Infectious disease physicians, sometimes called ID physicians or infectious disease specialists, are doctors of internal medicine qualified to treat chronic or acute illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses and other parasites. According to the American College of Physicians, a career as an ID physician requires a great deal of training: four years of undergraduate premedical study, four years of medical school, three years of residency and training, and then an additional three years of training specifically related to infectious diseases. Those who successfully complete the work can make a nice living, however.
Average Salary and Pay Scale
According to Medscape, infectious disease physicians earned an average of $170,000 per year in 2011. Approximately 14 percent of ID physicians reported salaries of $100,000 or less. Most ID physicians -- 71 percent -- reported annual salaries ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 per year. Only 4 percent of infectious disease specialists reported annual salaries of $350,000 or more. Male infectious disease physicians averaged $186,000 per year, while women in this occupation averaged only $140,000 per year.
Pay by Employment Situation
According to Medscape, infectious disease physicians working in single-specialty group practices earned the highest average salary by employment situation in 2011, averaging $254,000 per year. By comparison, those in multispecialty group practices averaged $177,000 per year. Those who practiced independently earned an average of $200,000 per year. Infectious disease physicians employed by hospitals reported an average annual salary of $168,000, while those employed by outpatient clinics averaged $146,000 per year.
Average Pay by Region
Infectious disease physicians reported very different average salaries in different parts of the country as of 2011. The very lowest pay, an average of $120,000 per year, was reported in the Northwest. At $143,000, ID physicians in the Mid-Atlantic states also reported a comparatively low average salary. Those in the Northeast averaged $154,000 per year, while those in the Southeast averaged $167,000. Very few states broke the $200,000 mark. Together, ID physicians in California and Hawaii reported an average annual salary of $207,000. Those in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas earned significantly more than ID physicians in any other part of the country, at an average of $294,000 per year.
Because health care is a fast growing industry, the job outlook for most types of doctors is excellent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for all types of physicians and surgeons are expected to grow at a rate of 24 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations. Employment prospects should be especially good for ID physicians specializing in HIV/AIDS, as many current HIV/AIDS specialists are expected to retire during the decade.
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