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Whose Salary Is the Highest in a Hospital?

by Forest Time

There's little doubt about it. Health care is big business, and it's expanding rapidly. With an average pay of $56,450 across all types of employees, it's also no surprise that general hospitals have plenty of professionals who bring home six-figure salaries. However, some hospital employees certainly make more than others.

Chief Executives

As with most industries, chief executives tend to be among the highest earners. Sometimes called presidents or CEOs, chief executives direct hospital policy at the highest levels. As of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that chief executives of general hospitals earned an average salary of $201,100 per year -- one of the highest pay rates reported in the industry. What's surprising is that it's not always the highest.

Management Positions

Hospital managers tend to make six-figure salaries. General and operations managers earned the most, at an average of $121,900 a year. Financial managers ranked second among management positions, at $117,420 per year. Sales managers and information systems managers averaged about $112,000 per year, marketing managers averaged $109,020, and human resources managers earned an average of $107,540. Medical and health services managers, who oversee hospital personnel, earned an average of $104,680 per year at general hospitals.

Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians earn some of the highest rates of pay in the American economy. Even the lowest-paid, podiatrists, earned an average of $112,170 when working at general hospitals in 2012. Internists averaged $157,630 per year, pediatricians $149,380, and general practitioners $175,410 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that anesthesiologists earned one of the highest salaries among hospital employees, $196,700 per year. Obstetricians and gynecologists averaged even more, at $199,140. However, surgeons reported the highest average salary among all hospital employees in 2012, $218,630 per year.

Advanced Practice Nurses

Although nursing may not spring to mind as an incredibly lucrative profession, advanced practice nurses do fairly well for themselves in the income department. For example, nurse midwives working at general hospitals reported an average salary of $92,990 per year in 2012. Nurse practitioners did even better, with an average annual income of $95,470. However, it was nurse anesthetists who earned the most, by far. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who worked at general hospitals averaged $163,220 per year -- more than some types of physicians.

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