What is a Urologist
Urologists are physicians who specialize in medical diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the genitourinary tract and its associated structures. This includes both male and female urinary tracts, including kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, bladder, and urethras, as well as male reproductive organs (gynecologists specialize in matters related to female reproductive organs). For more information on job duties, please visit our urologist job description page.
The vast majority of urologists will work in a hospital or private clinic setting. It can be a difficult or stressful environment, as some patients may present with severe pain and discomfort. There is also an intense surgical environment involved, with potential for highly unpleasant sights and smells.
However, despite a greater-than-normal potential for unpleasant or discomforting diseases, the work environment itself will be clean and well-lit, and the urologist will have a team to help deal with any surgical emergencies.
Urologists have a tendency to work longer hours than other health professions. While many cases of diagnosis and treatment can be straightforward and allow for regular business hours, surgeries can take much longer, and emergency surgery can be especially disruptive to a regular schedule. In cases where a patient in need of emergency surgery presents near the end of a shift, the surgeon may find themselves working for many hours beyond a normal day; it is not abnormal for a surgeon to work an occasional 24 hour day.
Urologist Job Outlook and Prospects
Though specific numbers are unavailable, the job outlook for urologists is quite promising, with a stronger-than-average expected growth in the next ten years. An aging population will lead to greater demand for services, as advanced age in particular can lead to issues with the urinary tract. As well, continued advances in diagnosing and treating disorders of the male reproductive organs will lead to a further demand for urologists. Finally, the population of urologists themselves is aging, with a higher-than-average expected retirement rate leading to a demand for new physicians.
What Affects Urologist Salary
The average urologist salary is over $334,379 per year according to salary.com, with the top echelons reaching averages of more than $500,000. There are a number of factors at work, particularly experience, geographic location, and specialization. Position and education can have minor roles to play in urologist salary as well.
It should be noted, however, that urology is a field primarily of older physicians; as mentioned, a higher-than-average number are nearing retirement age, so the average salary will likely lower in the coming years, until new urologists gain experience, and thus see wage increases.
Education and Specialization
Education is a less important consideration for urologist salary. Most urologists have a similar education, involving a doctor of medicine degree, followed by a residency. The length of the residency, as well as its focus, however, are where differences can be made; as well, the prestige of the university attended and of the hospital one completes their residency in, will lead to wage benefits.
Specialization is the most important aspect of an education. Pediatric urology, neurourology, andrology, reconstructive urology, and urogynecology are all areas of sub-specialization. There is a dearth of urologists with skills particular to these areas, leading to higher salaries for those skilled.
Furthermore, surgical urologists will earn significantly more than those who perform urinary and reproductive tests.
Experience and Position
Experience is another main factor for consideration in urologist salary. Greater experience and knowledge in the field brings higher salaries, so those urologists who have worked the longest, and have the most well-respected skills, earn salaries above $400,000; indeed, they can reach over $500,000 for some.
Position is less of a consideration. One can advance to a head of department position, or be offered a teaching position at a university. This will lead to modest wage increases.
The industry worked does have some bearing on urologist salary, however there are a lesser number of options for urologists than some other fields. Working in a hospital or private clinic will bring salaries in excess of $425,000. Working for the federal executive branch, however, one can expect a salary closer to $385,000.
Geographic location is another of the main factors affecting urologist salary. The data is for this is spotty, however working in somewhere such as Appleton, WI can bring wages averaging $448,280. In Puerto Rico, however, the average salary is around $233,080. Generally, salaries are higher in metropolitan areas, as there are a greater number of patients, and larger hospitals.