A pulmonologist is an internal medicine physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung issues. Pulmonologists in the US earn a median annual salary of $265,000 per year, followed by those in Canada who earn C$274,131 or US$214,584. Salaries in Australia and New Zealand are similar at AU$152,381 (US$117,526) and NZ$160,000 (US$112,176), respectively, while those in the UK fall behind at £98,000 (US$131,103). A pulmonologist salary varies worldwide according to a number of factors, which we will outline in this guide.
How Much Does a Pulmonologist Make?
Salary ranges for pulmonologists vary by geographic region as shown in the table below.
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Pulmonologist Salary Determinant Factors
Incomes for pulmonologists vary by geographic region; however, professional experience has the heaviest impact on income. Read further for additional information on earnings and entering a career in pulmonology.
1. How Much Does a Pulmonologist Make by Country?
Pulmonologist Salary in the US
In the US, pulmonologists earn a median annual salary of $265,000. Starting salaries for entry-level pulmonologists are quite high at $152,318 per year, increasing to nearly $380,000 annually with experience. Pulmonologists can earn an additional pay bonus of more than $80,000. According to Medscape.com, the highest salaries are earned in the North Central region of the country that includes the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, followed by the South Central states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas at $281,000. The lowest earnings are found in the Northwest where the average salary is $218,000.
Pulmonologist Salary in Canada
The annual income for pulmonologists in Canada, also known as respirologists, is C$274,131 with up to an additional C$25,000 in potential bonus pay. Those entering a career in pulmonology can expect to earn about $192,000 per year compared to more than C$384,000 in earnings for the most experienced pulmonologists.
Pulmonologist Salary in the UK
The UK National Health Service (NHS) funds most pulmonologist positions, and careers in the private sector often refer to the NHS salary ranges as a guide. Pulmonologists in the UK earn between £25,000 and £116,000 per year with the average salary at nearly £75,000. Excellence awards based on experience and performance are also available through the NHS while those in the private sector have the potential to earn nearly £15,000 in bonus pay. High-cost area supplements for positions in and near London are common for positions in the NHS and the private sector.
Pulmonologist Salary in Australia
The salary for pulmonologists in Australia is AU$152,381 per year. To enter a career in medicine, a one-year internship is mandatory, with an annual salary of about AU$45,000. At the conclusion of an additional five to seven years training, incomes increase significantly as those with 10 to 20 years’ experience earn between AU$200,000 and AU$350,000 per year with incomes peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience.
Pulmonologist Salary in New Zealand
Physician salaries in the public sector are set by the government, allowing consistency throughout the country. Pulmonologists earn between NZ$70,000 and NZ$300,000 per year with the median specialist income at NZ$160,000 annually. Additional pay is provided for time worked over 40 hours per week.
2. How Much Does a Pulmonologist Make According to Experience?
While starting salaries for pulmonologists are hefty, experience can boost incomes to far greater levels. The difference between incomes in Canada for entry-level professionals in training and those with 20 years’ or more experience is nearly C$340,000, representing at 588% increase. Incomes in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK also increase greatly at 329%, 356%, and 363%, respectively. While salaries for pulmonologists are higher in the US and increase with experience, this time in the career does not have as great of an impact with the difference being about $214,000, or 134%.
A career in pulmonology requires completion of medical school and a medical internship or residency, followed by an additional specialty training. In total, education and training after earning an undergraduate degree is between seven to 11 years, varying by country of practice. All countries reviewed in this guide require a medical exam and registration or licensure with a regulating board that may be at the state, province or federal level.
3. How Much Does a Pulmonologist Make According to Work Environment?
Pulmonologists work in hospitals, private practice, and educational institutions. In the US, those in private practice earn about $56,000 more per year. Many professionals in Canada, where experience greatly influences higher incomes, work in teaching hospitals.
Most pulmonologists work a full-time schedule of 37.5 hours for positions under the NHS of UK and 40 hours in New Zealand where overtime pay is provided. In the US where salaries are highest, pulmonologists work between 50 to 55 hours per week on average, not including on-call hours, while some may spend more than 65 hours per week in just patient treatment time. Typical work hours for pulmonologists in private practice are during common daytime hours from Monday through Friday, while evening, weekend and holiday hours are often required for those working in hospital settings where 24-hour care is provided. Most pulmonologists indicate high job satisfaction and say they would enter the same career if choosing again.
Bonuses and Benefits
Medical, dental and vision insurance are common benefits, while those working in private practice may be responsible for this expense. Paid vacation, holidays and sick time are typically offered, and some employers may pay a yearly bonus and overtime pay. Fees and travel expenses for conferences, training and continuing medical education may also be provided.
The need for pulmonologists is expected to increase globally due to an aging worldwide population. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 12% increase in job growth between 2014 and 2024, and New Zealand indicates a growing need as many professionals in medical careers are over the age of 55 and expected to retire in the coming years.
As with many of physician specialties, pulmonologists earn strong salaries worldwide. Future demand for these professionals should continue to support salary levels. Pulmonologists work in hospitals, with some affiliated with higher education and physician training, as well as in private practice. Pulmonologists indicate a high level of job satisfaction and are happy with their career choice.
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