Particularly when it comes to the medical field where salaries vary greatly by specialty, we feel strongly that that kind of information should be clear and transparent. In fact, we’re proud to say we’re the first physician job search site to show your pay upfront.

This in mind, we thought it might be helpful to share a breakdown of the average income for both permanent and locum tenens jobs by speciality. A few things to know out of the gate:

The mean salary of a doctor in the United States is $313,000/year according to a Medscape Report, up from $299,000/year in 2018 (+4.6%).

However, doctor salaries vary based on location and specialty. For instance, neurosurgeons make the most per year on average at $616K, while a Pediatric Infectious Disease doctor makes $185K. But one thing is for sure – full-time locum tenens medical professionals can expect to make 30-50% more than a permanent position.

In this article, we break down the average doctor salaries by specialty and compare that to an estimated locum tenens salary to show how much more you could be making through locum tenens work.

Doctor Salaries And Locum Tenens Salaries

Locum tenens medical professionals can expect to make between 30-50% more than a permanent position.

In the table below, we compare the national average annual salary by specialty and the estimated locum tenens salary a doctor could make.Search:

List of Doctor SpecialtiesNational Average Salary¹Locums Tenens Salary²
Thoracic Surgery$584,287$759,573
Orthopaedic Surgery$526,385$684,301
Radiation Oncology$486,089$631,916
Vascular Surgery$484,740$630,162
Plastic Surgery$433,000$562,900
General Surgery$403,000$523,900
Otolaryngology (ENT)$398,000$517,400
Colon & Rectal Surgery$373,000$484,900
Emergency Medicine$336,000$436,800
Obstetrics & Gynecology$335,000$435,500
Physical Medicine / Rehab$315,000$409,500
Pediatric Cardiology$303,000$393,900
Occupational Medicine$278,000$361,400
Pediatric Emergency Medicine$270,000$351,000
Pediatric Gastroenterology$268,000$348,400
Internal Medicine$264,000$343,200
Allergy & Immunology$263,000$341,900
Infectious Disease$262,000$340,600
Family Medicine$242,352$315,058
Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology$222,953$289,839
Pediatric Endocrinology$201,033$261,343
Pediatric Infectious Disease$185,892$241,660

1. Data from Doximity Report
2. Based on 30% average increase

Salary Trends From 2018 To 2019

While the mean salary for a doctor in the United States saw a +4.6% increase over the past year, not every specialty fared as well. Let’s take a look at who saw the biggest increases and decreases in the past year:

Biggest increases:

  • Medicine/Pediatrics saw the biggest change with a +9% increase from $232,000/year to $330,200/year.
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology saw a +7% increase from $208,524/year to $222,953/year.
  • Pediatric Cardiology saw a +7% increase from $283,000/year to $303,000/year.

Biggest decreases:

  • Plastic Surgery saw the biggest change with a -8.5% decrease from $473,212/year to $433,000/year.
  • Otolaryngology (ENT) saw a -7.6% decrease from $431,000/year to $398,000/year.
  • Endocrinology saw a -7.5% decrease from $266,000/year to $246,000/year.

The specialties that saw the least amount of change from year to year (<1%) were:

  • Pediatrics (+0.5%)
  • Urology (0%)
  • Emergency Medicine (0%)
  • Rheumatology (0%)
  • Radiology (-0.5%)

Working locum tenens allows doctors to work when and where they want while also getting paid a premium. Since locum tenens work is so flexible, many full-time doctors actually do locum tenens work on the side as supplemental income to their primary job.