Salaries For Exotic Veterinarian

Exotic veterinarians are experts in treating pets and wildlife, including reptiles, birds, small mammals, fish, and invertebrates that are considered non-domestic. Due to the specialized nature of their work, exotic veterinarians make more money than their counterparts who treat domestic animals. Let us know about the ‘Salaries For Exotic Veterinarian’.

Salaries For Exotic Veterinarian

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), depending on several variables, the annual salary for an exotic veterinarian ranges from about $60,000 to over $120,000.

Average salaries for an exotic veterinarian

Depending on several factors, the salaries for an exotic veterinarian may differ. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for all veterinarians in the United States, including those who work with exotic animals, was $99,250 as of May 2020, 

According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for exotic veterinarians in the past years were

  • The federal government, excluding postal service: $119,030
  • Scientific research and development services: $112,660
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools: $99,760
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $96,570
  • Other professional, scientific, and technical services: $94,960

The average salary for exotic veterinarians in the US is $52,946, with salaries ranging from $10,962 to $294,666.

Average Salary Ranges for Exotic Veterinarians in Different States of the USA

Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are some average salary

ranges for exotic veterinarians in different states,

  • California: $78,810 – $168,560
  • New York: $74,070 – $176,240
  • Florida: $73,390 – $153,580
  • Texas: $63,880 – $152,000
  • Illinois: $69,450 – $116,680
  • Pennsylvania: $75,520 – $147,240
  • Massachusetts: $73,030 – $137,560
  • Ohio: $70,110 – $122,240
  • Virginia: $70,040 – $139,240

Factors that Influence the Salary of an exotic veterinarian

Several factors can affect the salary of an exotic veterinarian, including

  • Geographic location: One of the important factors that may have an impact on an exotic veterinarian’s salary is geographic location.

The states having a higher cost of living potentially have a higher demand for veterinary services, which could result in higher salaries.

On the other hand, salaries for exotic veterinarians may be lower in states with a lower cost of living and less demand for veterinary services.

  • Experience: Another factor that may have an impact on an exotic veterinarian’s salary is experience. Like in many other professions, veterinarians with more experience and a longer tenure in the industry may be paid more than those who are just starting.

According to the website Indeed, the salary for an exotic veterinarian in the United States with less than one year of experience was approximately $73,000 per year. Those with five or more years of experience, however, see an increase in the average pay of about $126,000 annually.

  • Type of employer: The kind of employer can also have an impact on how much an exotic veterinarian makes. Here are some examples of how various employer types may influence an exotic veterinarian’s salary:
  1. Practice in private: Private practice veterinarians, who typically work in small animal clinics, may make less money than those who treat exotic animals in other types of settings. 
  2. Zoos and aquariums: Compared to veterinarians who work in private practice, those who work with exotic animals in zoos and aquariums may be able to command higher salaries.
  3. Centers for the rehabilitation of wildlife: Veterinarians who work in these facilities may make less money than those who work in other types of facilities. 
  • Level of education: Another factor that has an impact on an exotic veterinarian’s salary is their level of education.

The minimum educational requirement to become a licensed veterinarian in the United States is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. DVM-educated veterinarians might be able to demand higher pay than those with only a bachelor’s degree. 

Veterinarians with education beyond the DVM level may be able to command higher salaries than those who do not.

 Strategies for Increasing Salary as an Exotic Veterinarian

As an exotic veterinarian, there are a number of options you can look into, such as 

  • Obtaining additional certifications and credentials: Adding credentials to your resume, such as board certification, can help you stand out in the job market as an exotic veterinarian and boost your earning potential.
  • Gain experience: Your value to potential employers increases as you gain more experience in the field. To gain more knowledge in the field of exotic animal medicine, think about volunteering or doing an internship at a zoo or wildlife rehabilitation facility.
  • Negotiate: Research the average salaries for exotic veterinarians in your area before accepting a job offer or asking for a raise to make sure you are being paid fairly. Never be afraid to haggle for a better wage or benefits.
  • Always keep looking for better opportunities: Consider looking for jobs that offer higher salaries in areas with higher costs of living, as these positions frequently do. Additionally, larger, well-funded organizations with larger budgets for salaries, like universities, zoos, and research institutions, may have job openings.
  • Consider working on your own: Think about opening your own veterinary clinic. Although it can be difficult, doing so can also be rewarding and potentially very profitable. You will be able to set your own rates for services and have more control over your pay.
  • Continue learning: Attend seminars, conferences, and classes to stay current on the newest developments in exotic veterinary medicine. Keeping up with the times can make you more valuable to clients and employers.

Additional Perks of Being an Exotic Veterinarian Beyond Salary

Being an exotic veterinarian can offer many additional perks beyond just a salary. Here are a few of them, 

  • They have a chance of working with unique animals, such as birds, reptiles, and exotic mammals. This could be an extremely fulfilling and thrilling experience.
  • The demand for qualified exotic veterinarians is rising as interest in exotic pets grows. Compared to some other fields, this job has greater job security.
  • Exotic veterinarians are given the chance to travel and work with animals in various locations around the world or to take part in studies on the health of exotic animals


In conclusion, several variables, such as geographic location, experience, type of employer, specialization, and level of education, affect the salary of an exotic veterinarian. People thinking about a career in exotic veterinary medicine should be aware of these issues and research to find out what kind of pay they can reasonably expect in their circumstances. The work of an exotic veterinarian is frequently rewarding, and it can be a fulfilling career choice for those who are passionate about working with animals, even though salaries can vary greatly.

Salaries For Exotic Veterinarian

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