Ever Wondered Who the Highest Paid Doctors Are? Here’s a Comparison
It’s no secret that doctors are some of the highest paid professionals in the world, which is great compensation for all of the hard work they put in during medical school and residency, not to mention the long hours they put in making sure their patients are well-taken care of. But have you ever wondered which types of doctors get paid the most?
Maybe you’re debating on whether or not to attend medical school and debating on which specialty to go into, or maybe you’re already a physician but you’re wanting to transition into a different specialty. Here’s a look at the average annual salary (from Indeed.com) for seven specialties in medicine, plus survey responses from 2020 from thousands of doctors.
Orthopedic doctors focus on treating injuries and illnesses that affect the bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves— the musculoskeletal system. They treat injuries ranging in severity from minor back pain to bone tumors.
Orthopedists usually work in private practices, but they’re also employed in hospitals and university medical centers. The average annual salary for orthopedic doctors is around $230,000 per year. According to survey responses from orthopedists, salaries can go as high as $605,000.
Cardiologists are the heart doctors employed in hospitals and private practices. They deal with heart disease and other problems affecting the heart and entire cardiovascular system. On average, cardiologists make $346,000 per year, but cardiologists surveyed in 2020 reported earning up to $527,000.
Radiologists use medical imaging to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. They are actually some of the highest paid doctors, with an average salary of $434,000 per year. Even survey radiologists report being paid $485,000. Many different types of medical facilities employ radiologists: diagnostic centers, hospitals, outpatient care, physicians’ offices, and research centers.
Urologists are physicians that specialize in the urinary tract, diagnosing and treating issues such as urinary tract infection as well as kidney issues. Their average salaries are around $230,000 per year, and urologists surveyed in 2020 reported making up to $473,000 per year. Urologists are employed in hospitals, physician offices, and urology centers, and they can also refer patients to other specialists for additional issues.
Dermatologists are skin doctors, but they can also diagnose and treat conditions related to hair and nails. They also help patients understand their skin and help them to take better care of their skin. The majority of dermatologists are employed in solo or group practices, and they have one of the least demanding schedules of all physicians.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a dermatologist in the U.S. is close to $230,000 per year, and dermatologists reported earning close to $450,000 per year.
Anesthesiologists are the physicians that administer anesthesia to patients before major or minor surgeries. Like radiologists, they’re employed in a variety of settings: hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, physician offices, and many more clinical settings. On average, the annual salary for an anesthesiologist is $328,500. In 2020, anesthesiologists reported making $445,500.
Oncologists are the doctors that treat cancer patients. This can be in a doctor’s office, a general hospital, or in a surgical hospital. The average salary of an oncologist is on the lower end at $188,500 per year, but those surveyed reported making $437,000.
Of course, the salaries shouldn’t be the only reason that you want to pursue a career in medicine— you should really have a passion for helping people live a more fulfilling life by improving their health. Being a doctor is one of the most rewarding jobs, both emotionally and financially, but your driving reason to become one should be to help others.
Again, it also takes a lot of hard work (undergrad, medical school, residency, and being employed as a physician) so this is a huge commitment to make.
Just keep in mind that your salary may differ depending on where you live, what type of facility you practice in, and how much experience you have. So this is something to consider if you’re thinking about transitioning from one specialty to another.
However, no matter which specialty you choose, virtually every physician specialty is in demand because doctors have one of the highest job securities of all occupations. The world is always going to need doctors, so follow the path in medicine that you’re most passionate about.