The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) this week released the second in its series of 2015 Veterinary Economic Reports, with this one focused on veterinary employment.

The report includes employment information from nearly 2,000 veterinarians who responded to a survey in March 2014 and who had graduated from a U.S. veterinary college one, five, 10 and 25 years prior.

Previously, the AVMA released the first report in the series, which explored markets for veterinarians and veterinary services.

Overall, 74.8 percent of the respondents were female and 63.7 percent were companion-animal practitioners. Seven percent of respondents identified themselves as working in mixed practice and 3.1 percent of respondents were food-animal practitioners. The balance of respondents was made up of those with other veterinary employment such as with universities, industry or government.

The report shows a total unemployment rate of 3.19 percent in veterinary medicine, and a negative rate of underemployment, indicating a healthy and robust employment market for veterinarians, according to AVMA.

Among practice specialties, veterinarians with exclusive or predominant food-animal practice reported a 100 percent employment rate in the survey. The highest unemployment rate in the report was among equine practitioners, at 6.3 percent.

The report also contains detailed statistics on unemployment rates within different age groups, graduation classes and among graduates of individual veterinary schools.

“How much unemployment and underemployment exists, as well as the factors that contribute to the existence of either, is critical information needed to develop strategies that can most effectively and efficiently improve the lifelong value of a veterinary degree,” says AVMA Economics Director Michael Dicks, PhD. “Information such as this is critical to all of us if we are going to have informed, authoritative discussions about the current state of veterinary employment.”

The report series is designed to help veterinarians better understand the markets they operate in and the factors that affect their livelihood. The 2015 AVMA Report on Veterinary Employment can be purchased online from the AVMA Store as part of the six-installment series, and free summaries of the first two published reports also are available. The price for the series is $249 for AVMA members and $499 for nonmembers. The four other reports will be available upon publication. The reports and their scheduled publication dates are:


·        The AVMA Report on Veterinary Markets (January)

·        The AVMA Report on Veterinary Employment (March)

·        The AVMA Report on Veterinary Debt and Income (April)

·        The AVMA Report on the Market for Veterinarians (May)

·        The AVMA Report on Veterinary Capacity (July)

·        The AVMA Report on the Market for Veterinary Education (September)