According to a 2013 report from the American Medical Group Association, physician compensation has increased over the past year in 61% of medical specialties. Unfortunately, the field of cardiology overall experienced a 2.17% compensation decrease from 2012, and compensation for cardiac and thoracic surgery decreased by 3.33%. However, not all trends were toward decrease: Cath lab/interventional cardiology saw a 4.27% increase in compensation from 2012 to 2013.
For cardiologists starting a new job — whether experienced or new to the field — the news is far from bad: Cardiologists are among the top earners among the medical specialties, and those embarking on jobs in interventional cardiology have particularly bright prospects in terms of earning.
Based on these data, Cardiology Today has listed the top six starting salaries for new and experienced physicians in the field of cardiology. In some subspecialties and levels of experience, no data were available.
1. Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons — Experienced Physician
It might come as no surprise that experienced cardiac surgeons rank among the highest-paid clinicians in the field. According to the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) 2013 report, the median annual salary for an experienced cardiac and thoracic surgeon was $514,230.
2. Cardiovascular Surgeon — Experienced Physician
Experienced CV surgeons rank just below cardiac and thoracic surgeons in terms of median annual salary. For 2013, the report cited a median salary of $500,000 among experienced surgeons in this subspecialty.
3. Cath Lab (Invasive Interventional) — Experienced and New Physicians
In the 2013 report, the median annual starting salary was $425,000 for an experienced interventional cardiologist and $422,083 for a new cath lab cardiologist.
4. General Cardiology — Experienced and New Physicians
The annual salary for a general cardiologist is lower than that of their interventional/cath lab cardiologist colleagues. For a general cardiologist just starting out in the field, the annual median salary for 2013 was $349,625. For an experienced general cardiologist beginning a new position, the 2013 median salary was $419,995.
5. Cardiac Electrophysiologist — Experienced Physician
For some cardiologists, the electrical workings of the heart may be of particular interest, and may bring out a unique and valuable skill set. The median annual starting salary for an experienced electrophysiology/pacemaker cardiologist was $392,250.
6. Pediatric/adolescent medicine — Experienced physician
Cardiologists who work specifically with children and adolescents do particularly rewarding work, but do not earn as much as their colleagues in other areas of the field. The median 2013 starting salary for an experienced pediatric cardiologist was $273,125.