What Is the Maximum Salary I Can Expect Being a Dermatologist?

Dermatologists specialize in treating skin diseases.
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Dermatologists specialize in treating skin diseases.

Dermatologists are medical specialists who treat skin diseases. They are commonly seen by patients suffering from ailments such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, warts, moles and skin cancer. According to the website Medscape, 43 percent of practicing dermatologists were women as of 2011. The expected salary for dermatologists can be increased by selecting a lucrative geographical area in which to practice.

Average and Highest Pay

According to Medscape, dermatologists reported an average annual pay of $283,000 in 2011. However, female dermatologists made on average just 80.5 percent of what male dermatologists made, $252,000 per year compared to $313,000 per year. Still, some dermatologists made considerably more than the national average: 14 percent of practicing dermatologists reported an average salary of $500,000 or more per year in 2011.

Highest-Paying Practice Types

In its 2011 salary survey of dermatology compensation, Medscape found that the type of practice can have a significant impact on a dermatologist's expected salary. Those seeking the highest compensation possible should look to practice in a physician's office, whether an independent or group practice. According to Medscape, dermatologists in multispecialty group practices made the most, averaging $382,000 per year, those in single-specialty group practices averaged $329,000, and those in solo practices averaged $305,000 per year. By comparison, dermatologists in hospitals averaged just $157,000 per year.

Highest-Paying Geographical Areas

Aspiring dermatologists living in the states of Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas may want to consider a move if they are concerned with making the highest possible salary; these states reported the lowest average salary for dermatologists in 2011, $192,000. On the high end of the regional pay scale, dermatologists practicing in the Great Lakes region of the United States reported a high average salary of $312,000 per year. However, the highest salary was to be found in the Pacific states of Hawaii and California, where dermatologists commanded an average salary of $355,000 a year.

Job Outlook

By all indicators, the job outlook for aspiring dermatologists is excellent. The demand for most types of physicians is increasing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics;, which predicts a 24 percent increase in the profession through 2020. The industry website Dermatology Times reports that there remains a chronic shortage of dermatologists, with patients in many areas of the country waiting between six and eight weeks to be seen.

2016 Salary Information for Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons earned a median annual salary of $204,950 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, physicians and surgeons earned a 25th percentile salary of $131,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $261,170, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 713,800 people were employed in the U.S. as physicians and surgeons.

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