A rising number of veterinary practices are offering veterinarians signing bonuses which is essentially a retention bonus (an agreement that prevents doctors from leaving the veterinary practice) because they typically require working at the practice for a specified period of time. A doctor who leaves early must repay some or all of the money. Retention periods commonly range from 18 months to 3 years.

Bonuses in the $30,000 to $50,000 range for general practice associates are becoming commonplace. However, in some cases, corporate practices may offer sign-on bonuses of up to $200,000 (Banfield Pet Hospital in late 2022) or more.

According to the 2022 AVMA Senior Survey from the American Veterinary Medical Association, corporate practices provided a signing bonus in 81% of offers to new veterinarian graduates, at a mean of $27,181.

In comparison, the 2021 AVMA Senior Survey shows that corporate practices provided a signing bonus in 66% of offers to new veterinarian graduates, at an average of $11,738.


  • What Is Happening with Bonuses in Veterinary Practice? (4.27.22)
    • Practice owners looking to FLIP or otherwise sell the business soon prefer to pay bonuses for accounting reasons: Bonuses can be excluded from EBITDA, as a one-time expense. The use of the bonus therefore increases the practice’s profitability on paper and thus, the sale price of the practice, incentivizing an employer to pay more in one-time bonuses rather than regular salary.
  • Compensation Models for Veterinarians

    • According to research conducted by the AAHA (Veterinary Practice Compensation and Benefits, Ninth Edition: Published 1.1.20) indicated that a full-time-equivalent associate veterinarian’s average annual production of professional services totaled $499,915.