Veterinary pay rates, Salary for vets and vet Nurses

Veterinary Locum Pay Rates & Salary Servey
for Vets and Vet Nurses.

How much can I earn as a Locum Vet/Nurse?

Are you thinking of becoming a locum but do not know your earning potential? We have surveyed and collated earnings for locum vets and vet nurse bookings completed through CPR as of July 2020. Take a look below at the information to give you a better idea if being a locum works for you.

Locum Vet Daily Rates and Earnings.

Most Locum Vets will charge a set day rate for up to a 10 hour day. If you are working overtime, hourly rates may apply beyond the day rate.

Historically, Vets worked a full day, 8/8.30am to 6.30/7pm with a longish break in the middle of the day. However, there are many variations and some clinics now do early/late days (i.e. 8am – 5pm/ 11am – 7pm), or a varied combination of shifts.

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, there may need to be an element of flexibility in your rate. Rates also vary depending on practice (independent or corporate), location (Scotland compared to London for example), and the role itself (if sole charge etc).

The average daily rates currently for Locum Vets are;

  • New grad                      £250 – £270 per day
  • Consults only                £250 – £270 per day
  • 1-2 years                      £280 – £300 per day
  • 5years +                       £300 – £350 per day (some are £350 – £400 if a certificate holder)

Locum Nurse Pay Rates

Whereas Vets charge a daily rate usually, Nurses will charge an hourly rate.

The average daily rates currently for Locum Nurses are;

VCA/ANA                      £13ph (could be more dependent on experience, practice, and role)

  • SVN                               £14 – £16ph (latter end if final year student)
  • Unregistered Nurse       £16 – £18ph (dependant on experience)
  • RVN newly qualified      £16 – £18ph
  • RVN 1yr +                     £18 – £20ph (latter end if Head Nurse or certificate holder)
  • Nights                           £20 – £22ph (RVN)

Weekends Pay Rates (Vets)

Most clinics are open on a Saturday, traditionally just for the morning (8.30-12.30/1). However, it is becoming more common for clinics to open for longer hours at the weekend and often open for a short clinic on a Sunday.

Half day (e.g. 8.30am – 12.30/1pm) then half day rate, or often rolled up to £150 – 200

Anything beyond 2/3pm finish would be charged a full day

OOH & Emergency Cover Shifts: Earnings & Pay rates (Vets)

For traditional OOH, in a clinic doing their own on-call, the Vets will typically do a shared rota i.e. 1:5 which would equate to 1 night per week and 1 full weekend every 5 weeks. When on a weekend on-call, Vets would usually cover the Saturday surgery and then deal with any inpatients and responding to incoming emergencies.

  • Traditional option – flat fee to cover inpatient checks                 £150 per night and emergency call outs                                                                                   
  • Or mix of retainer plus a fee per emergency call out                   £75 – £100 pn + £25 per call out but including inpatient checks                                                                          
  • Quite new idea – flat fee (retainer including inpatient checks)     £75 – £100 per night plus 20-30% of consult & professional fees                               
  • ECC – full night on duty – high volume, high pressure and           £550 – £600 per night often requiring high end surgery skills (GDV) and usually long shifts

Bank holidays don’t normally attract a premium except for Christmas Day, clinics rarely open, usually OOH or ECC cover – for OOH would suggest £450 – £550 for a 24-hour period, for ECC would suggest £550 – £600 per shift.