Top 15 Medical Specialties with the Highest Salaries


The best-paid professional workers in health care are among doctor’s specialists. While doctors specialists have to go to school for years, they end up earning more money than most professionals after graduation. To become doctor specialist in the USA, you must complete four years of medical school, internship, and residency training as usual requirements. In addition to this, specialist physicians must undergo intensive training in their chosen specialty, and acquire a license in this field. The duration of this training depends on the chosen field and the level of specialty. Orthopedic residency can last up to five years, while in anesthesia it is three years long.

Top 15 Medical Specialties with the Highest Salaries



Many years and financial investment during scholarship, as well as daily high risk and challenges, cause one of thebest-paid jobs with a tendency of growing up.

Unfortunately, many primary care givers and general practitioners have seen decreasing of their salaries, as well as some of the specialists, as allergologists and pulmonologists. According to Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2016, the greatest increases noticed among rheumatologists and internists, although they aren’t among the 15 best paid in health care.

It is important to know that salary for female doctors is lower than their male colleagues. But, concerning this, there are 53% women among pediatric specialists, and pediatric specialists take the 25. position on the best-paid doctor’s list, according to Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2016.

Neurosurgeons are at top of the list with an average doctor salary of $625,300.  The 2012 MGMA Physician Compensation Report put this figure even higher, suggesting the average income was $775,968 with the top ten percent earning up to $1,229,881.

Let’s see which 15 medical specialties are the best paid in health care according to The Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2016.

1. Orthopedist

The average salary is about $443,000 annual.

An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in healing the parts of the body allowing a patient to move. Orthopedists specialize in muscular and skeletal conditions of the entire body but can focus on a particular part, such as the foot or shoulder. They also treat other issues and diseases that may affect a patient’s muscles and bones.

2. Cardiologist

The average salary is about $410,000 annual.

A cardiologist is a physician who specializes in finding, treating, and preventing diseases that affect the heart, arteries, and veins. Cardiology is a sub specialty in the field of internal medicine. Cardiologists research, diagnose and treat conditions such as blockages, heart injuries and diseases, as well as keeping their eyes on other factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. As a cardiologist, you may find employment in private practice or in a hospital, clinic or similar medical setting. According to “Forbes,” cardiologists earn about $380,000 per year, though actual income varies with location and experience.

3. Dermatologist

The average salary is about $310,000 annual.

Dermatologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat ailments of the largest organ of the human body and advise patients on achieving healthy and attractive skin. Graduation from medical school is followed by a 1-year internship, three years of job training as a medical resident, a state-licensing exam and, for those who qualify, certification.

Salary of dermatologists noticed one of the highest growth. It was 11% in 2016. According to, dermatologists earned a median annual salary of $204,072 as of January 2016.

4. Gastroenterologist

The average salary is about $380,000 annual.

A gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique experience in the management of diseases of gastrointestinal tract and liver. It is a sub specialty in the internal medicine.

Digestive disorders include disorders of an esophagus, a stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. So, the study of gastroenterology and hepatology are often related to each other. Nevertheless, some doctors opt for hepatology as an even narrower field of work.

5. Radiologist

The average salary is about $375,000 annual.

A radiologist is a medical doctor who is trained in executing and interpreting medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs and using them to treat health problems in patients. They use the tools and the devices to make a diagnosis for a patient, then presents the results to the patient’s physician. Radiologists obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree, complete an internship and residency, and then pass a board review and examination. The job growth outlook for radiologists is much faster than the job market as a whole, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and median salaries are in the high $200,000s.

6. Urologist

 The average salary is $367.000 annual.

Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders, injuries, and deformities of male reproductive organs, as well as both genders’ urinary tracts.

They are surgeons who conduct operations, and performs various other treatments, with the use of medical equipment like lasers, X-rays, fluoroscopes, radium emanation tubes, and catheters. Procedures are performed on the bladder, kidneys, prostate, uterus, urethra, and adrenal glands.

Following medical school, a residency of at least five years is required. This five-year post-graduate surgical training period is comprised of a minimum of 12 months in general surgery, 36 months in clinical urology, and the remaining 12 months in a discipline relevant to urology.

7. Anesthesiologist

 The average salary is $360,000 annual.

Anesthesiologists are the physicians responsible for carrying on general or local anesthesia, which allows surgeons and other physicians to complete invasive procedures. Thanks to that, during the procedure, patients feel minimal or no discomfort. Anesthesiologists also closely monitor a patient’s vital signs and critical life functions before, during and after the surgery – making rapid decisions on limited data when required. So, being an anesthesiologist is very stressful. They work in hospital operating rooms, but also in other places, including invasive radiology, gastrointestinal endoscopy, electrophysiology and more. In fact, the profession is expected to grow by 21 percent through 2024, with 7,100 new jobs.

 8. Plastic Surgeon

 The average salary is about $355,000 annual.

A plastic surgeon operates on a patient’s face or body in order to repair or reconstruct the area. There are two aspects of work: cosmetic surgery to improve appearance, as well as reconstructive surgery to correct appearance after an injury or to improve the function of a human body. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for surgeons and other physicians were expected to grow by 14% over the 2014-2024 decade.

9. Oncologist

The average salary is $339,000 annual.

Oncologists can either work as radiation, pediatric, gynecological, surgical or medical oncologists. Depending on what a professional decides to focus on, the individual may be in charge of different duties. But, all of them focuses on a care about the patients with cancer.

While oncologists have to learn how to deal with different cancers, they may also specialize in specific types. The specialization may take up to 5 additional years of training. Oncologist professionals have to be certified by The Board Of Radiology and the certification they get remains valid for 10 years after which they have to undergo a retesting process.

Oncology, at present, is a relatively small field of health care practice, but the field will likely grow by more than 20% between 2012 and 2022.

10. General Surgeon

 The average salary is about $322,000 annual.

General surgeons perform operations to treat or prevent diseases, repair damage caused by injuries, correct deformities, and improve the functions of a human body. They will gain experience by assisting with surgical procedures, and helping patients before and after operations. This is an extremely demanding profession that requires long, irregular hours. This is a physically demanding profession since surgeons are required to stand for hours. They have to be mentally focused and fully alert at all times. So, they are among the best-paying positions in health care.

11. Emergency Physicians

The average salary is about $322,000 annual.

An emergency room physician is a high paid job, where women earn the same as men and have many of the same opportunities for advancement. But before that, you have to spend four years as an undergraduate, four years in medical school and anywhere from three to seven years as a resident, while you become board certified in emergency medicine. The emergency room is an environment with a high level of stress because the doctors must treat a range of life-threatening conditions in a very short time, while they often deal with little or no information about the patients or the causes of their conditions since the patients are often unconscious.

12. Ophthalmologist

The average salary is about $309,000 annual.

An ophthalmologist heals illness and disorders of the eyes. He or she may provide routine care such as a vision testing and prescribe and fit eyeglasses or contact lenses. They are also surgeons and can repair traumatic injuries of the eye and perform cataract and corneal surgery.

13. Critical Care Physician

The average salary is about $306,000 annual.

Critical care medicine encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of clinical problems representing the extreme of human disease. The critical care specialists work at the departments of an intensive care and therapy, but may also be the primary providers of care or consultants. They are competent in a broad range of conditions common among critically ill patients but also for using the technical procedures and devices used in intensive care units.

14. Pulmonologist

The average salary is about $281,000 annual.

A pulmonologist is an internal medicine physician that specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases that affect the lungs, bronchial tubes and the respiratory system including the nose, pharynx, and throat. These conditions can also affect the chest, so pulmonologists also receive training in diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases of the chest, such as asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis, pneumonia and other complicated chest infections. They have to have completed a 4-year medical school program followed by a 3-year residency in internal medicine and 1 to 3 years of fellowship training in pulmonology. Before being able to practice they have to pass a string of certification and licensing exams.

15. Obstetricians and Gynecologists

 The average salary is about $277,000 annual.

Gynecologist examines a reproductive system of a female. They also monitor a patient during prenatal, natal and postnatal periods and perform tests and prescribe medication and treatment, as necessary, as well as deliver babies. An average annual salary for a gynecologist varies due to several factors such as the place of an employment, geographical location, qualifications in both obstetrics and gynecology, and an experience in the field of gynecology. Although Gynecology is one of the highest paying specialties of all medical fields

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