How Much Do Expert Witnesses Make in the United States?

An expert witness’s salary can be anywhere between $136,000 to $250,000. This medical side hustle is an excellent way for doctors to make some extra income from a job related to their primary field.

This article explains how expert witnesses are paid and the ways they can achieve financial stability.

Key Takeaways

  • New York is the highest-paying state for expert witnesses, averaging $155,628 per year.
  • Conversely, North Carolina sits at the bottom, with an annual of just under $100,000.
  • Being an expert witness isn’t a career in itself; it’s more of a potential side hustle for doctors.

How Much Do Physician Expert Witnesses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter’s latest 2024 data, an expert witness doctor in the United States makes around $140,373 a year, $11,697 per month, $2,699 a week, or $67.49 an hour.

The data also suggests that the 90th percentile can make up to $400,000 per year, a much larger number compared to the national average.

Here are a couple more data sources:

Expert Witness Salary by State

As an expert witness, here are the top 10 states that will pay you:

State Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
New York $155,628 $12,969 $2,992 $74.82
Idaho $152,483 $12,706 $2,932 $73.31
California $149,157 $12,429 $2,868 $71.71
New Hampshire $144,581 $12,048 $2,780 $69.51
Vermont $142,511 $11,875 $2,740 $68.52
Maine $140,628 $11,719 $2,704 $67.61
Massachusetts $138,391 $11,532 $2,661 $66.53
Hawaii $138,253 $11,521 $2,658 $66.47
Nevada $137,440 $11,453 $2,643 $66.08
Arizona $136,473 $11,372 $2,624 $65.61

All data is sourced from ZipRecruiter

Comparatively, here are the bottom 10 paying states:

State Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
Arkansas $114,332 $9,527 $2,198 $54.97
Mississippi $113,681 $9,473 $2,186 $54.65
Illinois $112,736 $9,394 $2,168 $54.20
Michigan $112,624 $9,385 $2,165 $54.15
Florida $111,969 $9,330 $2,153 $53.83
Missouri $111,493 $9,291 $2,144 $53.60
Texas $111,118 $9,259 $2,136 $53.42
Georgia $109,366 $9,113 $2,103 $52.58
Louisiana $104,697 $8,724 $2,013 $50.34
North Carolina $99,053 $8,254 $1,904 $47.62

All data is sourced from ZipRecruiter

Is There a Gender Pay Gap Between Medical Expert Witnesses?

Yes, there is. While there are no estimated numbers or percentages in that regard, we can rely on sequencing from previous years to predict the answer.

For example, Medscape’s 2023 Physician Compensation Report saw that male primary care physicians earned 25% more than their female counterparts. There was also a 27% difference in pay between male and female specialists.

Medscape’s 2024 Report saw a reduction regarding primary care, with the PCP payment difference dropping to 17%. However, the payment gap among specialists stretched even more, becoming 31%.

Based on this data, we’re confident that, despite lacking specifics, there’s a gender pay gap between male and female medical expert witnesses.

How Are Medical Expert Witnesses Paid?

The compensation is based on hourly rates or a flat fee for a specific task, like deposition appearances or trial testimonies.

Here’s a breakdown of medical expert witness fees:

  • Retainers: Many experts require an upfront retainer fee, a non-refundable deposit to secure their services.
  • Hourly Rates: Expert witnesses typically charge an hourly rate for tasks like reviewing medical records, report writing, or preparing for depositions. They often command higher fees if more paperwork is involved.
  • Flat Fees: For specific appearances like depositions or trial testimony, a flat fee might be negotiated.

How Can Medical Expert Witnesses Achieve Financial Wellbeing?

Medical expert witnesses can achieve financial well-being by managing their income, planning their taxes, negotiating good contracts, and repaying or receiving student loan aid.

Becoming an expert witness in the medical field isn’t a traditional career path for most physicians. It’s more of a side hustle or additional income opportunity for established physicians.

In other words, there are no additional loans for that particular career path. You still, however, need to pay your student loans.

If you don’t know your way around these delicate subjects, then it’s best to consult an expert, and that’s when Physician’s Thrive comes into play.

A few Extra Words

Becoming a medical expert doesn’t have a dedicated learning path, but it still involves managing finances to achieve the best possible stability.

With our 7,000+ physicians helped through their careers, we have our record to speak for us. Contact us for a free quote so we can give you a financial career boost as well.

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