What Is the Average Salary of a Sports Medicine Physician?

As a sports medicine physician, your salary can be greatly affected by a number of factors, such as how long you've been in the field and where you work. Keep reading to find out more about sports medicine salaries in terms of experience, employer type, and location. Schools offering Kinesiology & Sport Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

According to PayScale.com, if you're a sports medicine physician, you would have earned a median annual salary of $182,994 as of July 2019. The same source also reported salary figures by percentile, which demonstrated possible variations in income. According to those numbers, the bottom-paid 10% of sports medicine physicians earned $60,000 or less, while the top-paid 10% earned $242,000 or more. A number of factors can affect your salary as a sports medicine physician. Three of the most common include years of experience, location and type of employer. Below is an overview of the required skills, training, and education you need to work in sports medicine.

Important Facts About Sports Medicine Physicians

Required Education Doctoral degree
On-the-Job Training Required residency lasting 3 to 7 years
Key Skills Attention to detail, problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, situational awareness, manual dexterity, patience, clear spoken and written communication, organization
Similar Occupations Chiropractors; dentists; optometrists; physicians assistants; podiatrists; veterinarians

How Much Do Sports Medicine Doctors Make?

Salary by Experience

The number of years you've worked as a sports medicine physician can affect your income. For example, according to PayScale.com in July 2019, sports medicine doctors at the entry level earned 8% less than the national average of $182,994, while mid-career physicians earned 2% above the average. In contrast, experienced sports medicine physicians earned 3% more than the national average, as of 2019.

Salary by Location

As of July 2019, Payscale.com reports that several of the highest-paying locations for sports medicine physicians in the U.S. are Los Angeles, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Atlanta, Georgia. Los Angeles offers individuals in this profession an average of 5.7% more than the national average salary for this occupation. This is followed by Philadelphia, offering a 5% higher-than-average salary, and Atlanta, offering 1.2% more.

Salary by Employer Type

Professionals on this career path can choose to practice in a number of fields - the highest-paying ones including medicine/surgery, sports nutrition, and orthopedics (according to Payscale.com). Those working in orthopedics earn an average of $200,000 a year; followed by those who work in medicine and surgery, earning $192,176 a year; and finally, sports nutrition - earning an average of $184,608 a year. Other high-paying industries include training and physical therapy, offering an average of $169,161 and $101,736 average per year, respectively.

Salary Information for Orthopedic Surgeons

Like sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons may attend to sports-related injuries. However, these are distinct career paths since, as an orthopedic surgeon, you also would treat a number of other conditions associated with the musculoskeletal system. According to PayScale.com, as of July 2019, orthopedic surgeons earned a median annual salary of $376,957. That same month, the bottom-paid 10% of orthopedic surgeons earned $144,000 or less, while the top-paid 10% brought home $569,000 or more.

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, there will be good job prospects for physicians and surgeons as a whole, encompassing those who hold sports medicine jobs, over the 2016-2026 decade. Healthcare expansion and population growth both are expected to be factors that influence the faster than average 13% employment growth over that decade.

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