What Is the Employment Outlook for Pediatricians?

The job outlook for pediatricians is positive. A career in pediatrics generally requires a lot of formal education to prepare for caring for young patients. Get details about a pediatrician career, including salary. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Outlook for Pediatricians

The general job outlook for physicians and surgeons from 2018 to 2028 is 7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This job outlook is faster than the national average. However, the BLS reported that the job outlook over this same time period for general pediatricians was only 2%. This is still a positive job outlook and results in 700 new positions from 2018 to 2028.

The BLS further examined the job outlook for pediatricians by industry and places of employment. The website reported that job growth for pediatricians was most favorable at specialty hospitals (except psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals) with an outlook of about 33% from 2018 to 2028. The BLS reported that private, specialty hospitals (except psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals) had an even greater outlook of about 40% for the same time period. Other industries with relatively high job outlooks for pediatricians included outpatient care centers (about 38%) and private colleges, universities, and professionals schools (about 14%).

The BLS noted that in general, the need for physicians and surgeons is increasing with a growing and aging population. Slower growth in the field may be due to new technologies and advances in the field that help doctors treat more patients and increase their efficiency. The need for doctors in rural and low-income areas is typically high, making job prospects in these areas favorable. The BLS also stated that most medical school graduates are matched with residencies right after graduation for their first job.

Pediatrician Career Overview

Pediatricians are physicians who specialize in caring for children from infancy to young adulthood. Some pediatricians may specialize in various areas of the field, such as pediatric surgery or autoimmune disorders that typically affect young patients. Here we examine a general pediatrician career summary, including education, job duties, and salary.

How Do You Begin a Career in Pediatrics?

In order to become a pediatritian, students must undergo extensive education and training and then obtain licensure in the field. Pediatrician education requirements begin with a 4-year medical degree, either a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). These degree programs typically include 2 years of coursework followed by 2 years of hands-on experience in clinical rotations.

After medical school, aspiring pediatricians must complete a pediatric residency program. Most general pediatric residency programs are 3 years in length, but some schools may also offer pediatric specialty residency programs that may take additional time, such as programs in internal medicine (4 yrs), child neurology (5 yrs), and neurodevelopment disorders (6 yrs). General pediatric residencies may include coursework and/or hands-on training in areas like:

  • Community medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Newborn
  • Development
  • Acute care

All physicians and doctors must meet state requirements for licensure and pass a national licensure exam, either the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) for MDs or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) for DOs. While it is not required, board certification in a particular specialty area can increase job prospects. For pediatricians, board certification can be obtained through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) by meeting all qualifications and passing an exam.

What Does a Pediatrician Do?

A pediatrician performs many of the same job duties as a general physician, but with children instead of adults. Pediatricians have advanced knowledge of illnesses, diseases, and injuries common to children, as well as knowledge of normal and abnormal development, but still perform basic medical procedures and protocols like:

  • Administering vaccinations
  • Recording medical histories
  • Creating treatment plans
  • Ordering medical tests as needed
  • Evaluating patients
  • Interpreting test results
  • Educating patients and their families

How Much Does a Pediatrician Make?

As of 2018, the BLS reported that general pediatricians made an average annual salary of $183,240. The majority of these professionals worked in physicians' offices and made an average salary of $188,980, while those that worked in specialty hospitals (except psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals) made the highest average salary of $205,370 for the same year.

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