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The Average Salary of a Doctor

The average salary for doctors ranges from $183,180 for pediatricians to $258,100 for anesthesiologists. 

Becoming a doctor involves paying a bundle for medical school and putting in long hours, but the financial pay-off can be substantial. Curious about the average salary of a doctor? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll break down the average salary by field and highlight some of the top-paying areas for doctors. 

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You’re probably aware that specialists tend to earn higher salaries than primary care physicians and pediatricians, but did you know that the average salary of an anesthesiologist is $74,920 higher than the average salary of a pediatrician? Let’s take a look at the average salary in some of the different kinds of medical professions on which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects data (presented here in increasing order).

The Average Salary of a Doctor: Pediatricians

The Average Salary of a Doctor

Like teachers, pediatricians are paid less than you might expect considering the importance of their work. According to BLS data, pediatricians earn a mean annual wage of $183,180 and a mean hourly wage of $88.07. The top-paying state for pediatricians is Mississippi, where the annual mean wage for pediatricians is $266,040. Other high-paying states for pediatricians are Utah, Montana, South Dakota and Massachusetts. The top-paying metro area for pediatricians is Syracuse, NY. Other high-paying metro areas are Jacksonville, FL; Chattanooga, TN-GA; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL and Fresno, CA.

The Average Salary of a Doctor: Family and General Practitioners

Family and general practitioners make more than pediatricians, but less than doctors whose work is more specialized. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for family and general practitioners is $192,120. The mean hourly wage? $92.36. The top-paying state for family and general practitioners is Alaska, where the annual mean wage is $235,600. Other high-paying states for family and general practitioners are Iowa, Kansas, Hawaii and Mississippi. The top-paying metro area for family and general practitioners is Decatur, IL. Other high-paying metros are Wenatchee, WA; Houma-Thibodaux, LA; Appleton, WI and Bismarck, ND.

Related Article: The Cost of Medical School

The Average Salary of a Doctor: Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists earn a mean annual wage of $193,680 and a mean hourly wage of $93.12. The top-paying state for psychiatrists is California, where the annual mean wage is $250,090. Other high-paying states are Wyoming, South Dakota, Indiana and Alaska. The top-paying metro area for psychiatrists is Wichita Falls, TX. Other high-paying metro areas are Vallejo-Fairfield, CA; Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA and Tucson, AZ.

The Average Salary of a Doctor: Internists

Internists earn a mean annual wage of $196,520 and a mean hourly wage of $94.48. The top-paying state for internists is Arkansas, with an annual mean wage of $265,360. Other high-paying states are Georgia, South Dakota, Indiana and Alabama. The top-paying metro area for internists is Tallahassee, FL. Other high-paying metro areas for internists are Stockton-Lodi, CA; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL; Modesto, CA and Jackson, MS.

The Average Salary of a Doctor: Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Obstetricians and gynecologists earn a mean annual wage of $222,400 and a mean hourly wage of $106.92. The top-paying state for obstetricians and gynecologists is Wyoming. Other high-paying states are Wisconsin, West Virginia, Nevada and Iowa. The top-paying metro area for obstetricians and gynecologists is West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL. Other high-paying metro areas are San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA; Salinas, CA; North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL and Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR.

The Average Salary of a Doctor: Anesthesiologists

The Average Salary of a Doctor

The highest earners on our list are anesthesiologists. The mean annual wage for anesthesiologists is $258,100. The mean hourly wage is $124.09. Yes, anesthesiologists average higher salaries than family and general practitioners, but they also pay much more for malpractice insurance than GPs do. The top-paying state for anesthesiologists is Wyoming. Other high-paying states are Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon and Oklahoma. The top-paying metro area for anesthesiologists is Lewiston-Auburn, ME. Other high-paying metro areas are Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA; Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ; Wichita, KS and Tulsa, OK.

Related Article: The Highest-Paying College Major in Every State

Bottom Line

Becoming a doctor is a huge investment of time and money, but the pay-off comes in the form of a financially and emotionally rewarding career. As you can see from the data on the average salary of various kinds of doctors, a six-figure salary is the norm. Salaries vary considerably by specialty and location, however.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/UberImages, ©iStock.com/DragonImages

Amelia Josephson Amelia Josephson is a writer passionate about covering financial literacy topics. Her areas of expertise include retirement and home buying. Amelia's work has appeared across the web, including on AOL, CBS News and The Simple Dollar. She holds degrees from Columbia and Oxford. Originally from Alaska, Amelia now calls Brooklyn home.
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