Becoming a doctor is an extensive process. It’s also an extremely expensive one. That’s why you likely want to know how much do doctors make during residency? After all, once you’ve finished the schooling part and you’re getting into practicing medicine, you want to start making some money, right?
We’ll take a look at the different amounts you could make once you finish the in-class work and start actually getting into a residency program as a medical intern.
Salary is an important consideration. You want to make sure you can start paying your own bills and surviving a little better, but is that going to be possible during this three to seven-year span of time?
Read on to get your answers.
How Much do Medical Residents Get Paid?
The pay rates for medical residents vary based on the specific area that you’re working in, the type of facility you work for, and the specialty that you’re in. In general, however, residents make about $61,000. This rate is actually continuing to increase over the last few years, meaning medical residents are doing better year over year.
The year prior, residents made only about $59,000 on average. Keep in mind also that these rates are the average that most residents can expect to earn. Some smaller areas or less needed specialties may see lower rates. Those who work in more in demand specialties or in large hospitals and facilities may see higher rates.
Also, these rates are based on those who are working within the United States. Residency programs abroad could pay much higher or lower depending on the country that you are practicing in. These residency programs may or may not count toward your requirements for your US medical licensing and board approval.
How Much do Medical Residents Make per Month?
With an average yearly salary of around $61,000, residents average out to approximately $5,083 per month. Keep in mind that this is based on an average of the average. So, some residents will make more than this amount each month while others will earn less.
The exact amount that you can expect to make is going to be dependent on factors that we’ve mentioned above, including the area you work in, the specific facility, and your residency year. Residents who are in their first year tend to make less while those in later years, up to year 6, tend to make more. This amount is based on making the average quoted amount per year.
How Much do Medical Residents Make an Hour?
When we start dividing medical resident salaries down to an hourly rate, the numbers begin to look a little more dismal. That’s because medical residents, like all medical professionals, tend to work far more than the standard 40-hour workweek. In fact, it’s not uncommon for doctors and others in the medical field to work upwards of 60 to 80 hours per week.
What does this mean for your hourly wage? It means that the average hourly wage of someone working as a medical resident is around $25 per hour. This wage is the median, with many earning closer to $22 and some earning as much as $28 per hour. This is one reason that residents are generally considered salaried employees because their high number of hours makes it easier to pay them in this manner.
These hourly rates can often seem discouraging to medical students. After all, there are a number of other jobs that will pay around $25 per hour. And those other jobs typically require far less schooling and far less hard work. A yearly salary of $61,000 sounds better than $25 per hour, and even when thinking about the excess hours worked in this field, most residents don’t calculate the hourly wage in the same way.
When divided out over 40 hours per week, even the rates look rather low. When divided out over 60 or more hours, which most residents will work, they’re worse. This means that medical students need to be prepared for these lower wages when they’re starting out and need to be dedicated to their field overall. They need to be prepared to sacrifice their own needs in the short term to help people.
What’s the Average First Year Resident Salary?
A first-year resident salary will vary based on just where you are in your residency program. For first-year students, those who are freshest out of school with the least amount of experience, rates are around $53,100. This still comes in close to the average that we mentioned above for all residency students, though it’s on the lower end. This is something that’s to be expected overall.
If you’ve been in a residency program for a long time, however, you’ll find that rates of pay continue to climb. Residents who are in year six or higher see an average pay rate of $63,800. This helps to skew the average pay rate up slightly for residents as it comes in approximately $10,000 more than what newer residents are making.
As you get closer and closer to completing your residency, you’re expected to know more and more. This means that your abilities within the facility are appreciated more highly. As a result of that, you’re paid more to reflect your skills and experience. Keep in mind that the salaries paid to residents may vary depending on the specific facility that you work at. Also where that facility is located in the country.
If you’re hoping to get the higher end of the range, you may want to look at larger hospitals or bigger cities around your area.
What are the Highest-Paid Resident Salaries?
If you’re looking to get into the highest-paid specialties in medicine, you have to start during your residency program. Now, there are a number of different specialties that you can choose from, but only a few are going to get you into the highest pay brackets. Keep in mind, of course, that residents are paid far less than the doctors within these fields.
Rates of pay will also fluctuate somewhat based on where you are working and what year of your residency program you are in, but several programs show up at the very top of the list. For example, a surgical resident salary tends to show up toward the top of the list.
Others include medical geneticists, allergy & immunology, HIV and infectious diseases, specialized surgeons, plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine, cardiology, hematology, and critical care. These fields pay upwards of $65,000 per year. For more precise figures, check the table below.
What are the Lowest Paid Resident Salaries?
If you’re curious about the lowest-paid specialties, you may actually be somewhat surprised to see which fields fall into this category. Some of these are the more common field, which may be why some of them pay less than others. Here you’ll be making as much as $10,000 less than the top-paying areas.
Keep in mind again that these are averages based on different levels of residency, different areas of the country, and more. All of these factors go into determining the specific rate that you will be paid compared to others within the same or other fields.
Specialties that earn the least include family medicine, emergency medicine, internal medicine residency salary, and ophthalmology. Each of these fields average less than $60,000 per year. If you’re interested in seeing the specifics of just what these fields pay check out the table below.
How do Resident Salaries Change Over Time?
Over time, research shows that resident salaries are trending upwards. This is good news for those who are looking to go into medicine now and will be entering into residency within the next several years. It appears that the averages will continue to increase, which means that the pay rates in each specialty are starting to grow as well.
Over the past five years, residency pay averages have climbed approximately $6,000. While this isn’t a great deal of change, it does represent year-over-year change. For example, residents in 2015 averaged just over $55,000. Residents in 2016 just over $56,000 and residents in 2017 just over $57,000. In 2018 this number saw a more significant increase to over $59,000 with 2019 seeing the largest jump of all.
Each of these increases shows that those who do enter into the field have a high chance of seeing better numbers and increased rates for their work. Residency programs continue to reevaluate pay scales, and there is always a chance of continued increases for these students, even those starting with only their first year.
Medical Resident Salaries by Specialty: A Complete Table
If you’re looking at a specific residency program, you want to know what your pay average looks like. After all, this is going to play a part in what you decide to pursue. At the very least, you want to know what you can expect when you choose a residency. Or perhaps you want the opportunity to attempt entrance into higher-paying residency programs.
|Allergy & Immunology||$66,500|
|Plastic Surgery/Aesthetic Medicine||$65,600|
|OB/GYN & Women’s Health||$62,700|
|Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation||$60,300|
|Public Health & Preventive Medicine||$60,000|
How do Salaries Change After Residency?
Once you have completed your residency, you might expect your salary to increase exponentially, right? After all, you’ve probably heard a lot about how much doctors make. That might have been one of the things you thought about when you chose this career. Of course, you’re not a full-fledged doctor just yet. At this point, you’re going to become an attending rather than a resident, so what does that mean for you?
So, what can you expect for a medical attending salary?
The truth is that your salary is going to increase exponentially. During this period of time, which could happen anywhere from four to eight years after your graduation, depending on the specialty you chose to pursue, you could see a dramatic change. The average resident makes around $61,000 per year. The average attending makes approximately $197,000 per year.
What this means is you’re going to have a lot more money coming in and a whole new lifestyle to take on. Keep in mind that the same factors apply here as with a residency program.
You will find some attending physicians who make more and some who make less. This will depend on the location of the facility, the facility itself, and the specialty. Some attending physicians earn as low as $170,000, while others make as high as $220,000.
Once you complete these years as well, the average doctor actually makes around $223,000 per year. If you are considered a specialist, you could make an average of $329,000 per year. All of these salaries are quite a bit more than what you make during those first few years as a resident. Your salary after residency is definitely going to keep on changing.
Wrapping Things Up: How Much do Residents Make?
When it comes down to it, a resident makes a decent salary compared to much of the rest of the population. Compared to what attending physicians and doctors make, however, they’re not making much at all. With average annual salaries around $61,000, the average resident is making enough for a living, but generally not enough for paying down those student loan debts.
It’s going to be up to you which specific specialty you choose, and it should be dependent upon more than just financial reasons. Even still, those who enter into family medicine or internal medicine don’t do it for the money. They do it for the love of the field. Those who want to make more opt for fields like genetics and allergy or immunology.
If you found this post helpful, you’re definitely going to like our other medical school tips here.