older earning more than three times the salaryof a practitioner in his or her 20s. These results suggest that longevityin the field of equine medicine—when combined with experience andcareer advancements—can result in a significant increase in one’ssalary. Figure 1—Average Salaries by Age Group $180,000 $155,740 $160,240 $160,000 $140,000 $126,280 $120,000 $111,340 $100,000 $86,140 $80,000 $60,000 $48,280 $40,000 $20,000 Overall <30 years 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ years Average old (n=192) (n=345) (n=294) (n=273) old (n=92) (n=1,196) 5
  • 6. Figure 2 depicts the average salary based on graduation year andsupports the trend seen in Figure 1. Figure 2—Average Salaries by Graduation Year $180,000 $153,820 $158,140 $160,000 $140,000 $116,800 $120,000 $111,340 $100,000 $87,640 $80,000 $60,000 $40,540 $40,000 $20,000 Overall 2006 Only 2000-2005 1990s 1980s Prior to Average (First Year) (n=479) (n=241) (n=215) 1980 (n=1,196) (n=91) (n=165) An important component of this study was to determine theaverage salary of first-year equine practitioners. According to resultsfrom AVMA’s salary survey, first-year veterinarians in the equine fieldmake substantially less than those who pursue careers in other areas ofveterinary medicine. Findings from this study appear to support thosefrom the AVMA study.+ Among all respondents to AAEP’s survey, 91 graduated in 2006.The average salary among this entire group was $40,540. Looking atonly those who worked in an equine-focused practice (65 of the 91),the average salary was $37,240, which was notably less thanrespondents who worked for large, small, or mixed animal practices.+ The manner in which average annual salaries were computed for the AVMAsurvey and the AAEP survey may differ, as the AVMA report did not define theprocess by which averages were calculated. 6
  • 7. (The average first-year salary of all veterinarians working at a privatepractice in the 2006 AVMA salary survey was $55,031; among thoseworking for an equine practice, the average was $40,130.) One factor contributing to the lower average first-year salary isthe number of graduates working in internships and residencies, ofwhich there were 38 among the 91 2006 graduates in the AAEP study.On average, those particular first-year graduates were earning less thanhalf of what first-year associates reported making ($25,960 comparedto $53,320). However, despite the much lower salaries of first-year graduateswho are completing an internship during that initial year aftergraduation, survey results suggest that those entering theprofession of equine medicine are well-served by internships inthe long run. When examining the average salaries of privatepractitioners in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and older who completedinternships, it is found that they are earning up to 16 percent morethan similarly aged practitioners who did not participate in aninternship. (Additional discussion of the impact of internships appears later inthis report.) 7
  • 8. Figure 3 depicts average salaries by AAEP Membership District(please refer to the key located below Figure 3 for district information), and as thefigure shows, there is notable variance, with respondents practicing inthe Northwestern District (District IX) earning the lowest averagesalary ($82,240) and those in the South Central District (District IV)earning the highest ($143,560). Figure 3—Average Salaries by AAEP Membership District $180,000 $160,000 $143,560 $136,660 $140,000 $118,840 $115,000 $116,500 $120,000 $111,340 $101,860 $95,860 $98,080 $100,000 $87,220 $82,240 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 ) 82) ) est =151 28 ) ) ) 83 ) 118 34 ) 135 ) (n= lan 20) =1 127 104 (n= ) =1 96 (n= (n (n= (n 1 n= (n= uth c (n= da 1,1 (n ic al ern n= c( na cif al es ntr tic rn ntr nti Ca Pa ak nti e( ste Ce Ce tla tL hw ag tla we At hA le A ver ea ort uth uth Gr ll A ort N idd So So So N era M OvAAEP Membership DistrictsDistrict I North Atlantic: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, VermontDistrict II Middle Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, WestVirginiaDistrict III South Atlantic: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, SouthCarolinaDistrict IV South Central: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,TennesseeDistrict V Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, WisconsinDistrict VI Central: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,North Dakota, South DakotaDistrict VII Southwestern: New Mexico, Oklahoma, TexasDistrict VIII Pacific: Arizona, California, Hawaii, NevadaDistrict IX Northwestern: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington,WyomingDistrict X Canada: Canada 8
  • 9. Figure 4 depicts average salaries by the size of the community inwhich the respondent works. As the figure indicates, practitionersworking in more rural areas earn less, on average, than those in urbancenters. Figure 4—Average Salaries by Community Size $180,000 $160,000 $140,000 $133,060 $120,000 $111,340 $98,860 $104,740 $100,000 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Overall Average Small (Under Medium (25,000- Large (>100,000) (n=1,196) 25,000) (n=472) 100,000) (n=350) (n=366) 9
  • 10. Figure 5 depicts average salaries by employer type. It’s importantto note that nearly 9 out of 10 survey respondents indicated thatthey worked for a private practice. Figure 5—Average Salaries by Employer Type $180,000 $160,000 $140,000 $130,000 $114,820 $120,000 $111,340 $101,500 $100,000 $88,840 $78,700 $80,000 $71,740 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Overall Private Academia Fed Govt State/Local Industry Other (n=7) Average Practice (n=94) (n=8) Govt (n=14) (n=1,196) (n=1,056) (n=17) 10
  • 11. Another survey question provides additional context to the salaryresults. Respondents were asked how their educational debt loadcompares to their current annual salary. As Tables 1a and 1b show,debt load is a real burden for many, particularly recent graduates. Forexample, among those who graduated just last year, more than one-third said that what they owe in student loans is at least four timesgreater than what they are currently earning.Table 1a— How Respondents Said Their Educational DebtLoad Compares to Their Annual Salary broken out by WhatThey Currently Earn Annual Salary Less More $52- $70- $94- $130- than than 70K 94K 130K 202K $52K (n=206) (n=221) (n=224) (n=165) $202K (n=277) (n=137)No educational debt 31% 39% 56% 68% 82% 91%Annual salary is more 7 14 20 21 15 7than debt amountOwe more than salary 10 17 15 9 2 2but less than doubleOwe at least double 19 18 5 1 1 1what I earnOwe at least triple 14 8 2 <1 0 0what I earnOwe at least 20 3 1 0 0 0quadruple w hat I earnTable 1b— How Respondents Said Their Educational DebtLoad Compares to Their Annual Salary broken out by WhenThey Graduated from Veterinary School Year Graduated 2005- 2000- 1990- 1980- 2007 <1980 (n=56) 2006 2004 1999 1989 (n=163) (n=156) (n=416) (n=240) (n=210)No educational debt 14% 12% 42% 62% 94% 99%Annual salary is more 4 13 20 23 6 1than debt amountOwe more than salary 11 16 17 8 0 0but less than doubleOwe at least double 21 27 11 3 1 0what I earnOwe at least triple 16 19 4 3 0 0what I earnOwe at least 34 14 6 1 0 0quadruple what I earn 11
  • 12. Salaries Among Equine Practitioners in Private Practice The next series of charts report average salaries within varioussubgroups of respondents who reported they worked in a privatepractice (88 percent of the entire sample) beginning with the typeof equine-related work with which respondents are most involved. As Figure 6 depicts, the average salary of a practitioner whosefocus is racing is considerably higher than those who work in otherareas. It is important to note, however, that only 1 out of 10respondents in private practice indicated racing was their emphasis,while 11 percent noted reproduction and 73 percent said they workedprimarily with pleasure/performance horses. Only 6 percent ofrespondents said they worked in some other area. Figure 6—Average Salaries by Equine Emphasis (Private Practice Only) $220,000 $200,000 $190,000 $180,000 $160,000 $140,000 $130,960 $125,320 $120,000 $101,500 $100,000 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Performance/ Racing (n=107) Reproduction Other (n=64) Pleasure (n=774) (n=111) 12
  • 13. Figure 7 illustrates the salary differences based on both the focusand function of the practice for which respondents’ work. Please keepin mind that the reported average salaries in Figure 7 are among onlythe equine practitioners working within certain types of practices.(For example, as the figure shows, 53 equine practitioners reportedworking in a practice that focuses primarily on treating small animals.)Therefore, these findings are not comparable to the AVMA results forsimilar categories, which would be the average salaries of allveterinarians working in that type of practice. Figure 7—Average Salaries by Practice Focus & Practice Function (Private Practice Only) $180,000 $160,000 $142,420 $140,000 $122,200 $121,840 $120,000 $107,920 $101,440 $100,000 $95,800 $88,060 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Large Small Mixed Equine Gen. Med. Specialty Other Animal Animal Animal (n=757) (n=802) (n=174) (n=74) (n=104) (n=53) (n=139) Focus Function 13
  • 14. Next, Figure 8 reports the average salaries of private practiceveterinarians by AAEP Membership District, and the results followthe same trend seen when examining all respondents by district—those in the Northwestern District earn the least and those in theSouth Central District earn the most. (For a District Membership key,please refer to page 8.) Figure 8—Average Salaries by AAEP Membership District (Private Practice Only) $180,000 $156,400 $160,000 $140,800 $140,000 $123,160 $119,560 $119,320 $120,000 $103,120 $96,880 $97,300 $100,000 $90,160 $83,920 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 ) 75) ) 138 104 ) ) ) ) ) 94 ) 94 (n= ) 76 122 116 120 104 n= n= (n= n= (n= n= (n= (n= n= ic ( da al ( al ( c( rn ern na cif c( ntr es tic ntr ste nti Ca Pa nti ak est Ce lan Ce tla we tL tla hw At hA uth le A uth ea ort uth Gr ort So So idd N So N M 14
  • 15. Figure 9 examines the average salaries of private practitionersbased on age and graduation year and supports the view that longevityand experience in the field results in higher incomes. Figure 9—Average Salaries by Age & Graduation Year (Private Practice Only) $180,000 $163,420 $165,220 $161,560 $162,820 $160,000 $140,000 $130,420 $121,060 $120,000 $89,140 $90,640 $100,000 $80,000 $60,000 $50,200 $41,320 $40,000 $20,000 ) ) ) 5) 88 83 176 4) ) ) ) ) 217 184 ) 146 228 30 26 416 (n= (n= n= (n= (n= (n= (n= (n= (n= (n= 0( + 06 60 980 -39 0s 0s -49 <3 59 20 05 199 198 50- 30 40 <1 -20 00 20 Age Graduation Year 15
  • 16. Figure 10 depicts average salaries based on employee type. As thefigure demonstrates, the average salary among interns and residentsworking for a private practice is about $28,000 a year. In contrast,practice owners who are in partnership with one or more practitionersare earning more than $175,000 annually. Figure 10—Average Salaries by Employee Type (Private Practice Only) $200,000 $176,140 $180,000 $156,460 $160,000 $136,000 $136,780 $140,000 $120,000 $100,000 $75,940 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $27,820 $20,000 Sole Owner Owner: Owner: Corp. Owner: LLC Associate Intern/ (n=298) Partner Shareholder (n=86) (n=359) Resident (n=88) (n=145) (n=59) 16
  • 17. To further examine the relationship between income andlongevity coupled with experience in the field referenced earlier in thisreport, Figure 11 depicts average salaries among various employeetypes in private practice broken out by age group. Figure 11—Salaries by Age Group within Employee Type (Private Practice Only) $280,000 $240,000 Sole Proprietor $200,000 Owner: Partner $160,000 Owner: Corp. Shareholder Owner: LLC $120,000 Associate $80,000 $40,000 <30 yrs. 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ yrs.Details of data presented in Figure 11: Employee Type Age Group, n-sizes, and Income <30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Sole Proprietor (n=4) (n=42) (n=97) (n=114) (n=41) $49,000 $92,980 $126,340 $161,620 $140,500 <30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Owner: Partner (n=2) (n=21) (n=32) (n=23) (n=10) $106,000 $139,120 $163,780 $195,460 $263,200 <30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Owner: Corp. (n=0) (n=30) (n=55) (n=43) (n=17) Shareholder — $118,180 $145,180 $172,120 $219,280 <30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Owner: LLC (n=3) (n=24) (n=25) (n=28) (n=6) $64,000 $107,020 $143,440 $160,840 $152,020 <30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Associate (n=119) (n=172) (n=49) (n=15) (n=4) $59,140 $78,100 $98,140 $111,580 $73,000 17
  • 18. Figure 12 reports average salaries by the advanced degreespractitioners have obtained, whether they are board certified, andwhether they’ve completed a residency and/or an internship. Figure 12—Average Salaries by Advanced Degrees, Boards, Residencies, and Internships (Private Practice Only) $180,000 $160,000 $148,300 $145,660 $146,320 $140,000 $129,160 $120,000 $107,260 $100,000 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Has Masters Has PhD Board Certified Completed Completed (n=148) (n=21) (n=114) Residency Internship (n=127) (n=384) One finding in Figure 12 that merits additional scrutiny is theimpact of having completed an internship on one’s salary. At firstblush, it would appear that an internship does not positively impactsalary since the average earnings among those who have completedone is lower than the overall average among private practitioners byaround $7,000. However, it is important to note that internships havebecome much more common in recent years, which means thatrespondents who have completed them are more apt to be young andin the early stages of their equine careers. In fact, of the 384 privatepractitioners in the survey who said they had completed an internship,more than 6 out of 10 were under the age of 40. Since the group whohas completed an internship is heavily populated with practitionerswhose earnings are lower because of their age and limitedexperience—including 55 respondents whose reported salary would 18
  • 19. have been based on what they were earning as an intern—it serves tobring the overall group average down. By examining results by age group, however, a clearer pictureemerges as to the impact of an internship on salaries, which is revealedin Figure 13. The figure suggests that, as practitioners advance in theircareers, those who invested in an internship ultimately earn more, onaverage, than those who did not complete an internship. Figure 13—Salaries Among Those Who Have and Have Not Completed Internships by Age Group (Private Practice Only) $200,000 $180,000 $160,000 $140,000 $120,000 Internship $100,000 No Internship $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 <30 yrs. 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ yrs. n-sizes in Figure 13: Age Internship No Internship<30 yrs. 97 7930-39 142 16349-49 66 19850-59 60 16860+ yrs. 19 64 19
  • 20. Figure 14 illustrates the salary differences based on gender. Figure 14—Average Salaries by Gender (Private Practice Only) $180,000 $160,000 $149,800 $140,000 $120,000 $100,000 $81,820 $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Male (n=515) Female (n=541) In looking at the findings in Figure 14, it would appear tha t thesalary disparity between male and female equine practitioners isactually much larger than it really is—although, it is significant. Basedsolely on gender, males are earning considerably more than females,according to the survey. However, as has been reported, withexperience and longevity in the field comes a higher income. Giventhe large number of younger and less experienced female practitionerswho participated in the survey, the disparity is, therefore, best analyzedby comparing salaries between males and females within various agegroups, as is shown in Figure 15 on the following page. 20
  • 21. Figure 15—Salaries Among Males and Females by Age Group (Private Practice Only) $200,000 $180,000 $160,000 $140,000 $120,000 Males $100,000 Females $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 <30 yrs. 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ yrs. n-sizes in Figure 15: Age Males Females<30 yrs. 29 14730-39 102 20349-49 135 12950-59 171 5760+ yrs. 78 5 As the above figure illustrates, among the under-30 group,females are earning the same salary as their male counterparts. Amongthose in their 30s, however, males out earn females by about 40percent. The same salary differential—40 percent—exists amongthose in their 40s; however, among practitioners in their 50s, the salarygap increases to 55 percent. While the gap between males and females60 years old and older is substantial, with males earning nearly doublethe amount of females, it is notable that only 5 female respondents fellinto the 60+ category compared to 78 males. In contrast, within theunder-30 group, there were 29 males and 147 females represented inthe survey. 21
  • 22. To provide additional insight into the salary differences based ongender, Table 2 reports salaries first by employee type and then bygender within that type. It also includes the average number of hoursworked per work—both regular and emergency/overtime.Table 2—Average Salaries and the Average Number of Regularand Emergency/Overtime Hours Worked per Week byEmployee Type and by Gender within Type Avg. Avg. Reg. ER/OT Group/Subgroup Total # Salary Hrs. Hrs. of Hrs.All in private practice $114,820 50 8 58(n=1,056)Owner: Sole Proprietor $136,000 48 7 55(n=298) Males (n=176) $157,240 50 7 57 Females (n=122) $105,640 46 7 53Owner: Partner (n=88) $176,140 49 5 54 Males (n=56) $204,700 51 5 56 Females (n=32) $126,280 44 6 50Owner: Corp. Shareholder $156,460 51 7 58(n=145) Males (n=104) $176,680 51 7 58 Females (n=41) $106,000 50 9 59Owner: LLC (n=86) $136,780 50 8 58 Males (n=48) $155,140 53 8 61 Females (n=38) $113,560 45 8 53Associate (n=359) $75,940 50 8 58 Males (n=106) $98,920 53 8 61 Females (n=253) $66,280 49 9 58Intern/Resident (n=59) $27,820 58 15 73 Males (n=14) $34,000 59 14 73 Females (n=45) $25,840 58 15 73 It is worth noting that the 2007 AVMA Report on VeterinaryCompensation shows similar trends regarding salary disparity betweenmale and female practitioners. 22
  • 23. Salaries Among Equine Practitioners in Academia As was noted earlier in this report, the vast majority of surveyrespondents (88 percent) worked in private practice. Of the 140respondents who did not, 94 indicated that they worked at a college oruniversity. (The balance [46 respondents] worked for various employertypes as reported in Figure 5. Due to the limited number ofrespondents who fell into these categories, no additional salaryinformation is included for those 46 respondents beyond the averagesalaries shown in Figure 5.) The next series of charts report average salaries within varioussubgroups of respondents who indicated they worked at a collegeor university. The average salary among all respondents in thisgroup was $78,700, as reported in Figure 5. Figure 16 reports average salaries based on the positionrespondents indicated they held within their university or college. Figure 16—Average Salaries by Position (Academia Only) $140,000 $119,800 $120,000 $96,820 $100,000 $90,280 $86,260 $80,000 $63,520 $60,000 $40,000 $23,980 $20,000 Full Assoc. Other (n=9) Asst. Clinican Resident/ Professor Professor Professor (n=12) Intern (n=21) (n=20) (n=17) (n=15) 23
  • 24. Figure 17 depicts average salaries among those in academia bytheir primary function, while Figure 18 shows average salaries byAAEP membership district. (For a District Membership key, please refer topage 8.) Figure 17—Average Salaries by Function (Academia Only) $140,000 $120,000 $101,800 $93,580 $100,000 $80,000 $77,020 $71,380 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Research (n=10) Teaching (n=15) Other (n=7) Clinical Medicine (n=62) Figure 18—Average Salaries by AAEP Membership District (Academia Only) $140,000 $120,000 $95,500 $98,020 $100,000 $89,320 $78,640 $83,680$80,260 $76,660 $80,000 $64,780 $62,500 $59,200 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 6) 2) 8) 8) (n= ) =1 9) 5) n= 9) 19) 8) =9 (n= (n= (n= (n= n= (n (n= c( (n da cifi c( es al rn tic ern tic na ntr ak al nti Pa ste lan lan Ca ntr est tL Ce tla we At At Ce hw hA ea uth uth le Gr ort uth ort idd So N So N So M 24
  • 25. Figure 19 examines the average salaries of those in academiabased on age and graduation year. Figure 19—Average Salaries by Age & Graduation Year (Academia Only) $140,000 $116,860 $120,000 $115,360 $103,360 $100,000 $95,980 $92,860 $79,420 $80,000 $59,020 $58,300 $60,000 $40,000 $22,480 $25,000 $20,000 <30 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ 2006 2000- 1990- 1980- <1980 (n=13) (n=30) (n=17) (n=27) (n=7) (n=2) 2005 1999 1989 (n=16) (n=46) (n=14) (n=16) Age Graduation Year Figure 20 reports average salaries by the advanced degrees thosein academia have obtained, whether they are board certified, andwhether they’ve completed a residency and/or an internship. Figure 20—Average Salaries by Advanced Degrees, Boards, Residencies, and Internships (Academia Only) $140,000 $120,000 $103,360 $100,540 $100,000 $87,820 $88,480 $80,000 $75,460 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Has Masters Has PhD (n=18) Board Certified Completed Completed (n=36) (n=56) Residency Internship (n=64) (n=70) 25
  • 26. Figure 21 shows average salaries by gender. Figure 21—Average Salaries by Gender (Academia Only) $140,000 $120,000 $100,000 $89,200 $80,000 $68,620 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 Male (n=46) Female (n=48) To provide additional context to Figure 21, Table 3 reports theaverage number of hours worked per work—both regular andemergency/overtime.Table 3—Average Salaries and the Average Number of Regularand Emergency/Overtime Hours Worked per Week by Genderamong Those in Academia Avg. Avg. Reg. ER/OT Group/Subgroup Total # Salary Hrs. Hrs. of Hrs.Academia (n=94) $78,700 53 9 62 Males (n=46) $89,200 51 7 58 Females (n=48) $68,620 54 12 66 26
  • 27. Benefits Provided to Equine Practitioners In addition to salary information, survey participants were askedabout the employment benefits provided to them. The followingfigures show the percentage of all respondents who said theiremployer provided them with the benefit. Figure 22—Benefits Provided by Employer (chart 1 of 2) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 CE expenses 93 Liability insurance 84 AAEP dues 82 Other dues 77 Health insurance 72 CE leave 67 Paid vacation leave 62 Personal use of vehicle 49 Disability insurance 49 Paid holidays 47 Figure 23—Benefits Provided by Employer (chart 2 of 2) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Paid sick leave 43 Life insurance 43 IRA 40 Dental plan 29 Pension/401-K 19 Profit-sharing 12 Vision plan 12 Unpaid maternity leave 8 Housing 7 Paid maternity leave 6 Other 3 27
  • 28. As Figures 22 and 23 show, the majority of respondents receiveseveral key benefits, such as continuing education expenses, liabilityinsurance, association dues paid by their employer, health insurance,continuing education leave, and paid vacation leave. All other benefitswere noted by fewer than half of all survey participants. When examining the benefits provided by various demographicsegments, some notable differences were discovered, including:• Those who’ve been in the equine profession longer are more likely to receive certain benefits, including the payment of association dues, continuing education expenses, disability insurance, IRAs, life insurance, health insurance, pension plans or 401-Ks, use of company vehicle, and profit-sharing plans; and• In contrast, the only benefit newcomers to the profession—who are earning notably less money and carrying a much higher debt load, in general—are more likely to receive is paid vacation, and even this is by only a slight margin. Among those who said they receive paid vacation, the averagenumber of days provided is 16 per year. As is to be expected, withlongevity in the profession comes more vacation time—those whograduated prior to 1990 get 19 to 20 days, whereas those whograduated between 1990 and 2004 receive 15 to 16 days. Thosewho’ve graduated in the last couple of years receive 11 days. While, on average, respondents receive 16 paid vacation days,they only use 11 of those. Among those receiving paid sick leave, an average of 8 days isprovided, and although the same trend observed regarding vacationtime is also found with sick time regarding longevity, the spread is notas wide—12 days among those who graduated pre-1980 compared to5 days among those who graduated in 2005 or 2006. Among those receiving paid holidays, an average of 6 days isprovided. Another question included on the survey asked participants tonote the percentage of time they have a technician available to assistthem with their work. According to the survey findings, techniciansare available about half the time (52 percent). Among those who have 28
  • 29. technicians available most frequently are those who practice in a smallanimal focused practice (technician available 71 percent of the time),while those who work in large animal focused practices are amongthose with less access to support staff (technician available 41 percentof the time). 29
  • 30. Attitudes Regarding Lifestyle In order to analyze the issue of work/personal life balance, aseries of questions designed to quantify the extent to which equinepractitioners are tied to their jobs was included. The survey found that:• On average, equine practitioners work 50 regular hours and 8 emergency hours per week. o The number of hours worked is slightly higher among those under the age of 30 (53 regular and 10 emergency hours). o There is a notable difference between the number of hours worked by a respondent employed by an equine-focused practice (51 regular and 8 emergency) compared to a respondent who works for a small animal predominant practice (42 regular and 4 emergency). o Equine practitioners earning more than $202,000 a year work more regular hours (54) than average, but fewer emergency hours (6). o One of the most notable findings is the reported number of hours worked among interns/residents—58 regular and 15 emergency hours per week.• On average, equine practitioners reported being on emergency duty 46 percent of the time. o Among those who reported the highest percentage of on-call duty were respondents who graduated in the 1990s (51 percent of time is spent on emergency duty); those earning less than $52,000 per year (50 percent of time); those who work for a large animal exclusive or predominant practice (56 percent of time); those who practice general medicine (52 percent of time); and those who are the sole owner of their practices (63 percent of time). o In contrast, those with the smallest amount of time spent on emergency duty included those 60 years old or older (38 percent of time is spent on emergency duty); those earning more than $202,000 a year (39 percent of time); respondents who said the focus of their equine work is academic (25 percent of time); those who work for a small animal predominant practice (39 percent of time); and those who work for a specialty or referral practice (39 percent of time).• Few practitioners (less than 10 percent) have taken leaves of absence for personal growth and development, such as for education, missionary work, or child rearing. 30
  • 31. In addition to the quantitative questions regarding hours spent onthe job, a series of statements designed to measure attitudinal viewswas provided, and respondents were asked the extent to which theyagreed or disagreed with each. They were also given the option ofnoting that the statement did not apply to them. The following charts summarize the findings and excluderespondents who indicated the statement was not applicable.Please note that the statements have been abbreviated on the chartsand that the full text of each can be found below each chart. Figure 24—Level of Agreement to Various Statements 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Benefits are as good or better than others 48 34 10 8 Excellent growth/advancement 42 34 14 10 opportunities I feel appreciated by my employer 37 37 16 10 Someone encourages my growth & development 34 36 18 12 Salary & benefits expectations have been 15 30 34 21 met Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagreeStatements in Figure 24: • The benefits I have with my current employer are as good or better than other similar organizations. • I believe I have an excellent opportunity to advance or grow with the practice I’m currently in. • I feel appreciated by my employer for the work I do. • There is someone within my practice who encourages my growth and development. • My expectations in terms of salary and benefits for a career in equine medicine have been met or exceeded. 31
  • 32. Figure 25—Level of Agreement to Various Statements 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Practice has equitable "on call" plan 42 32 13 14 Practice has a hard time locating employees 29 39 20 12 Practice has a hard time retaining employees 22 32 26 20 I often feel overwhelmed by my workload 19 39 25 17 There is a shortage of practitioners in my area 15 24 33 28 Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagreeStatements in Figure 25: • Our practice has an equitable “on call” plan for its practitioners. • Our practice has a difficult time locating qualified employees to practice equine medicine. • Our practice has a difficult time retaining qualified employees to practice equine medicine. • I often feel overwhelmed by the workload I have. • There is a shortage of equine practitioners in my area. 32
  • 33. Figure 26—Level of Agreement to Various Statements 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% I consider my work rewarding 60 34 51 I enjoy coming to work each day 40 45 12 3 Im provided flexibility to balance work/personal life 28 37 21 14 Family resents the amount of time I devote to work 19 43 23 16 Given educational debt, its difficult to make ends 20 23 27 31 meet Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagreeStatements in Figure 26: • I consider the work I do to be rewarding. • I enjoy coming to work each day. • I am provided adequate flexibility to balance both my professional and personal responsibilities. • I think my family resents the amount of time I must devote to my career. • Given the debt I incurred to obtain my education, my current salary makes it very difficult to make ends meet. 33
  • 34. The two statements illustrated in Figure 27 were asked onlyamong practice owners—both sole proprietors and those who are oneamong multiple owners of a practice—and were designed to assess theextent to which they believe it will be difficult to find someone willingand able to buy their practice (or the share they own) when the timecomes. Figure 27—Level of Agreement to Statements Regarding Retirement Among Practice Owners 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% I expect it will be very difficult to find someone willing & able to purchase 44 35 14 7 my practice when Im ready to retire My retirement plans have been or will likely be delayed due to an inability 22 33 27 18 to find someone to buy my practice Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagreeThe full text of the statements illustrated in Figure 27 appears in the figure. 34
  • 35. The statement illustrated in Figure 28 was asked only amongassociates, interns, and residents and was designed to determinewhether these practitioners believed they would have the financialability to purchase their own practice one day. Figure 28—Level of Agreement to Statement Regarding Future Practice Ownership Among Associates, Interns, & Residents 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% I would like to own my own practice someday, but am not sure that will be 29 34 20 18 financially feasible Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagreeThe full text of the statement illustrated in Figure 28 appears in the figure. 35
  • 36. Figure 29 illustrates the findings of two statements—one that wasasked only among respondents age 50 or older and another asked onlyof those under the age of 40. The results of these two conflictingstatements perhaps best represent the generational differences ofopinion that affect not only the equine medicine profession, but manyprofessions today. Figure 29—Level of Agreement to Statements Regarding Generational Differences 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Younger practitioners are not as committed to the profession of equine medicine as were those 35 43 16 5 who came before them (ASKED ONLY OF THOSE 50 OR OLDER) Older practitioners dont respect younger practitioners desire to strike a better work/personal life balance 44 41 13 3 (ASKED ONLY OF THOSE UNDER 40 YEARS OLD) Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagreeThe full text of the statements illustrated in Figure 29 appears in the figure. 36
  • 37. Figure 30 illustrates the findings of two similar statements—onethat was asked in the current study and another that was included inthe 2005 Membership Survey. It is important to note that the wordingon the two questions varied slightly, and that, in 2005, a 5-categoryscale was used—a scale which included a “neutral” option. For thepurposes of illustrating the findings in Figure 30, the results to the2005 study were recalculated removing the neutral category. Simplyput, though quite similar, these results cannot be considered anapples-to-apples comparison. Figure 30—Level of Agreement to Statement: “Professional longevity is of greater concern to equine practitioners than for those in other areas of veterinary medicine.” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2007 Lifestyle & Salary Survey 32 45 19 4 2005 Membership Survey 48 41 8 4 Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Interestingly, among those most likely to “strongly agree” withthis statement were those who graduated in 2005 or 2006 (38 percent).Thirty-nine percent of practitioners working with in a practice with aracing focus “strongly agreed,” as did 37 percent of those who workfor an equine practice. There is little difference of opinion whencomparing practice owners with associates or interns/residents. 37
  • 38. Figure 31 depicts the results of a statement included on thesurvey that specifically targeted women. It was designed to determinewhether female practitioners have felt it necessary to delay havingchildren due to concerns that a pregnancy would negatively impacttheir equine medicine career. Figure 31—Level of Agreement to Statement Regarding Children Among Females 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% I am delaying/did delay having children because of the potential negative 40 31 11 18 impact it would have on my equine career Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree As the figure above illustrates, 4 out of 10 women “stronglyagreed” with this statement. Those who have graduated since 2000were more likely to hold this sentiment than are women who’ve beenpracticing longer. When examining results by whether or not the respondentcurrently has children under the age of 18, it is found that 46 percentof women without children “strongly agree” with the statement. While income seems to have some bearing on the extent to whichwomen agree with this statement, debt load appears to have evenmore—46 percent of those with a high educational debt load“strongly agree,” compared to 39 percent with a low debt load and 37percent with no educational debt. 38
  • 39. Attitudes toward this issue appear to have an impact on awoman’s view of the profession overall—6 out of 10 women who saidthey are not likely to encourage students to pursue an equine medicinecareer “strongly agreed” that they are delaying or did delay becoming amother out of concern for their career. Another question included on the survey sheds additional lighton this issue. Women were asked how accommodating their employerwas during their pregnancies, if applicable. Of the 661 women whoresponded to the question, 77 percent said the question did not applyto them. Among those for whom it did apply, the majority stated thattheir employer was either “very accommodating” (47 percent) or“somewhat accommodating” (29 percent), as Figure 32 shows. Figure 32—Extent To Which Employer Was Accommodating During Pregnancy 29% 47% 16% 9% Very accommodating Somewhat accommodating Not very accommodating Not accommodating at all Given the relatively small number of women who said thisquestion applied to them (155), when examining results by variousdemographic markers there are few statistically relevant findings. Onenotable observation, however, is that among women “very likely” torecommend equine medicine to veterinary school students, 68 39
  • 40. percent said their employer was “very accommodating” during theirpregnancy, while among those merely “somewhat likely” torecommend a career in equine medicine, only 37 percent characterizedtheir employer as “very accommodating.” And when looking at thosewomen “not likely” to encourage students to pursue an equinemedicine career, only 11 percent said their employer was “veryaccommodating,” while 32 percent labeled their employer as “notaccommodating at all.” 40
  • 41. Overall Job Satisfaction The survey also included a question to gauge respondents’ overalllevel of job satisfaction. As Figure 33 illustrates, the vast majority ofrespondents reported being satisfied. However, among those who aresatisfied, nearly as many reported being only “somewhat satisfied” assaid they are “very satisfied.” Figure 33—Current Level of Job Satisfaction 42% 43% 12% 3% Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Generally speaking, younger, less experienced practitioners werenotably more likely to report lower levels of satisfaction whencompared to older, more seasoned respondents. For example, whileonly 29 percent of respondents under the age of 30 said they were“very satisfied,” more than double that percentage (64 percent) ofrespondents over 60 held that view. There was also a strong correlation between income and reportedlevels of job satisfaction. In general, the more money a respondentmakes, the more likely he or she is to have a high level of jobsatisfaction. However, it is interesting to note that respondents in thelowest income group (under $52,000) report higher levels ofsatisfaction than those in the next category ($52,000 to $70,000). 41
  • 42. When examining results by employee type, there were somenoticeable differences in the level of reported job satisfaction, withpractice owners notably more satisfied. On average, 54 percent ofowners said they were “very satisfied.” That number drops to 39percent among interns and residents. The group least satisfied, though,is associates, with only 28 percent reporting a high level of jobsatisfaction. 42
  • 43. Likelihood of Encouraging Equine Medicine Career Respondents were also asked how likely they would be toencourage veterinary school students to pursue a career in equinemedicine. As Figure 34 shows, the findings closely mirror those in theprevious question regarding job satisfaction. Figure 34—Likelihood of Encouraging Veterinary School Students to Pursue a Equine Medicine Career 44% 45% 9% 2% Very likely Somewhat likely Not very likely Not likely at all While the overall results to this question are similar to those seenon the job satisfaction question, a review of demographic subgroupsreveals some interesting differences. Those least likely to encouragestudents to pursue a career in equine medicine tended to bepractitioners who’ve been out of school a few years, were in their 30s,and who were earning between $52,000 and $70,000 a year. Those who work in a small animal predominant practice seemparticularly inclined not to promote an equine career, with nearly 1 outof 5 practitioners (19 percent) not likely to encourage a student to gointo equine medicine (a combination of “not very likely” and “notlikely at all”). When looking at results by employee type, it is found thatpractice owners who are one of multiple owners were more likely to 43
  • 44. promote a career in the industry (53 percent), followed byinterns/residents (48 percent), then sole proprietors (46 percent).Associates are least likely to promote a career in equine medicine (39percent). Among respondents who said their salary and benefitsexpectations had not been met when it came to their career in equinemedicine, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) said they were either “notvery likely” or “not likely at all” to encourage students to pursue acareer in equine medicine. 44
  • 45. Open-ended Questions Finally, respondents were asked several open-ended questionsregarding issues related to respondents’ ability to strike a balancebetween work and personal life responsibilities, the first of which wasa follow-up for those who gave dissatisfied ratings on overall jobsatisfaction. When the 194 respondents who gave scores of either“somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” were asked what factorscontribute to their job dissatisfaction, four recurring themes emergedfrom a review of their responses: • They work long hours and subsequently experience burnout; • Their on-call/emergency hours are excessive; • They receive low pay; and • They feel they have no life or personal time outside of the workplace. In the next question, those who mentioned that they would beunlikely to encourage students to pursue a career in equine medicinewere asked why that was so. While this group was smaller than thosedissatisfied with their job (133 respondents compared to 194), similarrecurring complaints were voiced (long hours, low pay, and nopersonal time). In addition to these, other factors contributing torespondents’ general malaise with the equine profession were these:the length of education for equine medicine compared to small animalveterinarians, educational debt load, the knowledge that small animalvets can make more money and have better work hours, stress, therisk of danger, difficulties for women, particularly in receivingmaternity leave, as well as realizing the difference between a passionfor horses and a passion for veterinary medicine. The final question—which was asked of all respondents—addressed the very crux of the matter and the impetus for includinglifestyle questions in the salary survey: what is the single mostimportant thing that would make balancing my professional andpersonal career easier? While a rare few noted that they’ve alreadyachieved a balance, many mentioned that nothing could be done. 45
  • 46. Others responded rather sarcastically that they would like to “win thelottery.” While it seems to be a flippant comment, its recurrence maybe more telling. Yes, winning the lottery would lighten the educationaldebt load and close the wage gap among practice types, but theprobability of winning the lottery is quite unlikely. Much the same,some jaded respondents may believe that the resolution for thisconflict between personal life and career is just as unlikely. It is betterto retire, to sell their practice, or change professions all together. Where respondents were able to fill in the blank, however, theirresponses are predictable—they are the very answers to their jobdissatisfaction and their unlikelihood to promote the equine industry:to be more with family and friends, to work fewer hours, to receive asalary increase, to find another vet to share their workload but whohas the same goals and motivations, to learn how to say “no,” toreduce their debt load, and to have flexibility in their schedule, amongothers. 46
  • 47. Participant Demographic Breakouts I n addition to measuring various dimensions of participants’ Profiles attitudes about lifestyle issues and salary information, the survey assessed demographic information on respondents. These findings are included in the tables that follow. Table 4—Gender Male 47% Female 53 Table 5—Age 29 or younger 20% 30 to 39 28 40 to 49 24 50 to 59 22 60 or older 7 Table 6—Institution from which veterinary degree was received (top 10 responses only; see data tables for a complete list) Colorado State University 8% University of 6 California/Davis Cornell University 5 Auburn University 5 Ohio State University 5 University of Pennsylvania 5 Texas A&M University 5 Michigan State University 5 Kansas State University 4 University of Minnesota 4 Table 7—Location of employer (top 10 responses only; see data tables for a complete list) California 9% Texas 6 Kentucky 5 Florida 5 New York 4 Virginia 4 Pennsylvania 3 Colorado 3 Wisconsin 3 Minnesota 3 47
  • 48. Table 8—Category that best describes equine work in 2006 Performance/pleasure 66% Racing 9 Regulatory/government 2 Reproduction 10 Industry 1 Academic/research 7 Other 5Table 9—Mean average percentage of time practice is devotedto certain services (total will sum to ~100%) Performance/pleasure 42% Work/ranch 5 Referral surgical/medical 11 Racetrack 9 Regulatory 3 Reproduction 15 Non-equine 12 Other 4Table 10—Degrees in addition to DVM/VMD None 81% Doctorate 4 Masters 17Table 11—Percentage of respondents who have completed oneor more of each of the following Internship 38% Residency 16% Masters 14%Table 12—Areas in which respondents have been employedthroughout their careers (excluding training programs) Private practice 95% College or university 20 Federal government 3 State or local government 5 Industry/commercial firm 5 Other 3 None of the above 2 48
  • 49. Table 13—Did respondent work in a private practice in 2006 Yes 88% No 12Table 14—Primary focus of practice (among those who workedin a private practice in 2006) Equine 72% Large animal exclusive 6 Large animal predominant 4 Small animal predominant 5 Mixed animal 13 Other <1Table 15—Primary function of practice (among those whoworked in a private practice in 2006) General medicine 76% Emergency care <1 Specialty/referral 17 Consulting 1 Other 5Table 16—Employment status (among those who worked in aprivate practice in 2006) Practice owner: sole 28% proprietor Practice owner: partner 8 Practice owner: corporate 14 shareholder Practice owner: LLC 8 Associate 34 Hospital director of a 1 corporate practice Relief 1 Consultant 1 Intern 5 Resident <1Table 17—Average number—not percentage—of each of thefollowing working in private practices All veterinarians 5 Full-time veterinarians 5 All non-veterinarians 13 Full-time non-veterinarians 10 49
  • 50. Table 18—Size of community where practice is located (amongthose who worked in a private practice in 2006) <2,500 residents 8% 2,500-24,999 residents 27 25,000-49,999 residents 16 50,000-99,999 residents 15 100,000-499,999 residents 19 500,000 or more residents 15Table 19—Employer type (among those who did not work in aprivate practice in 2006) College/university 67% Federal government 6 State or local government 12 Industry/commercial firm 10 Other 5Table 20—Position (among those who did not work in a privatepractice in 2006) Full Professor 15% Associate Professor 13 Assistant Professor 11 CEO/Chief 2 Administrator/Dean Vice President/ 4 Director/Associate Dean Group Manager/ 2 Department Chair Program Leader/ 7 Coordinator/Section Head Clinician 10 Researcher 1 Other 21Table 21—Primary function (among those who did not work in aprivate practice in 2006) Clinical medicine 47% Consulting/development 1 Management/administration 12 Marketing 1 Research 9 Teaching 12 Technical/sales support 4 Other 15 50
  • 51. Table 22—Marital status Married 68% Single 34 Divorced 7 Widowed 1Table 23—Spouse working outside of home (among marriedrespondents) Yes 77% No 23Table 24—Spouse also a veterinarian (among marriedrespondents) Yes 17% No 84Table 25—Children living in the home Yes 34% No 66Table 26—Among those who have children in the home, thepercentage who have children in each of the following agegroups Children under the age of 7 65% Between 7 and 12 years old 50% Between 13 and 18 years old 46%Table 27—Predominant means of childcare (among those withchildren) Childcare facility 26% Nanny 7 Paid friend or family member 7 Free care provided 10 Children come to work with 6 respondent Other 4 No childcare needed 41 51