The Intersections of Gender, Salary and Life: A Survey of American College of Zoological Medicine Diplomates
It has long been suggested that as a specialty, American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) diplomates make lower salaries than other specialists. In 2018, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported that other veterinary boarded specialists made an average of $129,026 in their first jobs out of their residencies.2 Our survey of ACZM diplomates in 2018 found that the two most commonly reported salaries for zoo and aquarium veterinarians were $75,000–$79,999 and $90,000–$94,999 with an average salary of $90,000. Salaries of ACZM diplomates in academia, on average, were typically $25,000 or more annually when compared to zoo and aquarium veterinarian salaries. Overall, the most common salaries were $100,000–$104,999 and $110,000–$114,999. We found a $15,000 greater difference in overall salaries between females and males, with females making less. As a comparison, the AVMA reported the mean starting salary for new graduate veterinarians was $76,130 in 2017.1 We further investigated ACZM diplomate’s work-life balance and found that 16% of females delayed having children due to their career, and 64% of the female respondents did not have children at all due to their career (while nearly 65% of the males had children). In addition to choosing to not have children, half of the females reported having children would negatively impact their career. We found other differences in work, life, and family planning between diplomates in our college, indicating that, similar to many other professions, our college is not immune to stressors inherent in our profession.
The authors thank all of the ACZM diplomates who shared their experiences and took the time to complete this survey.
1. Bain B, Salois M, Ouedraogo F, Hansen C, Dutton B. 2018 AVMA and AAVMC report on the market for veterinary education. 2018. AVMA Veterinary Economics Division.
2. Hansen C, Salois M, Bain B, Ouedraogo F, Dutton B. 2018 AVMA Report on the market for veterinarians. 2018. AVMA Veterinary Economics Division.