What Is a Doctor’s Median Pay In the US in 2024?

Based on the latest 2023 data from BLS, the median wage for doctors in the US is currently equal to or greater than $239,200 per year or $115.00 per hour.

Comparing this to the average pay figures in 2024, the salary rate has shown steady growth over the years.

This makes working as a medical doctor a lucrative field for those interested in studying medicine.

If you’re in medical school or are already practicing and looking to learn more about doctors’ median pay in the US, this brief report should be your ultimate guide.

Key Takeaways

  • Doctors earn a median salary of $239,200 in the US
  • Salary growth is estimated to be 5.62%
  • New York is the highest-paying state for doctors in the US
  • Neurosurgeons earn the highest average annual wage at ~$800k
  • The gender inequality gap in salary compensation is estimated to be 16%

Average Pay for Medical Doctors in the US

Doctors earn between $180,000 and $300,000 yearly, placing the average annual wage at $201,650. This is calculated without including bonuses and other employee benefits.

Specialists are often on the higher end of this scale. You can find salary compensation as high as $500,000 for physicians in areas such as plastic surgery.

Based on our Physician salary report, the difference between the lowest and highest earners can go as high as $80,000, with residents earning the least.

Moreover, we’ve seen steady growth in the field over the last four years.

Year Annual Salary
2020 $206,500
2021 $218,500
2022 $231,000
2023 $243,500
2024 $247,000

Tracking from 2020, our internal systems estimate the salary growth rate to be about 5.62% on average.

This means that there are better chances of earning significant income in the future, regardless of rising interest rates.

Average Pay for Doctors By Different Criteria

Doctors can earn significantly more or less based on several factors like location, specialty, and gender. We’ve outlined the different average pay ranges when considering these classifications.

Doctors Median Pay By Location

Over 12 states are paying above the national average salary, with New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania topping this list. New York, for instance, exceeds the national average salary by 16.7%, according to the data collected by ZipRecruiter.

Generally, the highest average salaries for medical doctors are concentrated in the US Northeast.

Highest-Paying State Average Annual Salary
New York $154,664
Vermont $152,540
Pennsylvania $141,630
New Hampshire $138,413
New Jersey $136,919
Washington $136,621
Massachusetts $135,299
Wyoming $134,814
Alaska $134,814
Wisconsin $134,431

The states with the lowest salaries for doctors are mostly concentrated in the US Southeast, with Arkansas’ $101,870 average annual salary barely passing the six-digit mark.

Lowest-Paying State Average Annual Salary
Arkansas $101,870
Florida $103,892
Michigan $107,116
Kentucky $107,311
West Virginia $109,383
North Carolina $111,512
Texas $112,182
Louisiana $112,193
Oklahoma $112,760
Kansas $113,103

Despite North Carolina being one of the lowest-paying states in the US, as well as the South in general, Charlotte is the top-paying city for doctors, with an average salary standing at $430,890 pre year.

Highest-Paying Cities Average Annual Salary
Charlotte $430,890
St. Louis $426,370
Oklahoma City $425,096
San Jose $418,600
Minneapolis $425,634
Phoenix $425,059

Top Ten Highest Earning Medical Specialists

Based on the latest data, here is a table of the top ten medical specialists by their average annual earnings:

Medical Specialty Average Annual Salary
Neurosurgeons $773,201
Thoracic Surgeons $684,663
Orthopedic Surgeons $633,620
Plastic Surgeons $556,698
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons $552,867
Vascular Surgeons $552,250
Radiation Oncologists $544,313
Radiologists $512,127
Cardiologists $497,000
Oncologists $489,000

Gender Pay Gap for Doctors in the US

As with most other fields, female physicians are often paid less than their male counterparts. During our 2024 compensation research, we found that this gap is represented by a whopping 16% salary difference. However, the percentage varies across different specialties.

For instance, in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, women earn $395,000 per year—47.3% less than the male doctors, earning $568,000

We’ll go further to highlight the top five specialties with the largest and smallest gender pay gap.

Specialty Male Female Specialty Male Female
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery $568k $395k Nuclear Medicine $394k $382k
Pediatric Pulmonology $282k $227k Pediatric Cardiology $344k $303k
Allergy & Immunology $329k $268k Pediatric Gastroenterology $293k $264k
Urology $515k $424k Hematology $358k $320k
Ophthalmology $468k $387k Pediatrics $283k $253k

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Field of Medicine Pays the Highest?

Neurosurgeons are among the top three highest earners in the US, followed by thoracic surgeons.

In the field of medicine, specialists can earn anywhere between $400,000 to $800,000 per year. The exact sum would depend on several factors, such as demand, location, and experience. You can check out our earnings report for physicians to learn more.

What Doctor Specialty With a High Salary Is the Easiest to Become?

The medical fields with high salaries that are easiest to get into are General Practitioners or Family Medicine Physicians.

These career paths are seen as more straightforward because the training required is less intense than others. For example, primary care physicians, such as GPs, might spend just three years in residency, compared to other medical specialties such as surgery, which can last up to seven years.

While GPs might not earn as much as other specialties, their salary compensation still makes it a lucrative career. The annual salary of a GP in the US is approximately $200,000.

What is the shortest residency with the highest pay?

When considering the shortest residency with the highest pay, Dermatologists always stand out.

Dermatology residency programs can take only four years, including a preliminary year (internship). Yet, Dermatologists still earn about $400,000 per year in the US.

In addition, as a Dermatologist you enjoy a better work-life balance; your schedule can often be easily predicted when compared to other specialties. You will often work in outpatient settings with fewer emergencies.

What is a doctor’s salary per hour?

Doctors can earn between $80 to $400 per hour.

The earnings would largely depend on the specialty, location, and experience, among other things. For instance, while a GP would earn $96 per hour, cardiologists or surgeons can earn up to $300 an hour.

Improve Your Salary Compensation Game with Physicians Thrive

Earning fair pay for your work should be a priority for every physician, considering the amount of work the job requires. While it can be tasking to stay updated with current salary trends across job boards and statistics reports, we at Physicians Thrive bring it all together for you.

We provide updated information on every medical field as well as consultation for new and experienced physicians. Collaborate with us today to enjoy our full benefits and stay updated with our free newsletters.

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