Top 10 Highest Paid Doctor Specialties

Doctors are among the highest paid professionals today. Their rigorous training and vital role in healthcare justify their high salaries. However, pay varies greatly across medical specialties. This article will explore the top 10 highest paid doctor specialties based on average annual salary.

10. Anesthesiology

An anesthesiologist ensures patient comfort and pain management before, during, and after surgery. They examine patients’ vital signs and make adjustments during procedures as needed. Anesthesiology training takes 4 years. These doctors can earn around $261,730 per year.

9. Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine physicians diagnose and treat acute illnesses and severe injuries in emergency departments. They must act quickly and precisely, drawing from a wide medical knowledge base. With 3 years training, emergency physicians can earn over $345,000 annually.

8. Plastic Surgery

Beyond dermatological procedures, plastic surgeons perform medical aesthetics and reconstruction. This includes repairing injuries, congenital issues, and damage from cancer or trauma surgeries. Plastic surgery training takes at least 2 years before earning around $393,073 per year.

7. Dermatology

Dermatologists diagnose and treat various skin conditions from acne to skin cancer. They perform skin exams, biopsies, cosmetic procedures, and more. After 4 years training, dermatologists earn around $412,000 annually.

6. Urology

Urologists specialize in urinary tract health for both genders and the male reproductive system. They address kidney stones, incontinence, infections, infertility, and more. Urologists earn around $412,000 after 5 years of training.

5. Radiology

Radiologists use medical imaging like x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to diagnose conditions. They interpret these tests and may administer radiation treatments for cancer patients. Radiologists earn $414,090 per year after 5 years of training.

4. Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists address issues affecting the digestive system including the esophagus, stomach, intestines and more. They handle cases like acid reflux, ulcers, and GI cancers. Gastroenterologists earn $450,000 after 6 years of training.

3. Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgeons treat musculoskeletal conditions, from sports injuries to tumors. They set broken bones, replace damaged joints, and perform related surgeries. Orthopedic surgeons earn around $497,000 after 5 years of training.

2. Cardiology

Cardiologists specialize in heart health. They assess cardiovascular function, order diagnostic tests, and treat heart conditions. Invasive cardiologists earn the most, performing procedures like bypass surgery. They earn $525,000 after 4 years training.

1. Neurosurgery

At the top are neurosurgeons, who perform intricate surgeries on the brain, spine, and nerves. They remove tumors, treat strokes, and more. Neurosurgeons earn $609,201 after 6 years of intensive training.


While all doctors contribute greatly to healthcare, some medical specialties clearly lead in high pay. Neurosurgeons, cardiologists, and orthopedic surgeons top the list, earning over $497,000 and up to $609,201 annually. However, keep in mind these high salaries generally require 5-7 years of rigorous specialty training. When choosing a medical career path, focus on your passions and interests, not just potential pay.