Veterinary Services in Oregon

by Pat O'Connor

April 12, 2019

National Pet Day is April 11. As we celebrate our pets, it is a good opportunity to look at employment trends in the industry that helps keep our four-legged friends in good health.

The veterinary services industry is found within the larger professional and business services sector. Some people may be a little surprised that veterinary services is not part of the health care industry, but the health care sector is just for health care businesses treating humans.

In 2017, Oregon’s veterinary services industry employed more than 6,600. The industry’s employment growth has outpaced Oregon’s total employment in recent years and over the long run. From 2012 to 2017, Oregon’s total employment grew nearly 15 percent. Veterinary services employment grew 27 percent over that period, adding more than 1,400 jobs. Looking at the longer run, from 2001 to 2017 Oregon’s total employment grew 18 percent. Veterinary services grew 64 percent over that time, adding nearly 2,600 jobs.

Looking into the future, veterinary services employment is projected to continue outpacing Oregon’s overall employment growth. Although the veterinary services industry is not projected by itself, it is within professional and technical services, which is projected to see employment grow 20 percent from 2017 to 2027. Oregon’s total employment is projected to grow 12 percent over that time period.
In 2017, the average annual wage in Oregon’s veterinary services was $37,993, nearly 35 percent less than Oregon’s average wage of $51,117 across all industries.

As we might expect, the most common occupations within veterinary services are veterinarians, and the veterinary technicians and assistants that work with veterinarians.

The table below shows the projected employment growth, total openings and wages for the most common occupations within veterinarian services. With nearly 30 percent employment growth projected in these occupations from 2017 to 2027, they are among some of the fastest growing occupations in Oregon.

Veterinary services in Oregon has been a fast-growing industry during the 21st century. That fast employment growth is projected to continue as the industry continues to add employment faster than the overall economy.


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