Congratulations to the DVM Class of 2021! You’ve studied hard. Now it’s time to put that degree to work. Getting your first veterinary job after university can be a challenge. Let a veterinary staffing service simplify your search for veterinary jobs with a company that’s great for your career.
The Current Job Market
In 2019, the veterinary job market was intense. Some clinics were offering new veterinarians better schedules and salaries than ever before.
The pandemic that decimated other industries left the veterinary industry mostly untouched, as veterinary hospitals were often deemed essential businesses. Animal health is as important as human health. Demand for veterinary medical professionals was strong in 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down in 2021, which is good news for job seekers.
Finding Veterinary Jobs at the Right Clinics
You’ve got your degree, now what? If you completed an internship, your previous employer would be a good place to start. The career center at your university can give information on local veterinary jobs, help create your resume, and get you started on your job search. Job seekers should polish up their resume before sending it out, making sure that spelling and punctuation are correct.
You can start applying online and set up a job alert on a site or two. Include the AVMA website as well as the sites for the veterinary association of the state you want to practice in. The problem with blind applications like this is that you may not know anything about the animal hospital. You want to make sure that the veterinary hospital is a good fit for you before committing yourself to a full-time position.
What to Look For in a Veterinary Hospital
Some things you can find out beforehand. Taking a look at online customer reviews will give you some idea of how pets are handled, but take these with a grain of salt. A site like Glassdoor may have employee reviews. However, many animal hospitals are small companies, and employees may refrain from posting experiences about their veterinary jobs until after they’ve left the practice.
At the location, look for:
- Clean facilities throughout, in customer-facing areas as well as surgical and animal storage areas
- Organized supplies and maintained instruments
- Happy, friendly staff
- Quality medical tech
During the interview, ask about
- What the clinic specializes in, for example, surgery, dental, spay/neuter
- What are the expectations within the first 30 days
- Is there emergency service, and how is that handled?
- Why are you looking for an associate, and what are your expectations?
- Who can I turn to for help if the current team is unavailable?
- Is there any mentoring, or how will the clinic transition you from “new grad” to “doctor working on their own”?
Finding A Clinic That Supports New Grads
The last two points are incredibly important. Many hospitals are used to hiring experienced veterinarians. That means that they are used to DVMs that have few questions and can quickly take care of the work.
As a new grad, you don’t have the same experience level and may need a little more assistance or supervision. You’ll probably see things that weren’t discussed in your textbooks.
If the main doctor is on vacation or wrapped up with another pet patient, who can you call on for support? To best serve your patients and your employer, having some backup can help ensure positive outcomes for your patients.
Finding a way through this transitionary period is critical. Employers should have some idea of how to approach this and help you navigate through it. Otherwise, both sides will quickly be disappointed.
Veterinary Staffing Agencies Can Focus Your Job Search
As a new grad, using a veterinary staffing agency like Holiday Vet can take your job search to the next level. Using our team in your job search gives you access to hundreds of companies, casting a wide net with one point of contact.
It’s important to us that your first job out of vet school is a positive introduction to your career. We want to find the best match for you, so we review employer profiles to ensure a good chance of a match.
Getting the Full Picture
Work-life balance is one of the core values of Holiday Vet. That means looking at the whole picture of a candidate. We take your complete application into account, including location, available hours, preferred species of animals, level of comfort in different practice areas and more.
Because we provide relief vet services, we already know what’s important to our employer partners. We present your resume to hospitals that have a more teamwork-based approach, that place a high priority on mentorship, or that have excellent communication flows. This should make your first job experience positive and give you room to grow.
Current, Honest Feedback From Relief Veterinarians
We work with many of our network hospitals on relief. This means that we know what the employer is looking for in general. Additionally, we have honest feedback from our relief DVMs. We constantly have new information coming in about these hospitals, allowing us to match you with the best company.
On the support side, Holiday Vet has a large network of active veterinary medicine professionals. We make sure that you have contacts for emergencies, so you’re never alone in your job or your career.
Veterinary Jobs Anywhere With Staffing Agencies
Best of all, we work with a wide variety of employers across the country. We’ve worked with most of our animal hospital partners for a long time, and we know what they’re looking for in a DVM.
With our nationwide network of partners, you can pick where you want to start your career. If you’ve always wanted to move to California, we can arrange interviews with a number of sites in LA, San Francisco, and the smaller towns in between. If you went away for university and want to return to your home city to be close to family, we can help. Not sure where to start? Read our post on where the average veterinarian salary goes the furthest.
Negotiating Your Salary At Your First Job
While the national average veterinarian salary is around $100,000, it is unlikely that you’ll get that wage as a new vet. New veterinarian salaries are significantly lower than the average.
As a new DVM, it’s harder to negotiate a salary. Previous experience in the industry can be helpful, even as a veterinary technician or veterinary assistant. However, you’ve seen the difference in knowledge between these jobs, so your previous experience in veterinary medicine might not be a huge salary boost.
Real-World Salary Data on Veterinary Jobs
Working with a veterinarian staffing service can give you a better chance at a higher starting salary. That sounds counter-intuitive. Let’s walk through it.
Veterinarian staffing companies may be paid either a flat fee per placement, or they may be paid a percentage of your starting salary. In the latter case, the vet placement agency earns more when you earn more. It’s in our best interests to get every candidate the maximum salary possible.
Since Holiday Vet is also a relief staffing service, we know the current rates for DVM salaries in a variety of geographical areas. That’s not just averages, but what real clinics are paying vets. We help employers that are out of touch with current salary expectations to adjust their rates for your resume and experience before you come in for an interview.
Risk-Free Paid Introductory Work
Are you excited to take a job, but not 100% sold on the hospital? Working through Holiday Vet lets you work at full pay without the full commitment. Get to know how the hospital really works for a few weeks and confirm that you’ve made the right choice.
If you decide it’s not quite the right fit, we have your back. We can take your feedback to find a better fit for your first job.
Are you ready to start your career in veterinary medicine with the perfect job at the perfect company?
Call us today and let us work for you.