ALACHUA, FL– The 2023 Compensation & Benefits Survey Report is a member service provided by the Veterinary Hospital Management Association (VHMA). The biannual survey examines the level of compensation and benefits provided to veterinary team members and the factors that can impact those levels. The series focuses on managers, non-DVM staff, and associate veterinarians. This executive summary highlights non-DVM staff report.
The survey was designed to determine the median level of wages for non-DVM staff by years employed, state or province and type of practice.
About the 2023 Non-DVM Survey
The survey was distributed to 4,163 VHMA members and includes responses from 275 veterinary practices that chose to disclose their hospital name and 3,289 non-DVM hospital staff for a 7% response rate.
Classification of Employees
The non-DVM respondents identified their roles as one of the following: receptionist, office manager, practice manager, hospital manager, credentialed technician, specialized credentialed technician, non-credentialed technician, technician assistant, groomer, or kennel assistant.
The table below shows median wages for each type of non-DMV staff surveyed. Office managers, practice managers, and hospital managers were surveyed solely on median salary, while the remaining respondents provided information on the median calculated hourly wage.
Hourly Wage and Salary by Length of Employment
There was a loose relationship between years of employment and annual compensation for non-DVM staff. Overall, annual compensation rose with increased years of employment in some positions, but not all roles represented.
Specialized credentialed technicians with one to two years of employment reported a higher hourly pay rate than those with three to five years of experience. Technician assistants with six to 10 years of experience benefited from a higher median hourly rate than those with over 15 years of experience. Bookkeepers with three to five years of experience and six to 10 years of experience received a higher hourly wage than those with over 15 years of experience.
Office managers with one to two years and three to five years of experience benefited from a higher median salary than those with six to 10 years of job experience. Hospital administrators with over 15 years of experience reported the lowest median salary of all hospital administrators surveyed.
Specialized credentialed technicians with six to ten years of experience benefited from the highest calculated hourly wage of all groups surveyed, while groomers (non-contract) with six to ten years of experience recorded the lowest hourly pay. Hospital administrators with 11 to 15 years of experience reported the highest annual median salary, and office managers with six to 10 years of experience recorded the lowest.
Hourly Wage and Salary by Type of Practice
Evaluating compensation by type of practice, hospital administrators working in emergency and specialty practices received the highest median annual salary of all groups surveyed, while office managers working in exclusively small animal practices received the lowest.
Credentialed technicians in emergency and specialty practices experienced the highest median hourly pay of all groups surveyed, and kennel assistants working at mixed animal practices reported the lowest.
Hourly Wage by State or Province
Credentialed technicians, non-credentialed technicians, receptionists, technician assistants and kennel assistants were surveyed by state or province regarding median hourly wage.
Washington reported the highest median hourly wage for credentialed technicians surveyed, and Mississippi reported the lowest. Non-credentialed technicians employed in Massachusetts benefited from the highest hourly wage, nearly double the lowest hourly wage of all surveyed in Louisiana. Louisiana also experienced the lowest hourly wage of all receptionists surveyed, along with Massachusetts once again benefiting from the highest hourly wage.
Technician assistants in Tennessee experienced the lowest median hourly rate of those surveyed, less than half of the highest reported hourly wage in Oregon. The final group surveyed, kennel assistants, experienced the highest median hourly rate in both British Columbia and California and the lowest wage in both Texas and Idaho.
Regarding benefits, respondents provided information about benefits, as well as the median portion of each benefit paid for by the hospital, referred to as the "median hospital share."
The most common benefit in 2023 received by non-DVM staff was veterinary care discounts. The least common benefit received by those surveyed was childcare expenses, for which there was not enough information to provide the median hospital share. The survey also looked at the following benefits: pet insurance, dues for a voluntary association, license and certification, uniform and clothing allowance, and tuition assistance.
Depending on the health insurance policy, the contribution by the hospital can vary between zero and 100%. On one end of the spectrum, 4% of hospitals surveyed have a policy where employees are eligible for health insurance but are responsible for covering the entire policy cost. Most hospitals take on some of the cost, with 45% of hospitals splitting the cost of health insurance with employees. The hospital's share of the cost was explored in the survey.
Paid Time Off and Continuing Education Days
Median paid time off and continuing education days are shown stratified by type of employment and length of employment. In most positions, no correlation between years of experience and increased continuing education days was found.
Receptionists with over 15 years of experience received the highest number of paid time off days and continuing education days. Receptionists with less than one year of experience received the least amount of paid time off days but experienced the same number of continuing education days as senior receptionists.
Office managers with over 15 years of experience experienced the highest number of paid time off days. Office managers with less than one year of experience received the lowest number of paid time off days.
Practice managers with less than one year of experience recorded the lowest number of paid time off days, while those with over 15 years received the highest. All practice administrators surveyed with varied levels of experience reported the same number of paid time off days.
Credentialed technicians with over 15 years of experience received the most paid time off days, and those with less than one year and one to two years of experience received the least paid time off days. Specialized credentialed technicians with six to 10 years of experience received more paid time off than those with over 15 years of experience. Those with one to two years of experience received the lowest amount of paid time off.
Non-credentialed technicians with over 15 years of experience received the most paid time off, three times more than the lowest amount of paid time off, which was given to those with less than one year of experience. For technician assistants, the lowest amount of paid time off was received by those with less than five years of experience. Those with over 15 years of experience received the largest amount of paid time off days.
The report is free to members of the VHMA. Copies of the report may be purchased by non-members on the VHMA website.
About the VHMA
The VHMA is a nationally recognized thought leader and innovator in providing training, education, and resources to more than 4,700 members and a trusted resource that the veterinary sector relies on for industry insights, research, and advocacy to assure performance at the highest levels. VHMA's core purpose is to advance and support veterinary practice management professionals by developing professional competence, supporting and encouraging standards through the industry's highest-level certification program, the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM), and providing individuals with a network for professional connection and support. Learn more at www.VHMA.org.