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How Much Does a Veterinary Orthopedic Surgeon Get Paid?

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Veterinarians specializing in orthopedic surgery operate on animals who have been injured or have developed problems with their joints and bones, or muscles and tendons related to an animal's skeletal system. Becoming a veterinary orthopedic surgeon requires a great deal of schooling and other training, so those working in this field are compensated with a relatively high annual salary.

Average Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary earned by a veterinarian was $92,570 as of 2010. Veterinary specialists typically earn a higher annual average salary than those working in general veterinary practices. Veterinarians specializing in orthopedic and other types of surgery earned an average salary of $112,000 per year according to

Highest Paying States

According to the BLS, the five states that pay the highest average salaries to veterinarians are California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. In 2010, Pennsylvania paid the highest average salary of $113,810 per year, which was 22 percent higher than the national average. State-by-state data is not available for veterinary specialists, but it may be reasonable to assume that states that pay higher than average veterinarian salaries also pay higher than average salaries to those specializing in orthopedic surgery.

Where the Jobs Are

The five states that have the highest concentration of veterinarians are Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin. Colorado has the highest number of veterinarians with 0.72 per every 1,000 people in the state. Seeking out a state that has a higher concentration of veterinarians may help increase your chances of finding employment.


Veterinarians are required to earn a four-year degree from an accredited school of veterinary medicine. Additionally, in order to work as a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, you must earn a diploma from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). To earn this diploma, you will be required to complete a three-year residency program, meet training and caseload requirements, and pass a comprehensive oral and written examination.


Donald Harder has been writing financial-related articles since 2000 when he founded the firm Securities Research Services. He has worked as a speech writer for the U.S. Department of Justice and written white papers and studies for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Harder holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from George Washington University.

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