Joanna Marie, Negosentro | Cardiology is one of the most lucrative medical specialties one can choose. It’s also one of the positions with the best job prospects in the industry. However, there are several factors that could lead to someone earning more or less as a cardiologist. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to make as a cardiologist and what the future for the profession looks like.
The Average Stats
The average cardiologist earns around $350,000 a year. This translates to a cardiologist salary per hour of $170. According to a 2012 Medscape survey, it was the second highest average salary for a medical discipline.
Only one in seven cardiologists said they earned less than $200,000 a year. Cardiologists, excluding surgeons, in the bottom quartile earned an average of $131,000. This means that the worst performing cardiologists were still rivaling the pay rate for internists and general family doctors.
Cardiac surgeons earn far more than cardiologists. This is in part because they have an additional one to two years of surgical training above and beyond the years of cardiology training cardiologists must have. Cardiothoracic surgeons have a median income of half a million dollars a year. The hourly rates for invasive cardiologists range from $160 to $240 an hour.
Interventional cardiologists, those that perform procedures like a balloon angioplasty, have a median pay rate of around $400,000 a year.
Factors That Impact Cardiologist Pay
Surgeons and interventional cardiologists make more than medical specialists; this increased pay partially offsets their much longer training period and their limited supply. Pediatric cardiologists need specialized training dealing with children and earn around $220,000 a year. This rivaled the pay rate for internists.
Where you work impacts the pay rate. Cardiologists working in the northeast had the lowest average salaries. The best paying area was the Great Lakes area and the Pacific Northwest. Pay is higher for doctors with experience.
Work environment also affected pay. Cardiologists working for single-specialty group practices like a heart center or cardiac rehab center were paid more than those who worked for a hospital. Cardiologists in solo practice earned less, but this is partially due to the fact that their personal income is essentially eaten up in overhead costs spread across multiple doctors in a group practice. If one doctor in a group practice goes on vacation, they may still receive a portion of the profits from the practice due to their ownership share.
The Long-Term Outlook for Cardiologists
An aging population suffers more cardiovascular disease than a younger one. The growing rates of diabetes and high blood pressure compound this problem. This is why demand for cardiologists is expected to grow by 24% over the next few years. This will cause pay for cardiologists to go up faster than the rate of inflation. The demand for cardiologists is expected to double between now and 2050 simply to keep up with the needs of an older population.
Cardiology is a lucrative medical field for those who can master it, regularly ranking among the highest compensated medical fields. And demand is only going to increase as the population ages.