Perm November 19, 2018

Physician Starting Salaries by Specialty: 2018 vs. 2017

What difference does a year make when it comes to average physician salary offers? It depends on your area of specialty.

AMN Healthcare tracks recruiting trends including salaries, bonuses, and other incentives offered to physicians and advanced practitioner candidates on an annual basis. Our latest report shows that just over half (11) of the top 20 recruited specialties saw a dip in their average starting salaries compared to last year, while the other nine saw an increase.

Now in its 25th year, the 2018 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives analyzed 3,045 recruiting assignments from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

This national sample shows that invasive cardiologists were offered the highest average physician salaries, at $590,000 for 2017/2018, which was up from an average of $563,000 the previous year. The lowest average physician salaries among the most-requested searches were paid to pediatricians, with an average salary of $230,000, compared to an average of $240,000 the previous year. 

Advanced practitioners also saw a mixed bag of results: the average salary offered to nurse practitioners for 2017/2018 was $129,000, which was an increase over the previous year, while the average salary offered to physician assistants was $109,000, which represented a decrease.

Average Physician Salaries: The Top 20 Recruited Specialties

This year-to-year comparison for the top 20 specialty searches conducted by AMN Healthcare represent physician starting salaries or guaranteed income only; these amounts do not include bonuses or benefits.

Medical Specialty 2017/2018 Average Salary Offer 2016/2017 Average Salary Offer
1. Cardiologist (Invasive) $590,000 $563,000
2. Orthopedic Surgeon $533,000 $579,000
3. Gastroenterologist $487,000 $492,000
4. Cardiologist (Non-invasive) $427,000 $428,000
5. Dermatologist $425,000 $421,000
6. Pulmonologist $418,000 $390,000
7. Otolaryngologist $405,000 $468,000
8. Urologist $386,000 $460,000
9. Anesthesiologist $371,000 $376,000
10. Emergency Medicine Physician $358,000 $349,000
11. OB/GYN $324,000 $335,000
12. Neurologist $301,000 $305,000
13. Hospitalist $269,000 $264,000
14. Psychiatrist $261,000 $263,000
15. Internal Medicine (Internist) $261,000 $257,000
16. Family Medicine Physician $241,000 $231,000
17. Urgent Care Physician $234,000 $219,000
18. Pediatrician $230,000 $240,000
19. Nurse Practitioner $129,000 $123,000
20. Physician Assistant $109,000 $115,000


To learn more about the salary and incentive packages offered to physicians and advanced practitioners in various workplace settings—including bonuses, relocation packages, student loan repayment, and other elements of compensation— download a copy of the 2018 Review. This comprehensive report also looks at the current demand for various medical specialties, and a number of trends that are impacting the healthcare workforce.

Similar Articles You May Also Like:

To find out what's out there for your physician career, search our locum tenens and permanent jobs from the link below.

Get Started Today    Search All Physician Jobs Now

Latest Blogs

Take the first step to starting your new career.

Authorized to work in the US? *
Job Type Interest *
Have you been on an Interim engagement with AMN before? *
Are you currently employed or on an active Interim engagement? *

How much notice would you have to give? *

What date are you available to start an Interim engagement? *

* Indicates Required Fields


I agree to receive emails, automated text messages and phone calls (including calls that contain prerecorded content) from and on behalf of AMN Healthcare, and affiliates. {{show_more}} I understand these messages will be to the email or phone number provided, and will be about employment opportunities, positions in which I’ve been placed, and my employment with AMN companies. See privacy policy or cookie policy for more details.

Complete Your Application!
AMN Healthcare NurseFinders logo
Continue to NurseFinders to complete your application and profile.