What Is the Employment Outlook for Pediatricians?

A pediatrician is a primary health care provider for individuals whose ages range from infancy to young adulthood. The employment outlook for physicians and surgeons in general is expected to be good from 2012-2022. Read on to find out more about job prospects and salaries. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in the overall category of physicians and surgeons, employment is projected to increase by 18% between 2012 and 2022 due to expanding health care needs (www.bls.gov). The BLS expects good job opportunities in rural areas since it is more difficult to find physicians to work in these places. You might also have better job prospects if you have a specialty, such as radiology or cardiology.

There were approximately 30,560 general pediatricians employed in May 2012. While most of these professionals worked for physicians' offices, others worked for general hospitals, outpatient care centers, universities and specialty hospitals.

Growth Factors

According to the BLS, there will be greater demand for physicians of all types as the population grows and ages. Medical facilities will need to employ more physicians to care for these patients. In addition, health care reform improves accessibility to health insurance, which may cause patients to demand more services. However, this field may be negatively affected by cost cuts that cause medical facilities to hire nurse practitioners and physician assistants rather than physicians.

Salary Information

General pediatricians earned a median annual salary of $154,650 in May 2012, according to the BLS. The bottom 10% of earners made $86,900 or less. Per industry, pediatricians who worked at physicians' offices averaged $173,070 a year, while those working for general medical and surgical hospitals averaged $149,380. Average wages were $175,700 for those working for outpatient care centers and $105,210 for those working for colleges, universities and professional schools.

Job Description and Duties

As a pediatrician, you'll work with patients whose ages range from birth to 21 years old. You'll explain health and behavioral issues to their parents as well as give them information about the next phase of their child's growth. Much of your time will be spent attending to minor injuries, ordering immunizations and treating common childhood infectious diseases.

Along with medical issues, parents consult with pediatricians to determine if their children are developing at the appropriate rate. It will be your responsibility as the child's doctor to assess and advise parents about any developmental issues or concerns.

For children with a chronic or dangerous health condition such as heart murmurs or leukemia, you'll coordinate with specialists on the child's treatment. You'll discuss treatment plans with parents and recommend services that can assist families facing these situations. Some pediatricians also work as advocates for children's health issues on a government level.

Subspecialties

Within the field of pediatrics you'll have the option to choose a niche. These subspecialties require additional training or specialized residencies. Some of the subspecialties include:

  • Pediatric radiologist
  • Adolescent health specialist
  • Osteopathic pediatrics
  • Pediatric surgeon
  • Infectious diseases of childhood

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