How Much Do Starting Pediatricians Get Paid?

Research what it takes to become a pediatrician. Learn about the average salary of pediatricians, including salary ranges for different years of experience, as well as typical duties and employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pediatrician?

Pediatricians are doctors who treat infants, children, and teenagers. As a pediatrician, you make work in general or primary care and treat common illnesses and minor injuries in children. Primary care pediatricians also administer vaccines and do yearly check-ups. You could also choose to specialize in pediatric surgery or focus on a particular type of illness, like cancer within children. As a pediatrician, it is likely that you will correspond regularly with parents as well as other medical staff. The following chart gives an overview of this career.

Degree Required Doctoral
Training Required Internship and residency
Licensure/Certification License required, certification optional
Key Responsibilities Talking with patients and their parents, examining patients, giving vaccinations, prescribing medicine
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 10%
Median Salary (2015)* $170,300

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Can Pediatricians Expect to Earn?

October 2016 figures from PayScale.com reveal that the median salary for pediatricians who have 5 years of experience or less is $138,000. For those with 5 to 10 years of experience, it is roughly $152,000. Those with 10 to 20 years earned a median salary about $154,000 and those with more than 20 years of experience earned a median salary of about $162,000.

According to May 2015 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most pediatricians worked in physicians' offices, holding 21,390 jobs. These pediatricians earned an average salary of $188,420. Over 4,700 pediatricians worked in hospitals and earned a median salary of $167,820.

Also according to the BLS, pediatricians in the following states earned the highest average salaries in 2015, all exceeding $222,000: Mississippi, Utah, Montana, South Dakota and Massachusetts. The bottom five states for pediatricians' salaries were: Arizona at $145,200, Illinois at $148,050, Delaware at $149,080, New York at $157,660, and Pennsylvania at $159,610.

Where Could I Work?

According to the BLS, physicians' offices, general medical hospitals, outpatient care centers, colleges and universities and specialty hospitals are the largest employers of pediatricians. Approximately 28,660 people worked as pediatricians in May 2015. Employment projections for pediatricians in general were expected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024.

What Job Duties Will I Have?

As a pediatrician, your main responsibility will be to provide medical care to people from their birth through late adolescence. Duties might entail diagnosing patients through direct examination, performing lab tests, reviewing clinical records and consulting with colleagues, prescribing medications, monitoring the results of treatment and conducting follow-up examinations. You can provide general care or focus on a sub-specialty, such as neonatology, pediatric surgery or pediatric audiology. At a hospital you may also be responsible for developing patient care policies and procedures, managing a staff of caregivers and coordinating pediatric services with other medical providers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Aspiring pediatricians chose the pediatrics specialty while in medical school. You also have the option of choosing a different specialty, like obstetrics and gynecology, which involves caring for pregnant women and the female reproductive system. Another option is psychiatry, a specialty that focuses on mental health. You may also be interested in specializing in surgery. Surgeons typically focus on one area of surgery, like neurological or cardiovascular.

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