Some would say that the best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017 make up for the maddeningly long working hours that these specialists have to put in. You know what I would say? No, no they don’t. No matter how much money you’re making, no matter what new gadget has found itself in your pocket, no matter how many luxuries you have installed in the house you never get to see, they cannot offset the personal life you have to sacrifice in the name of your career.
Medical Economics says that work-life balance is not even a reality for physicians! But if you ask me what is the highest paying job in the United States, I will have to say one medical specialty or the other. In fact, the highest paid professions are all medical jobs, according to US News. Don’t worry they also list the highest paying non medical jobs, for all you people who do not want to pursue a medical career. Anyway, my point was that the low quality of life that doctors have to endure is often justified by their six digit salaries. But for me, that is no justification. I mean sure there are some medical specialties that are infinitely better than others, as our pieces on the least stressful medical specialties and careers that pay well and medical specialties with the best quality of life indicate. But even the careers on these lists aren’t what you would call ideal. Apart from that, malpractice suits are another issue doctors have to deal with: something the list of worst medical specialties with the highest malpractice rates can certainly vouch for.
Okay, let me put a pin in that. I don’t want to put all you doctors off, so let me tell you some of the pros of this field as well. Not only do doctors top the highest paying jobs in the world list (in case you were wondering what the highest paying job in the world is), but a doctor’s career is quite secure if you ask me. They can say with certainty that their job will have demand, it will keep growing because unfortunately, people will get sick and new diseases will be discovered, keeping the pockets of physicians well filled. These highest paying most promising medical specialties of the future are especially encouraging.
Doctors do require a certain level of education, of course. I mean you can’t look for the highest paying jobs without a degree and expect medical fields to be one of them. No, doctors are expected to go through grueling years of hard work, including medical schools, residencies and hours of study: only then are they entrusted with the responsibility of someone’s health. So if you don’t have a degree, you should check out this helpful list, unless you want to end up a server or a cook at fast food restaurants, which according to Forbes, are the lowest paying jobs in America!
Before we get lost in the world of the American job market, let’s get back to the topic at hand. The best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017 were compiled using the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2017, a physician salary survey that has shown its worth for the last seven years. The earning by which specialties have been ranked include basic salaries of the doctors, bonuses offered to them as well as any profit shares received by them. This gives us a very comprehensive picture of their total compensation. To see how the ranking of best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017 panned out, keep on reading!
15. Pulmonary Medicine
Average annual compensation: $310,000
A pulmonologist’s main area of concern is the respiratory system, more importantly, the lungs. They are reasonably well paid of course considering that they kick off our list of the best paying jobs for doctors in America. However, only 48% think that they are fairly compensated.
14. Critical Care
Average annual compensation: $324,000
We are continuing our list of best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017 with doctors in the critical care who look after patients who require continuous monitoring or support. Therefore, they often have a very demanding job, yet the task is of course admirable. They deal with life-threatening situations on a daily basis and have quite some responsibility on their shoulders.
Average annual compensation: $330,000
Although oncologists perform the arduous and emotionally straining task of battling cancer along with their patients, they were one of the two specialists whose earning did not see any growth from last year. Not that that’s anything to worry about yet since oncology is after all one of the best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017.
12. Emergency Medicine
Average annual compensation: $339,000
Physicians of any kind are usually not satisfied with their salaries due to the ungodly working hours that they have to work. However, the specialty of emergency medicine is top of the list when its doctors were asked if they felt fairly compensated. Although a mere 68% of them replied in the affirmative, it is actually the biggest number among all medical specialties.
Average annual compensation: $345,000
While the regular eye doctor we go to for a prescription for eyeglasses is most certainly an optometrist, an ophthalmologist is more concerned with the biology of the eye, treating related diseases and performing eye surgery. Of course, they also have the power to prescribe glasses, but their scope is much wider.
10. General Surgery
Average annual compensation: $352,000
Surgery is a job that requires precision and a certain amount of courage. It is obviously not entirely easy having the life of a patient completely depend on you, as a minor mistake even in the simplest surgery can result in dire consequences, something I’m sure every doctor wants to avoid at any cost.
Average annual compensation: $364,000
After general surgeons, we have anesthesiologists who are a pivotal part of the surgery. The surgery cannot take place if a specialist is not present to administer drugs to the patient, which is where anesthesiology comes in. If you’re such a specialist in America, you definitely need our list of the 25 best states for anesthesiologists to guide you.
Average annual compensation: $386,000
If you want a specialty with the most satisfied doctors, dermatology would top the list! 96% dermatologists in the survey were of the view that they would choose the same specialty again if given the chance. I’m sure the $386K income has something to do with it since dermatology is one of the best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017.
Average annual compensation: $391,000
This field deals with the digestive system of the body and out of all the specialties on our list of best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017, gastroenterology had the highest percentage of doctors (82%) who replied positively when asked if they would select medicine as a career again if given the chance.
Average annual compensation: $396,000
Radiologists take the number six spot on our list of the best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017, with an annual earning of just less than $400K. If you’re looking for a detailed analysis of radiologists’ salary, you can head on over to our article which lists the highest paying areas for these specialists.
Average annual compensation: $398,000
The main areas of concern for this medical specialist are the ear, the nose, and the throat. Otolaryngologists aren’t so far ahead from radiologists when it comes to annual income and are quite satisfied with their chosen careers with 92% saying they will pick the same specialty again if asked.
Average annual compensation: $400,000
Urology deals with the human urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. They are the first specialty on our list of best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017 to hit the $400K mark. And, let me tell you, though I’m sure I don’t need to, that this is not a small number at all, especially in comparison to the average household income in America which is merely $67,565.
Average annual compensation: $410,000
Cardiologists like oncologists did not experience an increase in income since last year. However, their job is nothing if not extremely significant. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, which means that it is entirely necessary that this specialty keeps growing.
2. Plastic Surgery
Average annual compensation: $440,000
America is a good place for cosmetic surgeons. I mean it is after all one of the countries with the most plastic surgery per capita in the world. Plastic surgery is also the fortunate field of medicine which, according to our source has enjoyed the highest percentage of increase in income, with a huge jump of 24%.
Average annual compensation: $489,000
Closing our list of the best paying jobs for doctors in the US in 2017 are orthopedic specialists, who enjoy the highest earning by a very large margin. These doctors deal with issues of the bone and muscle, and maybe it’s the high demand for such physicians, considering that bone diseases have become so common, that they are paid such exorbitant numbers.