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TDK conference 2020

Expectations of employers and young workers in the veterinary labor market
Szabó Levente - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Veterinary Forensics, Law and Economics
Supervisors: Dr. Ágnes Túri, Dr. Dorottya Ivanyos


We have conducted a survey on career entrant veterinarians and those who are in the early years of their profession in employee status about significant traits of their carrier. Our points of interest were the followings: workplace fluctuation, learning the profession, workload, salary, and expectations from employers.

Our survey took form as a questionnaire which was available online from 14.07.2020 until 13.08.2020. Our target group was Hungarian veterinarians who got their degree at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest between 2016 and 2020. 177 questionnaires were filled. We have also conducted ten interviews with practice owners who are among the largest in Hungary. The purpose of these was to get an insight into their experience with career entrant veterinarians.

In the employment fluctuation topic, our hypothesis was that career entrants change jobs too frequently which makes it a problem for employers. Most veterinarians who got their degree in 2019 and 2020 are working at their first workplace, 82% and 100% respectively. From those who graduated between 2016 and 2018 only 39-59% are working at their first workplace. Reaching the third year of employment the majority are not at their starting workplace. We concluded that there is a higher degree of fluctuation among career entrants. In nine out of ten interviews we discussed workplace fluctuation. Four of them confirm experiencing the phenomenon.

Most of the respondents (79%) thought that their employer provides sufficient knowledge to do their job. We learned from the interviews that the most common teaching method of the employers is the freedom of the beginner to consult with experienced veterinarians.

Novices in their first year of employment found the average 175 hours of work in a month appropriate which is more than a full-time job’s workhours (160 hours/month). In the next year, the average amount of workhours was decreasing, still they found it either more than appropriate (54%) or too many (21%). Nine out of ten interviewed said that beginners either cannot or unwilling to work eight hours a day.

In the first year of employment most veterinarians earn 200-300 thousand Hungarian forints net salary (65.4%). Half of them (50%) were satisfied with this amount. Generally stating that the career entrants are unsatisfied with their earning is false. Those who were indeed unsatisfied would like to earn between 300-400 thousand forints net salary. Only two of the interview respondents said that beginners have unreal salary expectations.

87.5% of the members of the surveyed group said that positive feedback from their supervisor is important. 86.8% answered that high salary is essential. 80.9% stated that support for further professional training is crucial. All of the practice owners emphasized the importance of salary, free time and professional training. A few of them highlighted teamwork as an important factor. None of them mentioned the supervisors’ significance.

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