Medicine is filled with specialties and subspecialties. Urology is just one of them. This branch of medicine is involved with the problems associated with the male and female urinary tract as well as the male reproductive system. While a subspecialty itself, urology has its own subspecialties, including pediatric urology, urologic oncology and male infertility, to name only a few. Because so much knowledge of internal medicine, gynecology and other specialties is needed to become a urologist, earnings are often quite high.
As of 2011, the average annual salary for physicians was $184,650, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median wage — the “midpoint” salary for this occupation — is $187,199 a year. As far as statistics is concerned, the median wage is considered a better indicator of the average, because outlying salaries don’t skew the number. Since it's a specialized field, these figures aren’t necessarily a representation of earnings for a urologist.
A survey conducted by the American Medical Group Association found that the median salary for a urologist is $413,746 a year, as of 2011. Merritt Hawkins, a national placement firm for medical professionals, gives the average salary, which is just slightly higher than the median. This figure is closer to $453,000 a year. The highest paid salary reported was $550,000 a year, and the lowest paid salary was $320,000 a year. Regardless of earnings, any one of these wages is much more than the median for all physicians.
Where a urologist practices medicine can affect her salary more than you might think. Those working in a group practice often earn much more than those in a hospital. At a multidisciplinary practice, for example, a urologist averages $397,000 a year. At a hospital, this medical specialist earns over $200,000 less, averaging $192,000 a year.
In addition to location, gender affects earnings. As is the case with many industries, women tend to earn less than men. A female urologist averages $253,000 a year, while a male urologist averages $313,000 a year — an astounding $60,000 difference in earnings.
As with many organizations these days, hospitals and clinics must use incentives to entice candidates, especially those with experience. Besides high salaries, physicians are offered signing bonuses to accept a job. According to Merritt Hawkins, the average signing bonus was $23,790.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images