How Much Money Does a Pediatrician Make?

By Beth Greenwood; Updated July 05, 2017
Little girl at the doctor for a checkup
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Although no one wants a child to be sick or hurt, it’s nice to know pediatricians are there to help. Like most physicians, these child and adolescent specialists complete college, medical school and residency to obtain a license to practice, and are typically board-certified. Pediatricians were 10th on the list of nationwide recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins’ most-requested specialties in 2011. Salaries vary according to practice setting, gender and location.

Gender and Employment Gaps

General pediatricians earned an average annual salary of $170,530 and a median salary of $157,610 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Becker’s Hospital Review, reports a median salary of $222,827 for 2013, with base salaries varying from $145,000 to $300,000. Salaries varied by gender, according to Becker’s Hospital Review -- women earned $156,000 to men’s $190,000. Those pediatricians who hospital-employed grossed $162,000 while those in a multispecialty group practice earned $188,000.

Work Setting Matters

Pediatricians worked in five major settings in 2013, according to the BLS. Pediatricians in colleges, universities and professional schools earned the least, with an average annual salary of $102,680. General medical and surgical hospitals paid pediatricians $154,200. The average annual salary for pediatricians in outpatient care centers was $170,690. Physicians’ offices paid well, with an average annual salary of $177,080. In specialty hospitals, the highest-paying work setting in health care for pediatricians, they earned $184,410.

State of the States

Pediatricians in West Virginia, which the BLS notes was the lowest-paying state, earned $125,510 in 2013, considerably less than the national average. In the highest-paying five states, however, a pediatrician typically earned $200,000 or more. Wisconsin pediatricians earned $200,480 and those in Montana were paid $206,820. Pediatricians in South Dakota had an average annual salary of $208,690. Oklahoma pediatricians earned $217,220. Mississippi was the top-paying state of those reporting, with an average annual salary of $219,830.

City Mouse or Country Mouse

Although geographic location in general affected pediatricians’ salaries, those in metropolitan areas typically earned more than those in rural areas in 2013. The BLS notes the average salaries in southwestern Montana, the capital/northern New York area and Kansas were $222,620, $229,240 and $230,700, respectively. The three top-paying metropolitan areas were Jackson, Mississippi; Syracuse, New York; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Pediatricians in Jackson earned $247,510 and those in Syracuse were paid $248,040. The average annual salary in Baton Rouge was $250,980.

About the Author

Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.