Firstline magazine, dvm360.com and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) each month solve tough problems for practice managers and team members in this “Tough Questions Answered by the VHMA” column. Join in by sharing your best advice, and then check out an answer later from a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.
Q. I'm a manager considering professional certification. Is it worth the investment of time and money? In what ways will certification benefit me?
Click 'next' to see the answer.
Answering this month is Viann Willits, CVPM, of San Juan Veterinary Hospital in Farmington, N.M., and Darren Osborne, MA, is the Director of Economic Research for the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) and Economic Consultant for the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, Colorado and New Jersey Veterinary Medical Associations and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).
Viann Willits, CVPM
The owners of San Juan Veterinary Hospital (SJVH) have empowered me by supporting my efforts to obtain CVPM certification. The certification process is valuable because it focuses on the trends in veterinary medicine and offers a framework for candidates to stay current with the field’s ever-changing laws and regulations. The owners considered the investment in my CVPM certification a sound investment in me and in the hospital.
While the certification itself is impressive, the process has broadened my knowledge and understanding of issues that practice managers must know and understand to conduct their jobs effectively. My knowledge base is strong and I am connected to other CVPMs with whom I can share information. Certification has had an impact on my job responsibilities. I’ve been empowered to reassign daily tasks to other team members, freeing me to handle business issues the owners previously handled.
My employers have witnessed my dedication to my career and the hospital and they appreciate the time and effort I have invested in certification. They continue to show their confidence in my efforts to be an outstanding manager by sending me to conferences and seminars. My salary increased when I became certified and I now play an integral role on a professional team.
The practice's investment in me has also added to our AAHA accreditation.
Darren Osborne, MA
The 2013 VHMA Survey of Compensation and Benefits for Veterinary Managers clearly showed that becoming Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) certified pays a premium. You can review the full chart below to see how certification influences pay. Managers with a CVPM earned $2,500 more each year and administrators earned $4,000 more. Given that CVPM certification can be obtained while working full time, it is clearly worth the investment. For example, a young manager with 25 years left to retirement could earn an additional $142,000 over his or her career from a CVPM designation. An administrator in the same circumstances could earn an additional $228,000, assuming 2 percent cost of living increase and 5 percent return on investment.
While other factors were identified as driving higher salaries, like location and post graduate degrees, becoming a CVPM is within striking distance for many managers and is a realistic option for improving earning potential.
To read more on this topic, click here.