The Average Neurologist Salary In The United States In 2024

Numerous factors, such as geographic location, years of experience, type of practice, and additional compensation components, significantly influence the average income of nephrologists.

This comprehensive guide shows you the average salary for nephrologists according to various authoritative sources.

We will analyze the key determinants impacting their income, and provides valuable insights into maximizing earnings and effectively managing finances.

Key Takeaways

  • The median nephrologist salary is reported at $312,000, according to Medscape.
  • Top-paying cities for nephrologists include Berkeley, CA, and Santa Monica, CA.
  • The average student loan debt for nephrologists is around $201,490.
  • Salary negotiations are crucial for securing the best compensation and should include considerations beyond base pay.

What Is the Average Nephrologist’s Salary?

The median nephrologist salary is $312,000, according to the Medscape Nephrologist Compensation Report of 2023.

That said, you’ll find discrepancies in average salary across different sources. There are many reasons for this, notably a difference in the data used.

For instance, some websites collect salary information from a small number of physicians who provide it to the site; some carry out surveys, while others may collect broader data from the medical field. Data may also come from varying time periods.

In addition, some resources include only base pay, while others include bonuses, benefits, and other components of total compensation.

Data discrepancies may also occur due to numerous factors that impact salary, which we discuss in further detail throughout this article.

Here is the average salary for nephrology from various sources:

The aforementioned salaries all lie within the range of $250,000. However, it’s still possible to see the nephrologist salaries crossing the $300,000 mark.

Here are the top 10 paying cities in the United States:

  • Berkeley, CA: $348,630
  • Renton, WA: $338,821
  • Santa Monica, CA: $336,112
  • Bailey’s Crossroads, VA: $330,269
  • Daly City, CA: $329,936
  • Boston, MA: $327,248
  • Auburn, ME: $324,135
  • Ladera Ranch, CA: $322,674
  • Scottsbluff, NE: $322,543
  • San Mateo, CA: $320,316

Factors That Affect Salary

You can expect a range of salaries within the nephrologist role. Here are the reasons why:

Years of Experience

As in any role, physicians tend to make less when they are starting out and grow their income over time as they gain years of experience and additional skills.

Payscale notes that entry-level nephrology physicians make around 15% less, while those in their mid-career make 7% more. Experienced ones make 12% more than the average.

Gender Pay Gap

You may have to account for a nephrologist’s gender wage gap in regard to the average salary.

According to Medscape’s compensation report, in 2023, male physicians earned around $386,000 per year, which is $86,000 more than female physicians.

That’s around 22% more, which, despite looking like a lot, is a smaller gap than the previous years when male practitioners earned around 27% more.

Career Demand

There have been fewer applicants for nephrology in the National Residency Match Program over time, and signs of limited job opportunities in this area.

However, there is expected to be more and continued demand for specific kidney care due to factors like the aging population and higher rates of kidney disease and injury.


According to, salary is impacted by the region of the country in which you work in this field.

For example, the median salary is roughly the same in the Midwest and South.

We can also look at how the size of the area impacts the pay rate, which is not necessarily how you might expect.

For this field, those working in non-metro areas with a population size of 20,000 to 49,999 make the most.

The next highest is the salary for metro areas with a population of 50,000 to 249,999.

The median salary continues to fall in metro areas with a population of 250,000 to 999,999 and in metro areas with a population of at least one million people.

Certain cities may also provide higher compensation, but you need to weigh this out against the cost of living in each location.

For instance, Comparably notes that nephrologists in San Francisco have the highest average salary at $328,224.

Nonetheless, this city also has the highest cost of living (VHCOL) in the nation.

Practice Type

Another factor is the type of practice. MGMA data shows that multispecialty practitioners make more than single-specialty practitioners.

In addition, the median salary is highest for nephrologists working in hospitals, though other majority-owned practices are close.

The salary is much lower at physician-owned practices.


Nephrologists can expect some pay variations due to education, skills, and certifications. and ZipRecruiter note that these qualifications can contribute to large salary ranges within the field.

Payscale notes skills connected to above-average pay compared to its listed average base salary of $247,614. These include:

Total Compensation

Much of the average nephrologist’s salary information covers base pay.

Then, there is often additional compensation that can increase your take-home pay and overall financial wellness.

For instance, many nephrologists make bonuses in addition to their salaries. says that the average bonus is $14,061.

Beyond the Salary: Other Things to Consider

Nephrologists should also pay special consideration to the following aspects:

Average Loan Debt for Physicians in Nephrology

Student Loan Planner explains that the average amount of medical school debt is about $201,490.

This is the same for all physicians, as specialization then occurs during fellowships and residencies.

Paying back the student loans cuts into your take-home pay once you become a physician in this field.

Because loans come with interest rates, repayment amounts to more than the cost of the loan.

This depends on the amount of debt and the associated interest rate(s).

A student loan forgiveness program may be a possibility, but these programs often come with restrictions.

If you don’t realize and disqualify yourself, you will need to repay the loans.

Even if you do qualify for the program, you will likely need to repay some of the debt, and you may need to take a lower-paying position.

Another option for reducing your student debt burden is refinancing, which can provide a better interest rate.

This cuts down on the total cost of repayment. We offer special discounts for refinancing.

Compare our rates to your current one to see if you could save on repayment.

Related Reading:The Full Breakdown to Medical School Loans

Choose a Strategy to Manage Your Money

To make the most of being a nephrologist, you wouldn’t likely be working for yourself or starting a practice with other physicians, as the data shows physician-owned practices have the lowest median salaries for nephrologists.

Instead, you’d likely be looking for an employer, ideally a hospital.

Working for an Employer

When you work for companies, consider benefits packages as a way to maximize your money.

You could take advantage of an employer-offered retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan.

Your employer sponsors the plan, automatically takes money from your paycheck to go toward it, and/or contributes to the account.

Setting Up a Retirement Plan

You could also set up your own retirement plan, such as an IRA, separate from your employer.

In addition to retirement planning, tax planning is another part of managing your salary and wealth.

Proper tax planning provides analysis and a plan that allows you to pay the lowest amount in taxes, which helps you maximize your salary.

Planning Your Financials

You can also work with a financial planner to guide investments.

Your planner can guide you in making the best choices of stocks, bonds, bank products, and other types of investments, which can help you make more from the money you have.

Utilizing Disability Insurance

Further, disability insurance provides a way to protect the income you have worked so hard to earn.

This type of insurance steps in if something occurs that gets in the way of your ability to carry out your medical care.

In this type of situation, you could continue to receive money through disability insurance to make up for at least part of your lost salary.

A qualified advisor can help you decide which is the best company to work with, discuss the difference between group and individual policies and even help you submit a claim should the need arise.

Related:The Complete Guide to Physician Retirement Planning

Improve Your Salary Negotiations Skills

Negotiating your salary is one of the most important steps you can take to increase your salary over the course of your career.

By negotiating smartly from the get-go, you can secure the best available pay from the beginning, only increasing it from there.

Then, it’s smart to renegotiate over time as you gain skills and experience or as other factors change. You also need to negotiate any time you switch employers.

Negotiating a contract is not only about the base salary.

A contract review should also focus on the benefits package and aim to get you extra compensation through bonuses, profit sharing, and any other available methods. It may also be possible to negotiate things like your job duties.

It’s helpful to have an expert who can provide their expertise on contract review and negotiations.

Through expert services, you can learn about typical compensation within your role, helping you secure the right amount of pay suited to your situation.

An expert can also help you negotiate the best total compensation and renegotiate as needed to continuously ensure you are getting as much as possible.

Reach out to us for an expert contract review.

Final Thoughts

As a nephrologist, you have many career options that determine how much you earn.

Where you work and in what type of setting can impact your earnings.

Each type of practice can offer different pay and a different lifestyle.

When deciding where your career will lead you, think about what you want your typical day to look like.

Finally, whether you’re just starting out or have an established nephrology career, we can help you negotiate your salary and benefits and plan for your financial future.

Contact Physicians Thrive today to learn more.

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