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Physician Salary: How Much Money Do Doctors Make?

Physician Salary: How Much Money Do Doctors Make?

When deciding a field in which to specialize or even before considering a pursuit in the medical field it is important to think about doctor salary ranges. Aside from the time involved with pursuing an advanced degree, potential student loan payments additionally represent a concern. Knowing just how much the average physician makes in your general field of interest can help with financial and career planning. Let’s take a thorough look at physician salaries and the factors that affect those rates. 

Starting Salaries for Physicians

The starting salary for an entry-level physician will depend on a variety of factors. The physician’s certifications, educational background, and even the geographic region will all play a role in their remuneration. Even the specialty and skill set of the physician will play a big role in their starting rate of pay. For example, a pathologist’s salary at the start of their career may be $120k annually while a surgeon’s starting salary may be closer to $200k per year. On average, a physician will start out with a base rate that falls between $180,000 and $230,000 per year in the United States.

How Much Do Doctors Make?

Salary ranges vary greatly between specialties. Even within the same specialties, location, experience, and overall demand may cause pay rates to be higher or lower for the same job. Physicians who practice in a metro hospital may earn less than one who works in private practice. At the same time, a doctor who practices in a high-demand subspecialty will be able to command even higher rates than their equally credentialed peers.

On average, a physician working as an Ob/Gyn will earn around $336,000 annually. Those working in the field of plastic surgery can earn as much as $576,000 per year. Another lucrative field of practice is orthopedics. These doctors typically make $557,000 per year, and often more. Those working in the field of pathology can expect an average salary of $334,000 annually depending on where they practice.

Internal Medicine, in general, has a salary range falling around $264,000 per year. Physicians who choose a subspecialty within internal medicine can see their income rise dramatically. Cancer cases have increased greatly in recent years which is one reason oncology doctors are able to earn $411,000 per year on average. Those working in the field of infectious diseases can earn as much as $260,000 per year or more. 

Choosing A Specialty in The Medical Field

Most people start thinking about their specialties once they are halfway through medical school. One way to get ahead of the crow is to check the rates of pay for each field as well as the growth potential of each subspecialty. This will allow for clinical experience to be gained through interactive shadowing opportunities. This can also help boost the starting rates of pay regardless of your chosen field.

As with any remuneration package, there is more than just the numbers to consider. Other perks such as workplace health check-ups, vacation days, bonuses, and even insurance bundling should also be considered. Browsing all fields and deciphering the rates of pay for a doctor can be overwhelming, but with a little bit of advanced planning, a bright future in the medical field is within reach.