Podiatrists specialize in human movement and focus on providing medical care to their patients' feet and ankles. They hold a doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM degree, rather than an MD or DO. In addition to diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions of the foot, they are also qualified to perform surgery, prescribe drugs and administer medications for the lower limbs. Podiatrists earn significantly higher wages than most other occupations in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The national mean annual salary for podiatrists was $132,470 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 25 percent of the profession earned at least $167,500 per year, while the bottom 25 percent made $81,880 or less. Wages for podiatrists vary significantly based on such factors as experience, geographic location and type of employment.
Salaries for podiatrists tend to increase with experience. Salaries for those just starting out with up to five years experience ranged from $55,000 to $153,610.00 per year as of 2013, according to the ALLP Podiatrist Salary Guide website. The annual salary range for those with more than 10 years experience was from $65,000 to $200,670. Podiatrists with more than 20 years in practice earned between $76,600 and $206,710 per year.
New York was the state with the greatest number of podiatrists as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who practiced in New York earned mean annual wages of $122,900. Podiatrists in New Hampshire were among the most highly compensated with mean wages of $186,940 per year. Those who practiced in New Mexico earned some of the lowest mean annual wages for the profession at $102,350.
Podiatrists, like other physicians, work in a variety of employment environments, such as private offices and group practicies, on staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, on medical or nursing school faculties, as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces or for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their salaries often reflect their employment types. For example, podiatrists who worked in private physicians' offices earned mean annual wages of $157,590, while those who worked in general medical or surgical hospitals earned $112,170. Those employed by the federal executive branch of government averaged $103,620 per year.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Podiatrist
- ALLP: Podiatrist Salary Guide
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 29-1081 Podiatrists
- Explore Health Careers: Podiatrist
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States
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