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Do Judges or Doctors Get a Bigger Salary?

by Terri Williams

Judges and doctors have prestigious careers with lucrative salaries, and both professions have a considerable educational requirement. In terms of job outlook, demand for judges is increasing at 7 percent, which is much slower than the 24 percent growth rate projected for physicians and surgeons through 2020. And the salaries of doctors also exceed those of judges.

Average Salaries of Judges

Judges, magistrate judges and magistrates earned a mean annual wage of $102,470, or a mean hourly wage of $49.26, according to May 2012 salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earned a median annual wage of $115,760. The top 10 percent of earners made $166,880, while the bottom 10 percent of earners made $30,060.

Average Salaries of Doctors

The mean annual wage of general physicians and surgeons was $184,820 or a mean hourly wage of $88.86. However, certain specialties earned much more. For example, anesthesiologists earned a mean annual wage of $232,830 or a mean hourly wage of $111.94. Obstetricians and gynecologists earned a mean annual wage of $216,760 or a mean hourly wage of $104.21. General internists earned $191,520 yearly or $92.08 hourly.

Highest-Paying Employers of Judges

Judges, magistrate judges and magistrates earned the highest salaries working at the state government level with a mean annual wage of $118,910. They earned the second-highest salaries -- $86,690 -- in local governments. By states, California paid the highest salary of $168,350, followed by Nevada, which paid $164,370.

Highest Paying Employers of Doctors

General doctors and surgeons earned the highest salaries working in the offices of dentists and in medical and diagnostic laboratories, with respective salaries of $243,830 and $228,700. Anesthesiologists earned the highest salaries of $241,910 and $229,40 respectively, working in the offices of physicians and in specialty hospitals. The top paying states were Wyoming and Tennessee, where salaries for anesthesiologists exceeded $187,199. Obstetricians and gynecologists were paid the most in offices of physicians and outpatient care centers with respective salaries of $223,070 and $214,830. The highest-paying states for obstetricians and gynecologists were Idaho and Oklahoma, where salaries were at or above $249,960. General internists earned the highest salaries of $210,450 and $206,590 respectively, working in specialty hospitals and in the offices of physicians. In South Dakota and Alaska, they earned the highest salaries of $249,480 and $239,720, respectively.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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