veterinary surgeon gender pay gap SPVS survey results veterinary nurse


SPVS Salary Survey reports change to gender pay gap

SPVS have published their salary survey results for 2017 via their new platform, drawing responses from 700 veterinary surgeons and 630 veterinary nurses.

Salaries are calculated by including any additional benefits received such as CPD, professional subscriptions, vehicle and accommodation.

The proportion of respondents receiving a pension contribution from their employer has increased dramatically, reflecting recent changes in legislation. Vets 56.8% and nurses 63%, many respondents also reported receiving an element of performance related pay as well.

In small animal practice there has been relatively little change in the median salaries for both new/recent graduates and more experienced vets, and the same is true for experienced vets in mixed and large animal practice.

Nursing salaries have risen across the board, with the exception of a slight drop in equine practice which may be affected by the relatively small number (16) of respondents in this area.  Typically, in small animal practice the median salary for a nurse up to 5 years qualified is now £20,673, up from £19,100 in 2015, whilst for nurses qualified 6 or more years, the median salary is £25,800, up from £23,000 in 2015.

Gender Pay Gap

Previous SPVS Surveys have reported a gender pay gap, like that seen in a variety of other professions. In this survey, male veterinary surgeons had a median hourly rate of pay of £27.96, compared to £22.79 for females, an apparent pay gap of 18.5%. However, the median period qualified for the men was 15.5 years, compared to 6.1 or the women and this accounts for much of the difference in hourly rates.


Peter Brown – Senior Vice President of SPVS comments:           

“What is interesting to note is that for veterinary surgeons qualified up to 10 years the median hourly rate for women was marginally higher, at £21.02 compared to £20.93 for men, and this is the first time we have seen this in our survey. However, for vets qualified 11 years or more, the median hourly rate for men was £35.27 compared to £28.22 for women.  Whether or not this relates to the phenomenon, observed in a variety of professions, for women to become less ambitious over time, and to what extent this is caused by institutional barriers within the veterinary profession is a subject for further research, but it would be encouraging if the equalisation of pay rates see here for younger vets starts to ripple through to more experienced practitioners.”

The gender pay gap has traditionally been less of an issue for veterinary nurses where men only made up 4.7% of respondents and the median hourly rates across all nurses were £12.67 for men and £12.66 for women.


The full survey is available online to SPVS members, and further details are available from the SPVS office at Unit 19a, Hatton Country World, Hatton, Warwick, CV35 8XA