According to study, West Virginia pays its veterinarians very well, compared to other states

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — According to a study by, West Virginia is ranked the third highest paying state for veterinarians.

The study, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that West Virginia vets get a salary that is 136.5% higher than the state’s average salary.

The average pay in the U.S. for a veterinarian in 2020 was $108,350. So, how does that differ across the U.S.?

To account for the typical variations in annual mean wage, the following factors were taken onto account.

  • 1: The average annual salary for a veterinarian in each state
  • 2: The average annual salary across all occupations in each state
  • 3: The percentage by which a veterinarian’s salary is higher than the average salary in each state 

The below map displays the dollar values which represent the average veterinary salary in that state. 

how much do vets make

Even Washington, the lowest paying state, still sees a veterinary salary that’s over 50% higher than the state’s average salary. However, Arkansas takes first place with a veterinary salary that’s 146.7% higher than the state’s average salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics annually publishes guides that “detail the average annual wage for each occupation and also includes resources regarding projected growth outlooks, state and area data around employment and wages, and information about degree and licensing requirements.”

The Bureau’s 2020 Report on Veterinarians was analyzed by the researchers at, focusing on the annual mean wage within each state for veterinarians. This figure was then compared with the annual mean wage across all occupations in each state. “Based on this value, each state was assigned a percentage, which signifies how much higher a veterinarian’s salary in that state is compared to the state’s average annual salary.”

The 10 Highest Paying States for Veterinarians chart

The full rankings list can be found here.

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