Pediatricians specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions in children from birth to 18 years of age. Pediatricians typically begin their educations by earning a four-year baccalaureate degree followed by a medical doctor (M.D.) degree from a four-year medical school. After graduation, pediatricians must complete a three-year residency and may complete additional fellowships to further specialize in the field. As of May 2009, pediatricians earned an average of $161,410 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The amount of experience a pediatrician had in the field influenced her average annual salary as of November 2010, according to Payscale. With one to four years' experience, pediatricians earned an average of $95,219 to $128,972 per year. Pediatric doctors with five to nine years' experience averaged $101,387 to $146,536 annually, while those with 10 to 19 years' experience averaged $109,309 to $153,562. After 20 years' experience or more, pediatricians received average annual salaries off $121,019 to $160,328 per year.
Salaries of pediatricians varied among different employer types as of May 2009, explains BLS. The largest employer of pediatricians, physicians' offices, paid an average of $163,630 per year. Pediatricians employed by general surgical hospitals made an average of $159,570 per year, and those employed by outpatient care centers averaged $171,300. Physicians specializing in pediatrics who worked for local government agencies received the highest average annual salaries at $175,940. Salaries for pediatricians at colleges and universities averaged $111,500 per year.
The geographic area where a pediatrician worked also influenced his average annual salary as of May 2009, reports BLS. Massachusetts had the highest concentrations of pediatricians; physicians employed in the specialty averaged salaries of $159,390 per year there. At an average annual salary of $206,390, pediatricians in Iowa enjoyed the highest rates of pay. Other high-paying states for pediatricians included Kentucky, Arkansas, Minnesota and Nebraska, where physicians earned an average of $196,210 to $200,280.
Pediatricians typically receive benefits that contribute to their overall compensation, according to Payscale reporting as of November 2010. Physicians in the specialty received an average of 2.8 to 3.5 weeks of paid vacation as well as paid sick leave and holidays. Pediatricians also reported median annual bonuses of $2,750 to $10,137. Other benefits commonly enjoyed by pediatricians include malpractice and liability insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, life and disability insurance, cellphones and reimbursement for tuition costs for continuing education and other training courses.