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Pediatric Endocrinologist Education and Career Facts

Pediatric endocrinologists identify and treat conditions in children's glands. Learn about this field, education requirements, additional training and necessary credentials.

What You Need to Know

Pediatricians are physicians who treat health problems in babies, children and young adults. An endocrinologist is a physician specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect glands and hormones. As a pediatric endocrinologist, you can specialize in treating conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease and metabolic disorders for infants, children and adolescents. In order to practice in this field, you'll need to complete a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree program.

Degrees You will need to earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)
Training Internship, residency and/or fellowship program
Mean Annual Salary (2017) $187,540 (for all pediatricians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Much Education Do I Need?

Pediatric endocrinologists need an extremely high level of education. The first step is to complete an undergraduate degree program that can provide you with the eligibility requirements necessary to enroll in medical school. While there is no one standard undergraduate degree program for aspiring physicians, you could complete a pre-med program or select a major that offers education in biological sciences, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

In medical school, you'll receive extensive training in human anatomy, physiology, medical practices and ethics. You can take some elective or extracurricular courses in pediatrics or endocrinology, though medical school education is primarily designed to provide you with basic knowledge and skills training.

How Much Training Would I Need After Medical School?

You'll need to complete at least a 1-year internship before pursuing specialized residencies in pediatrics and endocrinology, which could take an additional 2-6 years. Some hospitals offer a combined residency program, though you might need to participate in both pediatric and endocrinology residencies separately. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) endorses residency training programs, including pediatric and endocrinology programs. Fellowship programs at hospitals and universities more commonly combine the two disciplines.

What Kind of Credential Would I Need?

To earn a license, you'll need to take the United States Medical Licensing Exam or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam, depending on the type of medical degree you earned. This is necessary to become a practicing physician. You might need to take additional state-administered exams as well. Additionally, you could pursue board certification in pediatric endocrinology. Though board certification isn't required, the American Board of Medical Specialties, which is affiliated with the ACGME, offers a credential specific to this field.

What Can I Expect From a Career as a Pediatric Endocrinologist?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physicians and surgeons is set to grow 13% in the decade between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average for all other occupations. General pediatricians work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Physicians' offices
  • General and surgical hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools