If you’re considering a career as a gastroenterologist, you might be wondering about the earning potential in this specialized field. There are currently 14,126 gastroenterologists in the US, and demand isn’t declining.
While the field of gastroenterology can be challenging, it can also be financially rewarding. However, navigating the complex landscape of gastroenterologist salaries can be daunting, especially for those just starting out in the field.
We’ll highlight gastroenterologists’ average salaries, factors that can influence salaries, and tips for negotiating your compensation package. Knowing the salary averages will help you make informed decisions about your future.
What Is a Gastroenterologist and What Do They Do?
A gastroenterologist is a medical specialist who diagnoses and treats disorders of the digestive system. This includes:
- Small and large intestines
Gastroenterologists use a variety of tools and techniques to diagnose digestive disorders, such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, and imaging tests. They work closely with other medical professionals, such as dietitians and surgeons, to provide comprehensive care of their patient’s digestive health.
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How Much Do Gastroenterologists Make?
While top gastroenterologists can make up to $550,000 a year, here are the averages. Note that location and experience level are leading factors in salary pay.
Average Salary of a Gastroenterologist
The average salary of a gastroenterologist is $453,000. It is the 6th highest salary among healthcare specialties. Plastic surgery and orthopedics lead the specialties salary list. The demand for gastroenterologists seems to grow every year based on a variety of factors, most notably the aging population and their increase in digestive issues.
Factors Affecting Gastroenterologist Salaries
Gastroenterologist pay rises about 12% every year. Some of the reasons for the rise in demand for this healthcare specialty include the following:
- An aging population that experiences more digestive issues
- An increase in lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension
- An increase in gastrointestinal disorders
- Technology advancements in medical procedures enable better diagnosis and treatment.
- Awareness of the importance of maintaining good digestive health
Top States for Gastroenterologist Salaries
The top in-demand states for gastroenterologists based on the cost of living, demand, and salary::
- Alaska: salary average is $416,000, and the cost-of-living index is 133%
- Wyoming: salary average is $367,000, and the cost-of-living index is 91.6%
- Wisconsin: salary average is $365,000, and the cost-of-living index is 96.4%
- Maine: salary average is $376,000, and the cost-of-living index is 112.8%
- North Dakota: salary average is $375,000, and the cost-of-living index is 95.2%
- Washington: salary average is $398,000, and the cost-of-living index is 119.8%
- New Hampshire: salary average is $407,000, and the cost-of-living index is 122.4%
- Minnesota: salary average is $405,000, and the cost-of-living index is 101.8%
- South Dakota: salary average is $369,000, and the cost-of-living index is 98.5%
- Mississippi: salary average is $358,000, and the cost-of-living index is 85.1%
Top Employers for Gastroenterologists
These are some of the top employers who hire gastroenterologists:
- US Air Force
- Baylor Scott & White Health
- UnitedHealth Group
- Kaiser Permanente
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Average Incentive Bonus of a Gastroenterologist
An incentive bonus is an additional compensation that employers offer as an incentive to motivate and reward gastroenterologists for achieving specific goals or objectives. The bonus is typically offered as a one-time payment when the gastroenterologist meets or exceeds the bonus metrics.
About 57% of gastroenterologists receive an incentive bonus that averages about $74,000 a year. Sometimes these bonuses are awarded annually, and some get quarterly bonuses based on met goals.
Entry-Level Gastroenterologist Salary
As an entry-level gastroenterologist, the average salary range is between $285,000 and $406,000 per year. But a starting salary varies based on location, practice setting, and experience. Higher starting salaries are generally in urban areas.
Where Do Gastroenterologists Make the Most Money?
If you want to maximize your earnings as a gastroenterologist, you’ll want to work in a single specialty practice. The average salary is $583,410 compared to multispecialty practices, which average $520,700.
When comparing gastroenterologist salaries between employed vs. self-employed, there doesn’t seem to be a significant difference. Employed earn, on average, $405,000, and self-employed earn $408,000.
How to Negotiate Your Gastroenterologist Salary
If you are pursuing a career as a gastroenterologist, here are some valuable tips for negotiating your gastroenterologist salary:
- Research and learn the average salary range for gastroenterologists in your area.
- Highlight your accomplishments, certifications, and professional development activities that qualify you for a higher salary.
- Set your bottom line salary; the salary you can’t go below.
- Be confident, assertive, and respectful. Be prepared to explain your reasons for requesting a higher salary.
- Take into consideration the entire compensation package, including benefits, vacation time, and other perks.
- Be prepared to negotiate on other aspects of the job if the salary isn’t negotiable, such as asking for a signing bonus, incentive bonus, or an increase in benefits.
- Once you have reached an agreement, get it in writing to ensure all the details of the compensation package.
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Education and Training Requirements for Gastroenterologists
To become a gastroenterologist, you need to:
- Four years of medical school
- Three-year residency in internal medicine
- Gastroenterology fellowship training which requires an additional three years
- Additional subspecialty training
After all that, you’ll need to pass the examination administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine. It’s a long process that will require a deep commitment, but once complete will be a rewarding career.
Gastroenterology is a Worth-While Profession
Gastroenterology is a highly specialized medical field that requires extensive education and training, as well as a strong commitment to patient care. While the salary of a gastroenterologist can vary based on a couple of factors, it is generally considered a lucrative career.
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