Pediatrician Salary Overview

PediatricianPediatricians are physicians that specialize in the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. They focus on the preventive care for healthy children as well as the medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill. Pediatricians must complete three years of education in an accredited pediatric residency program after graduating from medical school.

Starting salary range

Starting pediatrician salaries range from $67,782 (Vermont) to $121,636 (Kentucky)*.

Average salary

A pediatrician's median salary is $163,933 and maximum pediatrician salaries top out at over $207,000**. Medium sized organizations tend to pay more than smaller practices or the largest facilities, according to Payscale's Median Salary by Company Size Charts

It is rare for physicians to change specialization, but there are many other ways pediatricians can advance their careers. They can advance through seniority, practice size, patient load, and advancement to practice management roles. Pediatricians who want to strike out on their own can set up a private practice, where their salary will depend on profitability of their small business. They can also advance their careers by moving to medium sized organizations, corporations, pharmaceutical/medical device/biotech companies, HMO/Insurance companies, federal, state, and local government work. Pediatricians can affiliate with universities to teach medical students and/or conduct medical research.

Pediatricians with a few years of experience can consult or contract. Some pediatricians will consult or contract full time, while others will pick up additional shifts as supplemental income. Typically the hourly consulting/contracting can be higher paying alternatives, though those options often don't include benefits.

Benefits and perks

Paid time off, pension, health care, insurance, bonus, and taxes increase the total compensation package by an average 24.7%**, bringing the median pediatrician total compensation to $217,563.

Salary negotiation tips

Larger and mid-sized institutions (hospitals, government health agencies, or private companies) typically set up a salary range (or salary band), so the organization will have a little room to move on salaries (about 5-10%). Smaller organizations, such as private medical practices are less likely to have as much wiggle room on salary. Either way, don't expect an employer to give you a higher salary just because you ask. Instead, prepare a well documented justification and stay within the organization's salary range for the specific position so you'll have a good chance at getting the salary increase you're targeting.

In addition, pediatricians and physicians have some other advantages in negotiating salaries. Shortages of certain specialties may exist in specific regions, resulting in higher salary opportunities. A profitable, large, and loyal patient following can also be translated into higher salary.

Your greatest ability to negotiate salary is when you have options. Interview with a number of hospitals, medical practices, federal/state/local government health agencies, university hospitals, and private companies,. In addition, do your homework – get salary information get salary information online with AOL Jobs Salary Center or from staffing and recruiting firms in your industry. Sometimes just having research on average salaries for your local market may provide rationale for a higher salary.

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