If you're looking to go into the medical field of oncology and you've already learned of the ways to get there, this article will give you an idea of the salary earnings over the course of an oncologist’s career.
First, know that after completing medical school, a candidate will then enroll in a residency program that best fits his or her skills and interests. Oncology is separated into five sub-categories: radiation oncology, medical oncology and hematology, pediatric oncology and hematology, gynecological oncology, and surgical oncology. Choosing one career path over the other will certainly affect your earnings potential. For example, if you choose to go into pediatric oncology, you'll be making about 50% less at your median than a doctor in radiation oncology, if not only for the additional training, than definitely for the expensive equipment. However, if you become the top pediatric oncologist in the field, you'll top out at 50% more than a mid-career doctor in radiation oncology. Typically, though, a surgeon or physician will earn a comfortable wage based on his or her experience and education. Additionally, most oncologists are trained to treat all types of patients and later choose to specialize. Here are the four sub-categories of oncologists' salaries broken down and explained.
This sub-category is generally comparable to radiology, but also focuses on the treatment of cancer through the ionization of cancer cells. The average work week is roughly 60 hours and, because positions are very competitive, a beginning salary would usually bottom out at $100,000. Of course, with better schooling and/or great performance, from mid-career onward, a radiation oncologist can reach salaries of $250,000-$375,000.
This is the typical path for an oncologist because doctors in this field are trained on every specialized level you see here, allowing them to treat a wider variety of patients and work in any major hospital. Physicians in this sub-category play an important role in a patient's life by prescribing treatment and recommending additional surgical options. Additionally, most medical oncologists are also trained as surgical oncologists. Starting salary for a medical oncologist and hematologist is $120,000. The mid-career salary for 2011 was roughly $250,000, and the top ten percent earned over $400,000 each.
A very small percentage of physicians specialize in oncology, and the percent specializing in pediatric oncology is even smaller. This intense specialization has the top pediatric oncologists earning upwards of $600,000. However, because the field is so small and competitive, a beginning salary can be as low as $90,000. The median salary is similar to all oncologists, roughly $250,000.
Similar to pediatric oncology, gynecological oncology is a very small field, and thus it has huge variation in the salary spectrum. Top earners are making over $500,000 per year, while some gynecological oncologists earn salaries as low as $70,000 per year. Again, know that these specialists comprise less than one percent of current oncologists, who comprise less than fifteen percent of all physicians in the United States.