Electrophysiologist salary held the fifth-highest position across the entire medical field in 2012. As of 2017, invasive cardiology specialties such as electrophysiology have a potential median income of $595,157 per year, and practitioners comprise 15 percent of all cardiologists in the field. Don't expect to join this lucrative field overnight, however. If you expect the right to perform invasive procedures in this high-stress, high-stakes field, you must first expend countless hours observing and performing routine medical care before anyone hands you sutures to close or a scalpel to open a vein and insert your first pacemaker.
Working as an EP, you determine whether your patient's heart beats too slowly, too quickly or irregularly when you discover heart rhythm issues. If needed, you insert a pacemaker, also known as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, to restore your patient's heart to an acceptable rhythm.
EPs specialize in creating treatment plans to correct heart rhythm irregularities that negatively impact your patient's ability to conduct typical activities of daily living for their age and lifestyle. Every beat of your heart generates a small electrical current. This current may be weak and cause a slower beat than it should, leaving your patient dull-witted and lethargic. Conversely, this electrical pulse may instead cause the heart to beat faster than it should, resulting in nervousness and jitters. The third possibility makes sufferers feel both lethargic and jittery. No matter which of the three conditions affect your patient's health at any given moment, you treat them all: bradycardia, which refers to a slow heartbeat; tachycardia, which describes a rapid heartbeat; and irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia.
Get used to waking up early for classes and lab work and expect to spend long hours earning your pre-med degree, followed by four years in medical school, and then three more years as an internal medicine practitioner before you earn your way to first becoming a cardiologist. After your third year in cardiology, you still face another three years of rigorous study in this highly competitive cardiac subspecialty. In total, you need at least 14 years of education and training before you can call yourself an electrophysiologist and start earning the half-million to million-dollar salaries that this field offers.
The field of electrophysiology falls under invasive cardiology, which makes specifics about the field challenging to ferret out. You find most industry projections buried in infographics about invasive cardiology or in governmental studies of public health, reported as percents of the total number of cardiologists measured against an aging population whose need and demand for invasive procedures far outstrip the distribution of existing practitioners. This means a stable number of existing positions, with most medical practices and hospitals offering significant incentives to relocate.
Years of Experience and Salary
The 14 years necessary to become an electrophysiologist can be compared to 11 years for cardiologists and eight years for internal medicine practitioners. However, with fully paid malpractice insurance, offers of $100,000 to pay off student loans, relocation packages that dwarf total annual compensation in other fields, and median EP cardiology salary between $500,000 to $1 million per annum, this field is among the most lucrative. In comparison, a median pediatric surgeon salary ranges between $211,390 and $251,890.
Job Growth Trend
Expect the need for electrophysiologists to remain high through 2036 as millennials approach retirement age, more than doubling the number of people who may experience cardiac disorders.