2019 Salary Survey Results – Part 4 – Happiness




This year, the veterinary shortage has continued to bite in Australia and is now affecting practices in the cities as well as rural and regional areas. The results of the Lincoln Institute survey in Australia has been in the news ( Link to SBS report) , and Kookaburra Vet Employment has been approached by multiple news outlets for interviews and comments ( link to ABC Sunshine Coast article )

A BVA (British Veterinary Association) and University of Exeter study in the UK released late in 2018 found that 37% of vets were actively thinking about leaving the profession (1,250 vets surveyed ). 59% of vets said they were either very stressed or somewhat stressed at work. A smaller Kookaburra Vet Employment survey from 2017 of just 336 vets showed that 17% of associates thought they would have left the profession in the next 5 years.

The suicide rate of vets in Australia has been found to be 4 times higher than the general population – that’s one vet every 12 weeks.

We included a question about future plans, and also a standardised question about happiness in this 2019 survey.

To download this Report as a printable pdf please click

5 Years' time


Comparing Various Subsets for Happiness

Interesting Statistically Significant differences (95% confidence level (p = .05), and >30 responses in each group)

  • 30.81% of vets in non-corporate practices were ‘Very Happy’, compared to only 16.75% of vets in corporate practices
  • 11.11% of vets in non-corporate practices were ‘Neither happy nor unhappy’, compared to 18.85% of vets in corporate practices
  • 33.3% of male vets were ‘Very Happy’, compared to 23.9% of female vets
  • 53.06% of Practice Owners were ‘Very Happy’ compared to only 21.06% of non – practice owners.

© Copyright Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

2nd September 2019


04/09/2019 |

Heating pads utilising new & advanced technology of positive temperature of coefficient heating.

Comments Off on Heating pads utilising new & advanced technology of positive temperature of coefficient heating.

The maintaining of the body temperature is very important during and after anesthesia. 100% of patients get cold during anesthesia.

Hypothermia is one of the most important components of a trauma. It is important to maintain the body temperature between 38 and 39C. Using the Pet-Mat to gently contribute in warming the patient, during and after anesthesia is simple but essential. The smaller the animal the more they will be effected by hypothermia, including rodents and birds.

Consequences of hypothermia include:

  • Difficultly in waking up
  • Risk of shock
  • In the long term, risk of heart problems, risk of renal insufficiency etc
  • Risk of death


Pet-Mats are used by veterinary surgeons to help pets under surgery to retain their body temperature when under anaesthesia and also for post operative surgery during recovery. The product can be kept surgically clean, is fully washable and sanitized to prevent cross infection, but most importantly, it does not present an electric hazard on the operating table where sharp instruments and scalpels are used.

Pet-Mats are also suitable for arthritic, aged or sick pets, especially in winter, as a contact heat mat. The heat is self regulating. Heat is efficiently transmitted directly to the part of the body which is in contact with the mat, unlike other heating utilities which generate heat to heat up cold air space.

No adjustable thermostat is necessary as the design of the Pet-Mat is made to attain a temperature of between 30 to 40 degrees Celsius whether it is covered or not. However there is a built in thermostat which will not allow the Pet-Mat temperature to exceed 48 degrees Celsius.

The Pet-Mat works on the dynamics of heat transfer. This means the Pet-Mat will maintain a temperature slightly warm to the touch until contact is made. The area in contact will warm up comfortably due to heat dynamics.


Contact Pet-Mat Australia

Tel: 02 9966 1895

12/05/2020 |

Salary Packages

Comments Off on Salary Packages

NB: This article was written in October 2021 – please consult the Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020 for up to date information and wage entitlements.

Most Veterinary Practices in Australia are subject to the Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020. An Award sets minimum terms and conditions of employment. The Award is usually updated every July.

Additional measures have been added to the Award to apply during the COVID Pandemic.

The Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020 now covers Veterinary Surgeons, Practice Managers, Veterinary Nurses, Receptionists, Animal attendants and Assistants, and Animal care industry inspectors.

The Award covers arrangements such as, but not limited to those below:

  • minimum wage rates
  • allowances
  • payment for extra hours worked
  • on-call and provision for a communication system
  • rosters & RDOs
  • annual leave
  • CPD – continuing professional development
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Periods of notice, redundancy
  • Clothing for work
  • Travel and use of own vehicle
  • Meal breaks
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Public holidays
  • Dispute resolution

The terms and conditions of the Award must be complied with by the parties covered by the Award. However, employment arrangements can operate over and above the Award eg. An employment agreement can provide for a salary ‘package’ which exceeds the minimum salaries required, thus encompassing all other entitlements such as allowances, on-call work, extra hours etc.

Veterinary Surgeons (01 Jul 2021)

Classification Minimum annual salary
Minimum hourly rate
Level 1A (graduates) 54,329 27.49
Level 1B (after 6 months) 57,304 29.00
Level 2 (after 2 years) 61,908 31.33
Level 3 (experienced) 68,013 34.42
Level 4 (senior vet) 76,826 38.88

+ on call allowance $45.51 for each period of on call duty

+ at least the relevant hourly rate for any active on call

+ 80 cents/km reimbursement for practice use of private vehicle

+ Superannuation 10%


Locums may be engaged and paid as a casual employee. A casual employee must be paid at the hourly rate prescribed for the class of work performed, plus 25%.

Market Salary Rates

Because the Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020 sets minimum salaries and terms of employment, market salary rates can vary across the country and between practices. Keeping an eye on job adverts can be a way of getting an idea of market salary rates, but many ads don’t mention salary levels. There is now a requirement for ads to include a salary range where they need to comply with advertising requirements for visa sponsorship. The most recent Kookaburra Veterinary Employment salary survey was carried out in 2019, pre-covid,  and the results can be accessed at

We suggest that you could ask for a written letter of offer when you are offered a permanent position, and that you could also request a Contract, or an equivalent document, when you commence work. You can consider renegotiating your salary package after 6 months, together with getting an update on how well your employer feels you are progressing in your job.

Vet Nurses / Vet Technicians and Support Staff

Rates for Vet Nurses, Receptionists, Practice Managers, Animal Attendants range from $20.33/hour for introductory level up to $27.14/hour for level 5 (Practice Manager), and there are also Saturday afternoon, Sunday, and public holiday rates specified in the Award. Casual (locum) VNs should have a 25% casual loading.

For more information

You can view the Award on the Fair Work Commission website at

If you are a member of the AVA, they provide help and advice through the AVA HR hotline – 1300 788977 or  This is possibly the best reason to be a member of the AVA – the HR service is very useful.


Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

01/10/2021 |

CR10-CX Digitizer

Comments Off on CR10-CX Digitizer

Included in the package are the following:

  • NX8800 HP8300 RAID 1 PC S/N CZC41609SN
  • HP 24″ LED MONITOR S/N CN433800BD

This system (S/N 2899), is currently being used and is in excellent working condition. It is no longer required because of closure of a branch clinic.

Located in Adelaide.

Price: $7500.00 ONO

Contact: Jenni Trewren – 0409 693 182

24/11/2021 |

How do you process your Surgical Instruments?

Comments Off on How do you process your Surgical Instruments?

Have you ever really looked at the way your practice processes its sterile equipment? Do you know what the financial, environmental or labour impacts are of these processes?

Your clinic is likely sterilising surgical instruments and implants using at least one of the following methods:

  • Single-use blue wraps

Single-use wraps are inexpensive and commonly available. However, they are designed to be used once and then discarded.

  • Single-use paper or sealable plastic pouches

Single-use paper or sealable plastic pouches are also inexpensive and commonly available. They serve the purpose of allowing small quantities of instruments to be contained and sterilised.

Like many single-use products in the clinic, blue wrap and sealable pouches will contribute to a significant percentage of a practice’s waste that will end up as land fill.

The alternative solution for your sterilisation practice is sterile container.

Reusable rigid sterilisation containers are typically made of aluminium. While they require an upfront cost, there’s no comparison in lifespan as rigid containers can last for more than a decade. If you calculate the processing cost per kit, a practice can see savings as soon as year 2 of ownership 1 simply by comparing to the cost of consumables that would have been used instead.

As the market leader in sterile containers, the B. Braun Aesculap container range can help you with clear benefits in these areas:

  • Reduce Surgical Delays

The Aesculap SterilContainerSystem helps reduce surgical delays since containers can’t be penetrated, punctured or torn.

  • Reduce cost to your clinic

Aesculap sterilisation containers can achieve up to 80% cost savings over disposable sterilization blue wrap 2 and will pay for themselves over time as no outer wrapping is required.3  

  • Reduce clinics’ waste

Go green and support green purchasing initiatives by moving away from one-time use sterilisation methods. During 2009–2010, 21.6 million tonnes of waste was received at Australian landfills. 4

For more information on Aesculap reusable container systems;

Click Here on our sterile containers page


  1. Data on file.
  2. Data on file. Medium-sized hospital processes 10,400 sets annually (40 sets processed/day x 260 working days per year).
  3. Data on file.
  4. 8698.0 – Waste Management Services, Australia, 2009-10.
14/05/2021 |
© Vet Suppliers Directory 2019. Vantage Theme – Powered by WordPress.
Skip to toolbar