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How to know the average physician salary by specialty


Balance your experience and worth with the job market by specialty. Posted by Drew Terry
Balance your experience and worth with the job market by specialty.

After devoting years and dollars to training and specializing, physicians are often greeted by lucrative opportunities upon completion of residency or fellowship.

Just how much you’ll make, though, depends on a number of factors. Salary will differ greatly by specialty. Other influences may include location, experience and how tight the job market is.

Of course, base salary can’t be the only deciding factor in a job search. When comparing offers, you’ll want to be sure you understand  the base salary vs. total compensation. Plus, what you’ll earn is only part of choosing the best practice fit for you.

Still, money matters. It’s what will help you repay student loans, lead the lifestyle you want and retire comfortably when you’re ready to hang up the stethoscope.

Here are four resources to give you an idea of the physician salary to expect during your job search.


Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook lists a summary of general facts about physicians and surgeons overall. The site includes median income for a few specialties along with links to state and area data. Projections Central also lists some specialties within its short- and long-term job projections.



Medical news and perspective provider Medscape produces an annual Physician Compensation Report.

The 2021 report includes an overview of physician salary and benefit statistics, including some breakouts by gender, region and specialty. The data is based on nearly 18,000 responding physicians representing more than 29 specialties.


Merritt Hawkins

Another annual report is produced by physician search firm Merritt Hawkins. Its 2021 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives offers an overview of salaries, bonuses and other incentives.


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