Average Dermatopathologist Salary In The United States In 2024

A dermatopathologist is a highly specialized field in the medical job market.

Being a niche area of medicine, dermatopathology isn’t often considered a career after medical school.

However, with the prevalence of skin disease cases rising, the demand for this will increase by at least 7%, especially in specific geographical areas that may require it more than others.

Whether you are an aspiring dermatopathologist, searching for a field to specialize in, or are already practicing but looking for new ways to improve your career and earning potential, we have you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • The median dermatopathologist salary reported by ZipRecruiter is $316,666, ranging from $300,000 to $350,000.
  • The top-paying states for dermatopathologists include New York ($356,025) and Vermont ($350,227).
  • The lowest-paying states are Oklahoma ($266,824) and Texas ($266,209).
  • The average student loan debt for dermatopathologists can exceed $200,000.
  • Managing student loans is essential for financial stability.

Average Dermatopathologist Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, The median dermatopathologist salary reported is $316,666, with a reasonable range between $300,000 and $350,000.

As with all professions in the medical field, the average annual compensation for certain practitioners can vary based on numerous factors.

The base salary for higher earners often reflects compensation and will come in other forms – bonuses, merit increases, insurance, and benefits.

As such, a completely different stat is provided by the well-known site Comparably. Here, the median salary reported is a much lower $$190,529.

The stats at Glassdoor may paint a different picture. The median salary reported is $281,000, with a reasonable range between $196,000 and $366,000.

Here are the top states that provide the best dermatopathologist salary:

State Salary
New York $356,025
Vermont $350,227
Maine $335,315
Pennsylvania $326,054
Washington $324,088
Massachusetts $319,247
New Hampshire $318,237
New Jersey $317,875
Alaska $317,453
Oregon $314,032

Meanwhile, here are the lowest-paying ones:

State Salary
Oklahoma $266,824
Texas $266,209
Kansas $265,655
North Carolina $263,621
Louisiana $261,811
Kentucky $253,342
Michigan $253,150
West Virginia $251,816
Arkansas $240,637
Florida $239,867

Factors Affecting Dermatopathologist Salary

While the ranges above may give you a clearer picture of what you are looking at, many factors will affect your income potential.

While some may be common knowledge affecting all professions, a few of them may surprise you.

Here are the most common elements that can affect your salary and base compensation:

Professional Experience

Indeed, experience is often a great indicator of success

Your clients, patients, employers, and business partners will be much more likely to trust that you are doing a great job if you have already done the exact position many years prior.

On paper, experience is one of the most critical indicators that make you known in your field.

Experience does much more than solidify your training and put it to good use; it also allows you to learn more about specific cases and offer specialized knowledge – which we will discuss further down this list.


Geographic locations within the United States play a significant role in determining your salary and overall compensation.

Starting with the school you choose to practice at, you can develop your opportunities in a specific location over another.

This will also influence your network, experiences, and possibilities.

Generally speaking, working in large urban areas such as New York and Pennsylvania will have a higher salary and demand for a dermatopathologist.

A study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2022 states that Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania are the top 5 states with the highest employment in the dermatological fields.

Location can play a significant role when competing for a position with someone with a similar seniority to you.

If you have worked on more cases, provided better quality work, and practiced in an area well-regarded in your field, it can provide the tipping of the scales necessary to secure that position – and increase your pay.

Interested in practicing in another state? See our State Guides for Practicing Medicine:

Illinois  | Texas  | Florida  | California  | New York

Specialties and Subspecialties

You will discover niche interests if you’re an aspiring dermatopathologist or already employed and practicing in the field.

In some cases, this can drastically improve your income. Dermatopathology is already a specialty of the dermatology field.

Further subspecialties will narrow your interests and skills to be more in demand for particular scenarios.

Is There a Gender Wage Gap for Dermatopathologists?

Although there is no specific data about dermatopathologist physicians, The National Library of Medicine reviewed the overall branch of dermatology in 2021.

The study stated that although some states continue to see female underrepresentation (mainly in the mountain states), the percentage of female dermatologists has drastically increased since 1970.

Still, according to the 2023 Medscape Dermatologist Compensation Report, male physicians earned around 19% more than their female peers.

Shortages and Demand

Shortages and increased demand for practicing dermatopathologists are enormous indicators of salary negotiations going your way.

At the same time, geographic needs are the most common. However, this is not the only factor that can influence demand.

Considering everything, private practices or specialized posts will be created for those with the correct training, expertise, specialty, and skills.

Health scares and research, such as discovering a new prevalent strain of skin disease, will create a necessity post-haste.

The medical field is already severely understaffed due to the lingering effects of health crises, employment issues, pandemics, and epidemics.

Average Loan Debt for Dermatopathologists

Student loan debt can vary greatly depending on background, specialties, and access to capital.

In general, it is not uncommon to see an outstanding balance of $200,000 or more. This doesn’t necessarily include only student loan debt.

A very high-interest loan granted through a line of credit or other avenue could service some of the debt.

Aspiring and practicing dermatopathologists need to consider student loan debt management as their primary way of removing the proverbial shackles to get their career off to a great start.

Don’t Ignore the Problem

The first step towards tackling student loan (and other) debt is to see how much you owe, what interest you pay, and when to start.

A standard error is capitalization, which ignores the problem at the source, and the compounding of debt interest will work against you and make you feel stuck before you even get your foot in the door.

Like your practice, you must examine and diagnose your issue before beginning treatment.

Income-Driven Repayment

There are four methods of income-driven repayments. You should explore all of them to determine which one is right for you.

One such program is the REPAYE program, which caps your payments to an affordable schedule that will give you enough breathing room to increase your income potential gradually.

There are other programs within the IDR method. However, some are geared towards professions where the income does not jump yearly.

The medical profession is the highest-earning profession in the United States, and most of your highest-earning years will be later in life.

A crucial aspect of this program is that you can apply for loan forgiveness down the line, which can exponentially assist you in getting to your financial goals faster.

Loan Refinancing

Although loan forgiveness is a great way to eliminate some of your debt, it is a particular process and may not come into effect unless specific criteria are met.

In addition, loan forgiveness and repayment may not happen until some payments have already been made – and may keep accumulating interest.

After you identify the problem, one of the best ways to start is to lower the interest rate and consolidate your loans if your debt is from multiple institutions.

Physicians Thrive offers special, discounted, and uniquely tailored rates to help doctors like you secure more favorable terms.

Keep Reading:The Full Breakdown to Medical School Loans.

Transforming Your Income Potential to a Stress-Free Retirement

If you are a young practitioner, you may feel like you can put off retirement to a later age or start contributing to your retirement once you have substantial income opportunities.

The reality is you can constantly adjust your contributions, but you will never be able to go back in time and take advantage of the 8th wonder of the world – compound interest.

Physicians, particularly those in specialized fields, usually start working after many of their peers who have pursued other careers.

By this, we mean you are already closer to retirement than your non-medical school friends.

Financial freedom should be considered as early as possible, and retirement planning should be comprehensive.

Contribute consistently to your employer’s 401(k) or 403 plans, and supplement these contributions by starting a traditional or Roth IRA.

If you are self-employed, looking into a SEP plan, and considering other investments in real estate, equities, and fixed-income instruments.

Related:The Complete Guide to Physician Retirement Planning

Determine Malpractice Insurance Coverage

It can get hectic quickly once you are employed or have started your practice.

Remember that malpractice insurance is not a luxury but a necessity for all physicians.

Almost half of physicians are being sued throughout their careers; malpractice insurance provides peace of mind and can protect your income from claims.

Here are three things to consider:

Claims-Made: A claims-made insurance covers you if the malpractice allegation happened while the policy was active.

Occurrence-Based: Although less common, an occurrence-based policy typically costs more but provides better coverage.

Regardless of when the claimant reported their complaint, you are covered for liability claims for events while your policy was active.

This is true even if it is not active.

Tail Insurance: Tail insurance is necessary to extend the coverage of your claims-made policy to have continuous coverage in the interim.

It is often used to cover you while switching to occurrence-based coverage.

Choosing precisely what you need is difficult. Physicians Thrive provides personalized consultation on your malpractice insurance coverage and options.

The Importance of Salary and Compensation Negotiations

Congratulations! After a long and successful journey, you may have finally made it through to the final round.

Going through various inspections, interviews, and other scrutinizing analyses can be daunting, but one of the most essential things about landing the job is your contract negotiation.

Asking for more can seem extremely difficult, especially if you have no leverage.

If you are currently shackled by student loan debt and are trying to enter your first or second job, it can further reduce your confidence, and you may jump at the first offer.

Physicians Thrive offers expert contract review services for doctors of all levels to examine whether you are using the full extent of your compensation and benefits package and provide the following steps for any further negotiations and recommendations.

Read this:What Doctors Can Expect During Physician Salary Negotiation

Final Thoughts

Your dermatopathology salary, benefits, and increasing income potential are all affected by many factors, including experience, demand, and location.

You can increase and diversify your income through real estate, starting a private practice, and taking on short-term contracts to prepare for retirement.

While some employers offer group plans, this is often not enough for many doctors due to the general coverage provided.

Self-employed physicians may not have any coverage whatsoever.

The financial experts at Physicians Thrive offer free disability insurance quotes that are right for you and your unique case.

We will work with you to customize a tremendous individual plan or to construct a competitive group plan for you.

Get a free copy of the Physicians Thrive 2024 Physician Compensation Report.

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