Veterinary and RVT Jobs in Quebec, Canada22 July 2021
Considering a career as a veterinarian in Quebec, Canada? Wondering how much you’ll make? Whether you’re interested in full-time or locum work, we’ll help you unravel veterinarian salary data and hourly rates, and help you understand how it stacks up to neighbouring provinces.
Being a Veterinarian in Quebec
Like all Canadian provinces, becoming a veterinarian in Quebec requires a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) to practice. This is two years of pre-vet study which is then followed by five years at a Canadian veterinary college. It is worth noting that Quebec is the only province that requires five years instead of four.
Acquiring a DVM is competitive: veterinary colleges only graduate about 350 students a year. But with hard work, passion, and a little patience, you too can turn your love for animals into a viable career.
Like all careers, there are different structures of payment. Veterinarians can work full-time at a clinic, part-time at a clinic, or practice locum work. Locum means you travel to clinics all over the province on a case-by-case basis, and therefore are responsible for establishing your own rates. We’ll address each structure below.
Full-time Veterinarian Salary in Quebec
A full-time veterinarian that works at a clinic in Quebec makes, on average, $103,406 per year. While it’s a healthy salary (and among the highest across the country) it’s important to remember that taxes in Quebec are also the highest in Canada.
Also, let’s not forget that this figure is an average. Publicly recorded salaries are as high as $150,000 and as low as $40,000 depending on a variety of factors including how long the vet has been practising and what sort of animals they work with. In all likelihood, you will not be earning 100k> in your first few years of employment as a veterinarian in Quebec.
Locum Veterinarian Salary in Quebec
Surprisingly, working as a locum veterinarian may be a more lucrative choice. Locum veterinarians in Quebec make, on average, $81.25 per hour. With a 40-hour work week, that brings you to $169,000 per year before taxes.
Locum veterinarians set their own hourly wages. Therefore, it’s up to you to understand and honour your skill set. When you’re travelling, you also need to account for mileage, hotels, and other incidental expenses that may arise. Some locum veterinarians decide to set day rates instead of hourly wages.
And for accounting? Dr. Caroline Brookfield recommends you get that sorted ASAP. Tax season can be more complex when you’re in charge of your own business. Thankfully, there are tools and services (like Oxilia) that can make your life easier.
What about becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician?
If you want to work with animals but do not want to undergo the rigorous schooling and training required for a DVM, you can opt to be a veterinary technician instead.
RVT’s are what nurses are to doctors. They are responsible for a variety of tasks in clinics and work very closely with animals. Just like being a veterinarian, this job can be done in one single clinic or in locum.
In Quebec, an RVT degree requires 2-3 years of schooling at an accredited college. After graduation, you can expect to make $23.58 per hour at a single clinic. This is less than you would make in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia!
A locum RVT makes more in Quebec than they would in Ontario ($24.52 v $23.50) but less than they would in all neighbouring provinces.
In conclusion, Quebec is a great place to be a registered veterinarian. The most lucrative career option for this province is to be a travelling vet that works in a variety of clinics. Vet techs, on the other hand, make less both travelling and stationary than most other provinces. When you add Quebec’s taxes to the mix, it’s not the most viable option.
With all that said, your lifestyle choices and what you get out from the work is as important as money for many in the field. There is more than one path for you; let your love for animals guide you and you won’t go astray.