Keeping your overall happiness and work-life balance in mind during your job hunt is one of the best ways to create a sustainable future for yourself. Having the proper support and resources from your employer helps improve your work conditions, prevent workplace exhaustion, and boost your overall satisfaction. Typically, working for a large veterinary hospital provides more opportunities for growth and personal development than working for a smaller company.
In this article, we’ll examine how the size of the veterinary organization you work for can impact the benefits you receive as an employee.
Why organization size matters for your career in veterinary medicine.
BluePearl is a specialty and emergency veterinary organization with over 100 locations across the country that offers industry-leading employee care benefits. Being such a large and expansive organization means that we have the resources and time to create programs that care for our Associates, help them attain their career and financial goals, and give them the time off needed to recharge.
The best part is that these benefits are available to everyone in the organization – from IT and operations to kennel assistants and surgeons.
Benefits of working at a large organization like BluePearl.
Finding a company that makes you feel valued gives you more opportunities to flourish and grow in your career and life. BluePearl’s leadership team is committed to finding new ways to enhance the lives of Associates and their families, including their pets. We offer several healthcare benefits, financial planning resources, legal protection, time off, and career development benefits that set a standard of excellence in the veterinary medicine industry.
1. Better healthcare benefits with more options.
BluePearl offers medical and dental plans to all Associates, ensuring they have coverage for their healthcare needs. On average, employees working at smaller companies contribute 30% more to their healthcare costs. Larger, more established vet organizations can negotiate lower rates and contribute more money towards benefit plans so that employees pay a lower monthly premium overall.
HSA, FSA & HIA.
In addition to several traditional medical plans, BluePearl Associates can utilize HSA and FSA accounts, which are special savings accounts that allow you to deposit pre-taxed money for medical expenses and care.
In addition, hospital indemnity plans provide direct payments to you should certain circumstances occur, like a cancer diagnosis or unplanned hospitalization.
To encourage health and wellness, our Associates have access to Health Incentive Accounts (HIA). As an organization, we contribute up to $500 annually to every Associate’s HSA or HIA account based on the Associate completing specific actions.
In 2021, BluePearl expanded healthcare coverage to include gender-affirming care on all U.S. medical plans. This coverage is part of our organization’s commitment to ensuring comprehensive and meaningful healthcare is available to all Associates.
Short & long-term disability.
On top of finding the right healthcare plan that works for you at a cost you’re comfortable with, it’s important to consider your prospective employer’s disability coverage that pays in the case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses.
BluePearl offers both short and long-term employer-paid disability assistance to all benefit-eligible Associates. Our short-term disability insurance provides 60% of your weekly salary for up to 26 weeks, while the long-term disability plan provides 60% of an Associate’s monthly salary until retirement age.
2. Support for mental healthcare.
Caring for your mental health and well-being on and off the job is important. Mental health services are not a required benefit and are something that smaller practices may overlook, so it’s another benefit to consider when choosing an employer.
BluePearl is committed to enhancing the lives of Associates for the better and furthering standards for the veterinary industry. Part of this initiative includes providing more mental health resources, and we’re doing this with a number of different company-wide programs.
In a recent dvm360 article, Nicholas Nelson, president of BluePearl, shared, “Mental health is not only a vital part of humankind but an integral component of practicing high-quality veterinary medicine. We hope these new resources will make a meaningful difference in our Associates’ lives and enable them to be their best selves at work and at home.”
Wellness ambassador program
While all BluePearl Associates can access mental health services through their regular health insurance plans, we’ve taken it a step further. In 2021, we launched the wellness ambassador program, a program unlike any other in the veterinary world. The program aims to normalize the discussion of mental health and substance abuse challenges to reduce stigma, empower Associates, and help those who are struggling.
Free therapy sessions & EAP.
In addition to spreading awareness and destigmatizing mental health needs internally, BluePearl also provides resources Associates can lean on. We have teamed up with Lyra Health to provide Associates and eligible family members nationwide with 12 mental health coaching sessions annually at no cost.
Through Lyra Health, Associates can get proven treatment for things like ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, stress disorders, and more. Associates can also get free assessments and assistance for mental health conditions through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
3. Financial planning & care.
Being able to plan for the future matters, and working for a larger organization like BluePearl gives you more resources to do so. BluePearl offers 401(k) plans to all, regardless of title or department. A 401(k) is a company-sponsored retirement account in which employees contribute a set amount, and the employer matches that amount up to a certain percentage. BluePearl extends a 3% match, making it easy to save for your future.
Life insurance coverage is also an important consideration and can help you feel more secure in the fact that your dependents will be taken care of no matter what. Due to our sheer size and number of years in the industry, we can offer fully paid life insurance plans. The coverage includes basic benefits providing life coverage at 1x an Associate’s salary, with a $50,000 guarantee. Associates can also elect to supplement their life insurance at an additional cost.
4. Paid parental leave.
When planning your future, considering a prospective company’s paid parental leave program is a must. Paid parental leave isn’t required by law, so many organizations overlook it. Ones that do give time off for welcoming a new family member tend to only offer 6-8 weeks of maternity leave, which only applies to the mother. BluePearl offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents.
5. Company-paid professional & personal legal protection.
Another vital benefit of working for a large organization like BluePearl is legal protection services. Veterinarians of all specialties are required to carry individual professional liability insurance, and not all companies cover the associated fees.
BluePearl offers each of our doctors, as well as other clinical Associates like veterinary technicians, liability and medical malpractice insurance at no cost. Professional liability insurance can be expensive, and companies are not required to cover the cost. Because of this, most veterinarians and technicians at smaller practices have to pay out of pocket for the yearly cost.
BluePearl also offers an optional legal insurance plan. This plan can help our Associates with things like creating wills, family services, driving matters, transferring property, buying a home, and more. Through this program, Associates can work with in-network lawyers and take advantage of 100% covered attorney fees in the event they need representation.
6. Time off.
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and take time to recharge. PTO, company holidays, and flexible scheduling are all important for a healthy work-life balance.
BluePearl provides a flexible time off policy that can be used for vacation, sick time, and any other type of time off needed.
In addition to competitive PTO, BluePearl offers floating holidays to all Associates. Typically, working at a vet hospital means you’ll be working every holiday and don’t necessarily get to choose which ones you’d like to spend with friends or family. Our floating holiday time off program allows Associates to choose which holidays they would like off, regardless of position.
7. Perks for your pets.
Veterinary medicine is a field full of animal lovers, and many of us have pets of our own. We understand the importance of caring for treasured pets and offer special benefits to help you do so. BluePearl provides coverage for pet insurance premiums, as well as discounts on things like vet care and medication. Associates can bring four pre-registered pets in for free exams and consultations and get a 50% discount on all other veterinary services.
And of course, we know your pets deserve the best. Our Associates get a 50% discount on all Royal Canin diets, one free pet food delivery to your door, and four discounted Royal Canin products each month. Associates even get discounted access to DNA testing for dogs through Wisdom Panel. So, even your pets get perks with a career at BluePearl.
8. Scrubs & swag allowances.
Who doesn’t like extra perks like scrub allowances and money for useful, everyday items? At BluePearl, we have a scrub and swag store that is available to all Associates. Each year, a $200 store allowance is given to use on whatever our team members would like from the store. Among the most-loved items are Yeti bottles, hats, scarves, apparel, luggage, and even high-end devices like smartwatches. So, whether it’s scrubs, non-slip shoes, lunch boxes, or even technology like headphones you want, the BluePearl store has you covered.
9. More opportunities for career development.
Taking steps towards your career goals matters. Upward mobility, promotions, and on-the-job training can be hard to find at smaller clinics. Due to tight staffing and more limited access to resources, some companies aren’t able to offer the same kind of specialty training and opportunities as a larger organization.
CareerTrax & BluePearl University.
BluePearl has pioneered a new career advancement program, CareerTrax, which gives Associates full transparency into requirements for other roles in our organization. The goal is to lay out a clear path of acceleration for Associates who want to grow and give them everything they need to succeed.
In addition, our BluePearl University learning management system provides company-wide and role-specific training for all Associates, creating more opportunities to learn and grow.
On top of training, your prospective employer needs to have the size and opportunities necessary for you to be able to keep growing. At BluePearl, our network spans more than 100 hospitals across 30 states, varying in size and veterinary services. This makes it easy to grow professionally as you discover new passions in the field.
We aim to provide Associates with the resources and opportunities to move into new roles that support their career goals. We strongly believe in fostering talent and often promote internally for leadership and support roles, so there’s no shortage of room for growth.
Company-paid continuing education.
In addition to on-the-job training and upward mobility, BluePearl also offers support for Associates who want to continue their education. All in-hospital Associates receive an annual continuing education (CE) allowance and free opportunities to keep learning.
10. Sign-on bonuses & perks.
When it comes to the financials of a job, larger organizations also tend to shine. With more stability, due to size and backing, larger organizations have more long-standing security, which means they offer more competitive salaries. These bigger profit margins also mean better yearly bonus opportunities.
BluePearl offers research-based competitive salaries to Associates across every department and specialty to ensure they feel valued and see the worth in growing with our company. We also offer sign-on bonuses for certain positions and paid relocation to qualified new hires.
BluePearl: Committed to a positive work experience & enrichment for all.
Wherever your passion lies in the field of veterinary medicine, you should never settle for less. The importance of finding a company that truly makes you feel valued should not be underestimated. Working for a large organization like BluePearl gives you extensive benefits that empower you to achieve a better work-life balance, take care of yourself, and grow in your chosen career.
Everyone here at BluePearl is dedicated to giving our Associates every opportunity to succeed – at work and in life.
*Benefits as of September 2022. Please connect with a recruiter for the most up-to-date information.