Average Doctor Salaries by Specialty

RNolan Profile picture

Rebecca Nolan

Group Content Manager

Fie doctors with different specialties standing together
You may be surprised to know that doctor’s salaries are dependant on specialty

Medical professionals, especially doctors, include some of the highest-paid professionals in the world. However, a doctor’s salary varies significantly depending on their area of specialization. This is because each medical field requires different expertise and experience to practice effectively.

We will explore the average salaries of doctors by their respective medical specializations!

Average Doctor Salaries

With a survey done by Medscape, here is a complete list of average salaries of doctors by specialty in the USA. Please remember that these are averages only and will depend on location and place of work.

Job TypesThe Average Salary in the USA (USD)
Advanced Practice Provider128,000
Behaviour Health Specialist107,000
Cardiology Specialist430,000
Clinical Psychologist292,000
Correctional Treatment Specialist179,000
Counselling Psychologist224,000
Diabetes and Endocrinology236,000
Family medicine231,000
Gastroenterology specialist239,000
Infectious Diseases243,000
Internal Medicine267,000
Neurology Specialist359,000
Oncology Specialist366,000
Pediatric Specialist238,000
Plastic Surgery576,000
Psychiatry Specialist255,000
Urology Specialist408,000
Average doctor salaries by specialty

Letโ€™s discuss a few of these most rewarding specialties in detail! Below are the top-earning specialties and some more information about their daily tasks.

  1. Cardiologists

Cardiologists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating heart-related problems. They are responsible for identifying and treating conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Cardiologists undergo extensive training, including four years of medical school, three years of internal medicine residency, and three or more years of specialized cardiology fellowship training. As such, the average salary for a cardiologist is around $430,000 per year, making it one of the highest-paying medical specialties.

  1. Orthopedics

Orthopedic surgeons are specialized medical professionals who diagnose and treat musculoskeletal system conditions, including bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. They provide a wide range of services, such as surgical and non-surgical treatment of injuries, deformities, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Orthopedic surgery can be highly specialized, and many orthopedic surgeons focus on specific areas of the musculoskeletal system, such as the spine, hand, foot, or hip. They are among the highest earners in the medical field, with an average salary of around $482,000 per year.

Graph showing average doctor salaries by specialty
Doctors’ Annual Income by Specialty
  1. Neurosurgeons

In addition to the aforementioned specialties, neurosurgery is one of the most challenging and specialized medical fields. Neurosurgeons specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the nervous system, including complex issues such as brain tumors, nerve damage, and spinal cord injuries.

Due to the critical nature of their work and the high skill level required, neurosurgeons are among the highest earners in the medical field, earning an average salary of around $359,000 annually.

  1. Dermatologist

Dermatologists are highly specialized medical professionals who diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails. They are trained to recognize and manage complex skin conditions, ranging from skin cancer to psoriasis and acne. They also deal with cosmetic issues such as wrinkles, scars, and other signs of aging that can impact a patient’s self-esteem and confidence.

With an average salary of around $291,000 per year, dermatology is one of the highest-paying specialties in the medical field, reflecting the high level of expertise and specialized knowledge for diagnosing and treat complex skin conditions.

  1. Gastroenterologists

Gastroenterologists are highly trained medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. They are trained to use various diagnostic and treatment techniques, including endoscopy, colonoscopy, and other minimally invasive procedures.

The average salary for a gastroenterologist in the United States is around $239,000 per year, which is higher than the average salary for most other medical specialties. However, it’s important to note that the salary can vary depending on location and years of experience.

  1. Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the eyes. These medical experts deal with complex eye issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

As one of the most specialized and challenging fields in medicine, the average salary of an ophthalmologist is around $482,000 annually.

Doctor's stethoscope with pen and patient notes
Medical students may take salary into account when choosing a specialty

While being a doctor is a prestigious profession, a doctor’s salary varies significantly depending on their area of specialization. This can make it an important factor for a medical student when deciding on residency programs and beyond.

These salaries are only averages and can vary depending on a doctor’s location, years of experience, and other factors.

Nonetheless, it is clear that some medical specialties are more lucrative than others, and medical students may find this information if they are looking to specialize in a particular area.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the highest-paying medical specialty?

The highest-paying medical specialty are plastic surgeons, earning approximately $576,000 annually. Orthopedics and ophthalmologists have an average salary of around $482,000 annually. However, cardiologists also earn high salaries, averaging around $430,000 annually.ย 

Why do some medical specialties earn more than others?

The salaries of medical specialties vary depending on the expertise and training required to practice effectively. Specialties that require more training, such as orthopedics and neurosurgery, tend to earn higher salaries than those that require less training, such as family medicine.

What factors affect a doctor’s salary?

A doctor’s salary can vary depending on several factors, including:
Area of specialization
Years of experience
Whether they work in private practice or for a healthcare organization

Is becoming a doctor a good career choice?

Becoming a doctor can be a highly rewarding career choice, both professionally and financially. However, it requires a significant investment in time, money, and dedication, including several years of education and training. If you want to become a doctor, apply for MCAT without any second thought and make your dream a reality. In this regard, our tutoring course can benefit you in many areas.

How can aspiring doctors choose a medical specialty?

Aspiring doctors can choose a medical specialty based on their interests, skills, and personal goals. They can also consider factors such as job demand, potential earnings, and work-life balance in their chosen field. It’s important to research and talk to experienced professionals in the field before deciding.

RNolan Profile picture
Rebecca Nolan
Group Content Manager
Certifications: BA History of Art, PGCE Education, PGC Advanced Educational Practice
Education: University: University of East Anglia
Lives in: London

Rebecca studied at History of Art at UEA before deciding on a career in education. Having worked with children from 3-18 years old, she has worked both in the UK and international schools including Dubai and Zurich, where she was Head of Primary. Rebecca has extensive knowledge in curriculum design and has worked with various curricular models including English National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate.

Was this article helpful?

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still got a question? Leave a comment