What is an Endocrinologist
Endocrinologists are physicians who specialize in diseases and ailments related to the endocrine system, that is the system related to hormones and their creation and secretion. This includes disorders related to metabolism, respiration, excretion, reproduction, movement, and sensory perception. For more on job duties and how to become a endocrinologist, please visit our endocrinologist job description page.
The work environment for endocrinologists is most often in hospitals or private clinics, and includes clean, sterile, well-lit areas. Generally these will be comfortable work environments, with few potential hazards beyond the standard in medicine (ie patients with communicable diseases). There is rarely, if ever, a need to engage in surgical treatments or invasive procedures.
However, the work itself can be quite demanding, often more so than one might expect. Despite this, many endocrinologists report a higher than average job satisfaction, due in part to a higher salary.
Most endocrinologists will find themselves working well in excess of 40 hours per week. While they may attempt to maintain regular business hours, these can extend beyond for a variety of reasons; there are fewer endocrinologists than the demand would deem necessary, and there are many cases that, while not requiring emergency treatment, do require more speedy response than normal.
Endocrinologist Job Outlook and Prospects
There is a strong job outlook for endocrinologists, caused in part by an aging population. With an estimated ten percent of the US population having some form of diabetes or pre-diabetic condition, endocrinologists will be in great demand in the coming years. As well, advancing age can bring many other potential hormonal disorders. Furthermore, the United States is undergoing strong population growth, which will drive increased demand for endocrinologist services. All these factors combined will mean endocrinologists can expect to see at least a 14% job growth between 2012 and 2022.
What Affects Endocrinologist Salary
There is a large salary range for endocrinologists, though spanning $160,000 to $235,000 it isn’t as large as some fields of medicine. Still, with an average of around $185,000, endocrinologists are better-compensated than many other doctors, particular general physicians.
There are numerous factors influencing endocrinologist salary, including geographic location and experience. Of particular import, as well, is specialization; there are several sub-specialties for endocrinologists, all of which are in demand.
Education and Specialization
Endocrinologists have high educational requirements; after completing a four-year doctor of medicine degree, one must then engage in a three- or four-year residency, and finally complete a two-year fellowship specializing in endocrinology. This results in 14 years of post-secondary education before endocrinologists can be certified to practice.
This specialized education is not without its benefits; the starting salary for endocrinologists tends to average around $165,000 (though can vary depending on the state).
Of more particular note is specialization; one can focus on one of several areas of endocrinology, including pediatric and reproductive endocrinology. These specializations can make one’s skill set more desirable in the field, and lead to salary improvements.
Experience and Position
As mentioned, a starting endocrinologist salary will average around $165,000. After five years of practice, however, this can rise to an average as high as $215,000. This equals to a wage increase of approximately $10,000 per year (though salaries don’t tend to increase on such a regular scale).
Position is a further means of advancement, particularly for those with subspecialties. A pediatric endocrinologist may find themselves appointed head of the endocrinology or even a pediatrics department, bringing with it commensurate salary increases.
The industry worked will have some effect on endocrinologist salary, though not as great as some other factors. Those working in the outpatient care centers, for instance, will earn around $192,200. Working in a private practice, meanwhile, can bring a salary around $206,590. A specialty hospital (including those for psychiatric issues) however, brings the highest gains for endocrinologist salary, averaging approximately $210,450 per year.
While the information for endocrinologists specifically isn’t available from the bureau of labor an statistics, internists in general can see wage gains contrary to the typical trend of improvements in more urban areas; it seems the less populated states bring higher wages, with Montana in third position at $237,100. Alaska holds the second place, with an average salary of $239,720, in part due to a higher cost of living. South Dakota, however, has the highest average wages for endocrinologists, at $249,480.