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Pediatrician Salaries Depend on a Number of Factors

As with any job, there are several factors that will directly affect a pediatrician’s salary. Of course, the most obvious would be education and experience, including specialty and subspecialty board certification. Whether the professional decides to work for a medical facility or open their own practice will also impact their salary, although as will be discussed later other costs can be defrayed that tends to equalize pay levels. Finally, geographic location within the country will change the expected salary for a pediatrician.

For a pediatrician out of residency for just a few years the average starting salary is around $135,000, while overall the average pediatrician salary is in the area of $175,000 a year.

Pediatrician Salary by Subspecialty

As with any medical career, a major determinant of salary is the level of specialization. While the average salary for pediatricians is around $175,000, that of pediatric specialists is typically higher. Pediatricians with at least 3 years experience who are specialized in neurology or oncology/hematology can typically earn up to $250,000, while pediatric surgeons typically earn $400,000-$500,000 a year.

CejkaSearch.com published the following data showing median pediatrician compensation, by specialty. The original data is from the AMGA (American Medical Group Association) 2009 Physician Compensation Survey:

Specialty Median
Pediatric Allergy $195,973
Pediatric Cardiology $244,944
Pediatric Endocrinology $185,901
Pediatric Gastroenterology $236,700
Pediatric Hematology / Oncology $205,999
Pediatric Infectious Disease $199,165
Pediatric Intensive Care $265,913
Pediatric Nephrology $217,767
Pediatric Neurology $209,955
Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery $424,367
Pediatric Pulmonology $176,974
Pediatric Surgery $400,591
Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
$202,832

Additional pediatric subspecialties not listed above include:

  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Medical Toxicology
  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  • Rheumatology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Transplant Hepatology
  • Sleep Medicine

Private Practice Pediatrics Salary vs. Salaries of Employed Pediatricians

Private practice physicians typically have higher gross incomes and more autonomy than physicians employed by medical institutions. That said, physicians in large practices or hospital-associated practices report that once malpractice coverage, retirement contributions, life insurance and health benefits are taken into account, their compensation comes close to that of private practice physicians. Employed physicians also tend to report that they carry more of a "family friendly" 40 hour work week than the private practice physician, and that they appreciate the paid vacation time. Ultimately, when deciding whether to work in a private practice or as an employed pediatrician, your desired lifestyle and personal preferences can carry as much weight as the expected fiscal returns.

Locum Tenens Salary

Another factor that will directly affect salary is whether the pediatrician pursues a career in a permanent, long-term setting (either at their own practice or at a medical facility) or as a locum tenens physician.

For Locum Tenens, salary will depend on how the temporary work is laid out. Medical facilities may pay by the hour, per diem, by the week, or by the month. Still others pay for on-call pediatrician work. Overtime may be compensated at a time-and-a-half rate.

A typical per diem rate for the average locum tenens pediatrician is in the range of $400 to $430, with malpractice insurance, travel and housing expenses usually covered by the hiring company.

Other Resources

Payscale Salary Information

Physician Job Search for all specialties

Pediatrics jobs by subspecialty and geographic location

American Board of Pediatrics (ABP)

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