There is a reason many parents want their children to be doctors, lawyers or accountants. According to the highest paying occupations list from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost all the positions are taken by people in these professions. And the list is dominated by doctors across several branches of medicine. Psychiatrists top the list, followed by obstetricians and surgeons.
The time it takes to become a doctor is as long or longer than any other profession. After college, an aspiring doctor can spend three years in medical school, one or two years as a resident and one or two years longer in a fellowship.
Doximity recently published the fifth edition of its Physician Compensation Report, covering data for 2021 from a survey of 160,000 physicians. According to the report: “Our findings show that average pay for doctors increased by 3.8% this year, which is up from an increase of 1.5% last year. Like last year, the increase did not outpace the rate of inflation. In 2021, the 12-month headline inflation rate was 6.2%.”
The study also showed compensation by practice type, and these figures varied substantially. The average annual pay for neurosurgeons was $773,201 followed by thoracic surgeons at $684,663 and orthopedic surgeons at $633,629.
The lowest-paid doctors were those who practice pediatric infectious diseases at $201,844.
The difference by gender was extreme at $122,000 a year on average.
The city with the highest-paid doctors was Charlotte, North Carolina, at $462,706. St. Louis followed at $452,219. The lowest paying city was Baltimore at $330,917, just below Providence at $346,092.
These are the 10 cities where doctors make the most money:
- Charlotte, N.C. ($462,760)
- Louis, Mo. ($452,219)
- Buffalo, N.Y. ($426,440)
- Jacksonville, Fla. ($425,706)
- Orlando, Fla. ($425,634)
- Minneapolis, Minn. ($424,059)
- Milwaukee, Wis. ($422,735)
- Phoenix, Ariz. ($419,359)
- Dallas, Texas ($415,487)
- Los Angeles, Calif. ($414,925)