Podiatrists are foot doctors who specialize in one of five areas, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association: surgery, wound care, sports medicine, diabetic care and pediatrics. Podiatrist reconstruction surgeons -- or surgeon specialists -- repair the bones, cartilage and tissues in patients' feet due to injuries, accidents, deformities or diseases. If you want to become a podiatrist reconstruction surgeon, you can expect to earn a median salary of more than $200,000 annually.
Salaries of More Than $240,000
The median salary for a podiatric surgeon was $242,943 as of 2012, according to the American Medical Group Association's Compensation & Financial Survey. To work as a podiatrist reconstruction surgeon, you need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree and four years of medical school. After medical school, you will work in a residency program for three years, according to APMA. Employers may also require these foot surgeons to complete three-year fellowships, or postresidency training in their specialties, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other essential requirements include attention to detail and interpersonal and critical-thinking skills.
Top Pay in North Region
In 2012, median salaries for podiatrist reconstruction surgeons varied significantly within the four different U.S. regions. They earned the highest median salaries of $252,637 in the North, according to the AMGA survey. If you worked in the West region, you'd earn a median salary of $243,992 annually. Podiatrist reconstruction surgeons earned $210,020 and $189,903 in the South and East regions, respectively.
Double the Salary of Podiatrists
While podiatric surgeons earned median salaries of $242,943 in 2012, the BLS reported average annual salaries of $132,470 for all podiatrists as of May 2012. The top 10 percent made more than $167,500 annually. The job of a podiatric reconstruction surgeon is more specialized to a specific area of the body. Training for these surgeons is also more intricate and requires a higher skill level than that of a nonsurgical podiatrist. Both factors likely impact the higher pay for podiatric reconstruction surgeons. Podiatrists' salaries were highest in the offices of physicians, the BLS reported -- $157,590. New Hampshire and Colorado paid the two highest salaries of $186,940 and $182,140, respectively.
Excellent Job Growth
The BLS estimates a 20 percent increase in jobs for all podiatrists from 2010 to 2020 -- and above-average growth rate. Increases in population among senior Americans, who typically receive more medical treatments, may increase jobs for podiatrists and podiatrist reconstruction surgeons. More podiatrists are also expected to retire during this decade, which will also create jobs for podiatrists, including those who specialize in surgery.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Podiatrists Do
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Podiatrist
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Podiatrists: Job Outlook
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Podiatrists
- Cejka Search: 2012 AMGA Advanced Practice & Allied Health Compensation Data
- American Podiatric Medical Association: What Is a Podiatrist
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