Veterinarian Salary in South Africa

Are you curious to know about the financial side of pet caring? Pet caring, also known as veterinary science, is one of the most demanding fields in South Africa. A veterinarian is a medical professional who is responsible for diagnosing, treating, performing surgery, and preventing diseases in animals.

Monthly Salary Range:R 19500 – R 57300
Average Monthly Salary:R 38400
Description:A veterinarian is responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease in animals.
Minimum Qualification:An individual requires a Bachelor of Veterinary Science to become a veterinarian in South Africa.

If you are planning to pursue a profession but are confused about which career is suitable, you should choose veterinary science. Its scope has widened in South Africa, and in the future, veterinary science will become the most demanding field. Before you apply for the position, come with me to see the salary of a veterinarian, the extras and facilities he receives, as well as his responsibilities in detail.

Veterinarian Salary

Veterinary science is one of the most demanding careers in South Africa. SA is famous for a list of factors in the world, among which its animal parks and dedication to animal preservation are prominent ones. The Government of South Africa requires veterinarians for animal preservation in parks and forests.

Additionally, a veterinarian graduate can move to other African nations known for their large animal parks, such as Kenya, Uganda, or Tanzania. If you stay in SA for practice, your entry-level salary is R19,500 per month, and after years of service, you will be able to get R57,300 monthly. A rough estimate states that the average salary of a veterinarian is about R37,400 monthly, while the median income is R34,000 per month.


Veterinarians exert substantial effort to preserve wildlife; therefore, critics claim that their salaries do not align with their efforts. On the other hand, some say that they get a list of bonuses and allowances that offset their low salaries. According to the statistics, 78% of veterinarians enjoy bonuses and allowances, while 22% are deprived of extras.

Veterinarians get different types of bonuses, with personal performance bonuses and company performance bonuses being the top ones. The first is given to a veterinarian when he accomplishes a task before the deadline, and his overall performance is better than his colleagues while the latter one is given to an employee when the company archives a milestone. Lastly, some veterinarians also enjoy free transportation, accommodation, and healthcare services.

Salary Structure

When it comes to the salary structure, there is a list of factors affecting the salary of a veterinarian. For example, experience is a primary factor, while education, gender, and location are the secondary factors affecting income. I have described the salary structure in the table below based on the experience of a veterinarian.

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Years of ExperienceMonthly Salary in Rands
0 – 2 YearsR22,100
2 – 5 YearsR29,700
5 – 10 YearsR38,600
10 – 15 YearsR46,700
15 – 20 YearsR51,000
20+ YearsR53,700

In this table, you can see a gradual increase from 0 to 2 years and 2 to 5 years, but after 5 years, the salary increases rapidly till 15 years of service. A veterinarian enjoys a 34% increment from 2 to 5 years, a 30% increment from 5 to 10 years, and a 21% increment from 10 to 15 years. But after 15 years of service, his salary increases by 9%, and after 20 years of service, the salary increment is only 5%.


LevelMonthly Salary in Rands
Bachelor’s DegreeR28,500
Master’s DegreeR35,300

In this table, you can see that the salary of a Bachelor’s degree holder is less than a Master’s veterinarian, while a Ph.D. veterinarian enjoys the highest pay. You can apply for a veterinarian position after a bachelor’s degree, Master’s, or PhD thesis. However, a Master’s degree holder gets 24% more than a Bachelor’s veterinarian, and a Ph.D. veterinarian receives 60% more than a Master’s degree holder.

Gender & Location

South African institutes are operating by the values of colonialism, such as gender discrimination. Your gender can determine the amount you are earning as a veterinarian. Reports state that male veterinarians receive 8% higher salaries than their female counterparts; the percentage may vary depending on the institution you work in.

Additionally, the location where you work can also determine how much you get monthly. For example, the metropolitan cities’ healthcare and research centers pay higher salaries than the backward veterinary hospitals and research centers. Cape Town and Johannesburg veterinarians’ salaries are higher than in Durban and Soweto.

Responsibilities of a Veterinarian


The most important task in the entire veterinary field is to diagnose a disease. Some diseases exhibit overlapping symptoms that are hard to diagnose. A right diagnosis helps a veterinarian to treat the disease quicker, so a veterinarian must know the tactics to diagnose a disease accurately.


Once a veterinarian diagnoses a disease, he provides treatment to the animal with the help of therapies and medications. Some animals may experience adverse reactions to certain medicines, so a veterinarian should know how to tackle complicated issues and manage the side effects of drugs.


Anesthesia is a condition in which a living being loses consciousness and control over the body’s functions. A veterinarian should provide adequate amounts of anesthesia; otherwise, an animal may suffer from severe conditions. Anesthesia is also important for surgery and therapies.

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Veterinarians perform surgeries to treat particular diseases, such as brain tumors in baboons or if a dog is suffering from bladder stones. Surgery is the most complicated practice; therefore, only highly efficient veterinarians can perform surgeries.


Lastly, a veterinarian is also responsible for providing proper guidance to people to prevent animal disease epidemics. He should also guide the owner of an animal regarding the issues his pet is suffering from. Additionally, a veterinarian also researches cases a new animal viruses or disease erupts.


How long does it take to become a veterinarian in South Africa?

It takes 6 years to become a veterinarian in South Africa.

Are vets in demand in South Africa?

Yes, South Africa demonstrates a high demand for veterinarians as it has determined to expand its animal parks.

Who regulates vets in South Africa?

The South African Veterinary Council regulates veterinarians.

How does one work as a vet in South Africa?

An individual should complete the BVSc degree and one-year CCS program, and then he can apply to be a veterinarian and practice legally in South Africa.

Are vets called doctors in South Africa?

Technically speaking, a doctor holds an MBChB degree. However, you can say that veterinarians are veterinary doctors.

South Africa is one of the fastest-growing countries in the continent of Africa, and the reason behind its economic prosperity is tied to tourism. Reports claim that animal preservation can help South Africa increase tourism and it can also give birth to new opportunities. However, wildlife preservation seems impossible until SA does not have a maximum number of veterinarians.

The scope for veterinarians has widened in our country due to new reforms related to wildlife preservation projects. Veterinarians are a highly earning profession, as a veterinary expert’s average income is about R37,400. However, we notice their incomes and neglect the substantial energy they exert in their roles, so we should acknowledge their hard work and show appreciation for their efforts.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.