How Much Do Dermatologists Make

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Regular Hours and a Solid Income Help Secure a Financial Future

If you’re passionate about the field of medicine, love helping people and find academia enjoyable, a career as a dermatologist may provide a welcome way to live out your purpose. Dermatologists specialize in treating skin and skin conditions. They generally report feeling satisfied with their work, so, as a dermatologist, you could enjoy working with colleagues who are as happy to get up for work in the morning as you are. Regular benefits in most positions and less erratic hours than in some other medical specialties make this field a good fit for physicians with young families.

Job Description

Dermatologists meet with patients to discuss health concerns, examine the skin, order testing, diagnose skin disorders and prescribe treatment. Dermatology also involves educating patients about preventative skin care, such as avoiding direct sunlight, getting adequate nutrition, staying hydrated and using sunscreen. Sometimes, surgical procedures are necessary, most often in the office environment. Paperwork is a necessary part of documenting interactions and treatment for patients, as well as working on a team with nurses, office assistants and other doctors. Office hours are stable and not as chaotic as in many other medical specialties.

Education Requirements

Dermatologists are medical doctors and must obtain a bachelor’s degree and then go on to complete four years of medical school. Following graduation, you will complete a three-year residency in dermatology. To practice medicine, you must pass a licensing exam and keep current with continuing education requirements in your state to maintain licensure. Dermatologists typically take a test to become board certified in their specialty.

Dermatologists earn a median salary of $327,707, which means that half of all dermatologists earn more than this salary, while the other half earns less. The top 10 percent earns more than $432,141 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earns less than $239,356 per year.


Most dermatologists work in medical offices and clinics that hold regular business hours. Most procedures can be completed in an office environment, but occasionally, hospital surgery may be necessary. If you have young children or plan to start a family, you will like that most dermatologists do not routinely work overnight hours and that life-threatening emergencies with patients are not as common as in many other areas of medicine.

Years of Experience

Dermatologists are well-paid specialists and earn a handsome salary even as they are starting out, making it easy to secure a solid financial future for your children. Income increases with experience, and you could look forward to a growing income:

  • 1–2 Years: $293,885–$320,804
  • 3–4 Years: $295,956–$322,875
  • 5–6 Years: $297,336–$324,255
  • 7–9 Years: $301,478–$327,707
  • 10–14 Years: $310,451–$337,497
  • 1519 Years: $319,424–$348,104
  • 20 or More Years: $322,875–$352,183

Job Growth Trend

Employment of physicians is expected to increase more than 15 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than in other professions. Because of the stability and regular work hours in most dermatology positions, competition can be steep. Excel academically and look for a top-notch residency program to help you stand out among your peers.