As the cost of living rises, you may find yourself taking a closer look at your finances and looking for ways to boost your income.
As a veterinary nurse you can increase your income by being proactive about your career development, stepping up to new promotions in the workplace, earning new skills and knowing when it’s time to ask for more or move on to pastures new. Veterinary professionals also turn to activities like education and lecturing, pursuing extra specialisations and certifications or doing shift work to supplement their income.
Today, we’re exploring some of these money-making ventures in more detail, and going through some specific options you can follow to try and boost your income. Let’s get started!
Ask for a pay rise
If you’ve done your research and believe your experience and your salary aren’t in sync, it might be time to ask your employer for a pay rise. Veterinary nurses undertake important work in practice and you are also in high demand*, many employers will recognise this and will be open to a conversation about salary. Before approaching the conversation, make sure you’ve done your research, know what you want to ask for and can point to why you should be given the raise. If your employer can’t budge on salary, you could potentially discuss other benefits that may carry monetary value, for example a CPD allowance.
Seek out a role with a higher salary
If you’re looking to boost your income and open to a change, pursing a new job might be the path to more money! Average salaries for nurses often vary between different employers, so you may be able to find a new position that pays a higher salary.
As a veterinary nurse your role in caring for animals and promoting responsible pet ownership is vital, and many employers the value you bring to veterinary practice as well as to other related industries. You can seek job opportunities in first opinion practices, referral practices or larger hospitals, or even pursue a role outside of veterinary practice such as a teaching, sales or research position.
Look to companies that are transparent about pay and are raising their pay offers, for example Medivet who have recently introduced a £30k starting salary for VNs*, and The College of Animal Welfare who recently listed a £35-40k starting salary for veterinary nursing lecturers. Plus, you should also look at other benefits a company offers and what monetary benefit this can give you, for example pension plans, CPD allowances and employer-covered expenses!
Undertake additional qualifications and CPD to increase skills and knowledge
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a mandatory requirement for Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs), which gives you plenty of opportunity to pursue professional interests and undertake specialist training that might lead to higher paying jobs and opportunities.
By completing further qualifications and CPD courses you will nurture your technical skills and knowledge whilst showing your commitment to employers. This will stand you in good stead when it comes to seeking work opportunities and further education options. To give you an idea of the academic paths you might choose to follow, you could top up your veterinary nursing diploma to degree level if you haven’t already done so, attend regular CPD courses or even pursue leadership and management training.
Look for chances to boost your salary internally with new roles or responsibilities
One way to achieve, or be in a position to argue for, a higher salary in your current position is by taking opportunities to develop in your role and stepping up to new responsibilities that offer higher pay.
Whilst in some companies internal opportunities for promotion come up regularly, in other workplaces chances don’t always arise naturally. This means sometimes you need to create these possibilities for yourself. For example, if you’re a veterinary nurse this could be offering new nursing clinics or coming up with new ways to promote the practice in the local community. You could also pursue a clinical coach role, or look to take on a management position. Read more about how to show you’re ready for a management job
Become a pet care blogger
When you want to learn something new, where is the first place you go? In the digital world, it is likely you take to Google to find educational websites or videos about the topic. So, if you’re passionate about a specific area of veterinary nursing, have you considered starting your own website, blog or vlog where you document your knowledge and experiences?
Social media is a brilliant platform for skill sharing, and could be a source of income as your platform grows with paid partnerships, advertising opportunities or promoting your own courses or products on your channels. You can share content and make connections in nursing forums such as VetNurse or social media groups like Vet Nurse Chatter, or even start your own community! If you’re looking for some inspiration to get started, take a look at some of the amazing veterinary nurses sharing knowledge online, such as Lou the Vet Nurse, Alex the Cat Nurse, Scales, Feathers and Tails VN, The Rodent Nurse and many more!
Start a side hustle
Veterinary nurses are a passionate and hardworking bunch, so it might be there is another venture out there that can fit your needs and help you make extra money in your spare time. If you want to do something involving animals, you could try dog walking or pet sitting, or even hone your photography skills as a pet photographer. Alternatively, you could try something else outside of the animal care field, maybe you have other passions you could pursue as a side job. You never know, your side job may take off and become your main job!
7. Consider locum work or a zero hours contract position
As a veterinary nurse there are plenty of opportunities to stand in for staff temporarily at various practices, and doing so could be a way to increase your take home pay in a way that works alongside your existing work commitments!
Additionally, you could consider a zero hours contract position that you can fit around your other commitments, for example The College of Animal Welfare occasionally recruit for IQA and practice support positions on zero hour contracts, which allow you to pick hours that fit your individual circumstances. If you’re open to taking your skills and experience digital, you could also increase your income by offering veterinary services using a virtual veterinary platform.
Look at how you can reduce bills to free up more disposable income
Every month, many of us experience the same cycle like clockwork. On pay day you have a moment of delight when your pay lands in your bank account. However, this is short lived when a few days later, you find your monthly bills have left you with much less to spend on the things you really want.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your disposable income, it’s worth reviewing your regular expenses every now and again. Take a look over your budget with an eye to quick and convenient wins to minimise your costs! This could be by switching broadband providers, or finding a cheaper alternative for groceries.
Deliver your own CPD or look for speaking opportunities
If you feel passionate about teaching or have a little experience in a direct teaching role, it may be worth seeking out more opportunities to run a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course for a local training provider, or speak at a veterinary event. For example we deliver a host of virtual congresses throughout the year and we’re always looking for new contacts and speakers. If you’re interested in supporting one of our events, take a look at what events we offer and contact our events team on 01480 422060 or email@example.com with some more information about your background and specific knowledge base.
Declutter your home and sell unwanted items
When was the last time you had a good clear out? Many of us hang on to items we no longer need out of convenience or a sense of sentimentality. However, what we see as clutter could be exactly what someone else is looking for. ‘De-cluttering’ isn’t just an effective and quick money making exercise, it is also an opportunity to boost your mental wellbeing by creating more space and order in your home.
Take a look through your home and sort through items like books, games, clothing, toys, gadgets or even furniture to see if there is anything you no longer need. You can use online marketplaces such as Facebook marketplace to sell items locally, which may sell faster.