Oncologists diagnose and treat patients with cancer. They work in the fields of radiation, surgical and medical, and some specialize in pediatrics and gynecologic cancers. On the upper end are oncologists in the US. The oncologist salary in the US is $246,000, significantly higher than the UK salary of £48,450 per year. Salaries for oncologists in Australia and New Zealand are similar at AU$147,000 (US$114,784) and NZ$175,000 (US$124,069), respectively, while those in Canada earn around C$135,000 (US$107,088) per year. There are salary variances worldwide with further details outlined in this guide.
How Much Does an Oncologist Make?
The chart below outlines salaries and USD conversions in select countries worldwide.
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Oncologist Salary Determinant Factors
The greatest factors influencing incomes for oncologists are geographic region, professional experience, and work setting. The following paragraphs include information on salary, benefits and future job outlook.
1. How Much Does an Oncologist Make by Country?
Oncologist Salary in the US
Oncologists in the US earn between $109,000 and $411,000 per year, according to PayScale.There is potential for additional bonus income of up to $50,000 per year depending on experience levels and employer. Some employers may also offer up to $6,000 in profit sharing. While entry-level salaries are high, exceeding six figures, incomes peak for those with 20 years’ experience or more.
Oncologist Salary in Canada
In Canada, oncologists earn about C$135,000 per year. Entry level professionals can expect to earn around C$50,000 per year, and salaries increase significantly with experience to more than C$307,000 annually. The Canadian Medical Association reports that 68% of oncologists work in hospital settings, some of which are academic and teaching facilities. About 65% of oncologists work in an Academic Health Sciences Centre that has a partnership with a university and focuses on research, education, and training, in addition to patient care. For this reason, many oncologists in Canada may spend more hours working in other roles outside of direct patient care.
Oncologist Salary in the UK
The National Health Service (NHS) of UK funds most oncology positions, setting a guideline for salaries in this career. Incomes begin at about £23,000 per year for those in training at Band 6 and increase to around £40,000 with advancement to Band 7. Career professionals advance to Bands 8 and 9 where salaries can reach £102,000 per year. Overtime pay is offered for hours worked in excess of 37.5 hours per week and high-cost area supplements are typically provided for those living and working in London and nearby areas.
Oncologist Salary in Australia
Oncologists in Australia earn a median annual salary of around AU$147,000. Beginners start off with around AU$30,000 per year. With experience come sharply increased incomes reaching nearly AU$328,000 per year. There is potential for an additional $92,500 in bonus pay. Bonus can add another AU$92,500 to the yearly income of an oncologist working in Australia.
Oncologist Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the average annual salary for an oncologist is NZ$175,000. Oncologists in training and working for the District Health Board (DHB) earn between NZ$70,000 and NZ$175,000 per year. Salaries increase to between NZ$175,000 and NZ$216,000 annually for qualified oncologists. Those working in the private sector earn much higher incomes. The largest oncologist salaries in this sector can be as much as NZ$600,000 per year.
As more people choose to enter a career in oncology, there is more competition for employment in this area of specialization. Additional oncologists in the country may also result in over-saturation in the field and cause future salaries to slip.
2. How Much Does an Oncologist Make According to Experience?
Experience strongly influences global incomes for oncologists. In the US, the difference between entry-level salaries and pay for senior-level professionals is nearly $330,000, or a difference of 327%. In Canada where most oncologists work in hospital settings, experience results in a 510% increase in pay over entry-level incomes. To practice as an oncologist, an undergraduate degree, typically in a science-related field is necessary, followed by a medical degree. Residency and additional training can take 13 years. Oncologists must successfully complete a practical exam and register with the state or province to maintain licensure and qualifications to practice medicine in the respective country.
Recommended read: If you are interested in other similar jobs, you should also check out our rundown of the pediatric oncologist salary in English-speaking countries!
3. How Much Does an Oncologist Make According to Work Environment?
Oncologists can work in hospitals, clinics, private practice, and universities. In Canada, most oncologists work in hospitals, many of which are affiliated with academics, therefore, work setting has less influence on income compared to the impact of the experience. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the difference between the upper range of most oncologists and those working in private practice is nearly NZ$400,000 per year.
Most oncologists work a full-time schedule during Monday through Friday during typical work hours. Those working in hospitals may work additional evening, weekend and holiday hours. The National Health Service of UK regards 37.5 hours per week as full-time. The District Health Board of New Zealand, on the other hand, defines 40 hours per week as full-time. Only 40% of oncologists working in the UK have to work on weekends. Oncologists working in Canada and the US typically work more than 52 hours per week. Despite the potential for long work hours and the potential for emotionally challenging and stressful patient cases and life-impacting decisions, most oncologists indicate high job satisfaction.
Bonuses and Benefits
Most oncologists worldwide receive full healthcare benefits, including medical, dental and vision coverage. Paid holidays, vacation and sick time are also common, and some employers offer overtime pay, bonuses and profit sharing. Oncologists working in hospitals may receive allowances for meals, overnight accommodations for long shifts, and travel and fee reimbursement for continuing medical education courses and training.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 14% job growth between 2014 and 2024 due to an aging population and increased research that has resulted in successful oncology treatments. Despite these factors, in New Zealand, there has been a rise in those entering a career in oncology. This, in turn, has brought increased competition for employment. Similarly, in Canada, the number of oncologists has been steadily rising in the past years, according to te CMA.
Oncologists are highly trained and well paid medical specialists. Despite stress and potentially long work hours in some countries, oncologists indicate high levels of job satisfaction. Opportunities for future employment are expected to increase overall, while some countries may experience stagnant demand with a current increase in those entering the oncology field.
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