The average annual salary of a veterinarian is $84,460 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This is the median wage for vets; many make less, while top-paid professionals in the field earn an average of $144,100 per year, which is quite a bit more than the average vet.

The length of time that a vet has been practicing has a lot to do with earning potential, and the location of the veterinary practice can also limit or enhance the earnings of the vet. Some vets offer their services at discounted rates while attempting to provide care to a greater number of animals, and such humanitarian efforts are sometimes behind the lagging salary of many good-hearted vets.