The rheumatologist salary range varies considerably based on specialization and experience. For rheumatologists with one to two years experience, the salary range is between USD 175,000 to USD 180,000.
A rheumatologist is a healthcare physician, who specializes in treatment of musculoskeletal and rheumatic medical conditions. All types of joint pain, sport injuries, arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle disorders, and other related autoimmune diseases come under rheumatology. Both non-surgical and surgical methodologies are applied for combating rheumatic diseases. Rheumatologists can work in private clinics, research centers, and government hospitals, depending on which the average salary varies.
Career in Rheumatology
Becoming a medical specialist in rheumatology requires thorough knowledge in human anatomy and skeletal details. If you have a passion for studying these aspects and applying them practically in therapeutic intervention, then a career in rheumatology may be perfect for you. In order to become a rheumatologist, you need to take science as your specialization in high school and then, complete your undergraduate in Pre-Med. You also need to take the Medical College Admissions Test or MCAT. Good grades and high MCAT scores are necessary to get admission in an accredited medical school.
Decide which specialization you want, either pediatrics or internal medicine. The former deals with treatment of children, while the latter deals with the diagnosis and treatment of adults. Majority of physicians take up internal medicine. However, the choice is up to you. Having done a residency, you can join a fellowship program for 2 to 4 years, where you will get an opportunity to learn specific therapeutic aspects applicable to rheumatology. Also, you can take up another two years practice for learning other specialities. Last, but not the least, you can give certification examinations in rheumatology, and your specialization.
As we all know, medical professionals are the highest paid in the United States. Similar to other medical jobs, a rheumatologist salary is impressive with a six-figure annual package. According to the salary estimates released in 2009, the median salary range for rheumatologists was USD 119,000 to USD 167,000. This is just an estimate, while most rheumatology specialists earn approximately between USD 175,000 to USD 180,000. Coming to pediatric rheumatologist, the expected annual package is USD 155,202. Nevertheless, physicians who deal with neonatology have higher pay scale than those working on pediatric critical care unit.
The salary also depends upon several other factors, like the geographical location, education background and certification, size of the organization, employee credentials, and relative experience. For example, a rheumatologist having 3 years or more experience can earn up to USD 229,000, while those with more than 5 years experience may have an annual package of about USD 378,000. This way, the expected salary package is highly dependent upon specialization and experience.
A career in rheumatology has good future prospects. To be successful in the field of rheumatology, stay updated with new findings and treatments related to this medical field. You can either opt for a career in teaching as a professor in medical school, or treat patients in hospitals. Out of these two options, getting employed as an intensivist or pediatric rheumatologist is more challenging. The annual income is also more than those who choose a career in teaching rheumatology.