If you develop a medical problem, your first line of defence is a visit to your family doctor or general practitioner, who may then recommend a specialist. However, though he may be able to treat children and teenagers, you may want to have your children see a paediatric doctor, who specialises in younger patients. Because the professions of any doctor involve matters of life and death, and require many years of education and training, society rewards them with high rates of pay.
A paediatric doctor or general paediatrician takes care of babies, children, teenagers and occasionally young adults. They specialise in conditions related to young people and can also track their growth. Among their day-to-day concerns are infectious childhood diseases, minor injuries and vaccinations. Paediatric doctors can also specialise in serious conditions like autoimmune disorders.
Salaries for paediatric doctors can vary by experience. According to PayScale as of March 2010, those with one to four years under their belts can earn £49,572 to £84,874 per year. Those with five to nine years earn £56,481 to £107,277. Finally, those with 10 to 19 years are paid £76,277 to £117,390.
Location can affect average salaries for paediatric doctors. In the US, according to PayScale, those in California earn £67,546 to £98,865, while those in Florida show the greatest range at £42,724 to £140,159. Paediatricians in New York make £57,850 to £99,704, while those in New Jersey get £64,837 to £95,510. In Texas, they earn £64,169 to £110,425 while in Illinois they are paid £68,250 to £105,800.
The employer can also affect the pay scale. According to PayScale, those who work for hospitals average £46,564 to £97,414, whereas private practices pay £67,204 to £97,677. Paediatricians in a non-profit organisation earn £53,268 to £103,620, while those at a college or university make £54,324 to £105,707. Finally, those in state and local government are paid £59,515 to £121,355.
For those working in hospital settings, the number of beds (hospital size) can affect reimbursement. Those hospitals with less than 50 beds show the highest pay scales at £69,466 to £138,802. For 50 to 99 beds, the range is £50,933 to £105,625, and for 100 to 299 beds, the range is £56,209 to £108,856. Hospitals with 300 to 499 beds compensate paediatric doctors at £32,655 to £113,736.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for all doctors is excellent, with job growth projected at 22 per cent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than average for all occupations. However, the rising cost of health care may affect this opportunity as patients gravitate toward less expensive physician assistants and nurse practitioners in order to save money. Lower health insurance reimbursement may also force less demand for doctor services.