Average base salaries for 20 recruited medical specialties

Physician assistants saw the greatest year-over-year increase to base salaries offered to recruits, according to Merritt Hawkins' "2021 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives." 

The review, released Aug. 9, is based on a representative sample of 2,458 permanent physician and advanced practitioner search assignments that were ongoing or conducted by Merritt Hawkins/AMN Healthcare's physician staffing companies from April 2020 to March 2021.

Those searches were primarily conducted for hospitals (33 percent), group practices (29 percent) and academic settings (20 percent). The searches also occurred for urgent care, federally qualified health centers, Indian Health Service and concierge medicine.  

The following figures reflect base salaries or guaranteed income only and do not include production bonuses and benefits. Specialties are in descending order based on the most requested searches. 

Nurse practitioner 

Average: $140,000

High: $300,000

Low: $90,000

Year-over-year difference: +12 percent

Family medicine

Average: $243,000

High: $400,000

Low: $180,000

Year-over-year difference: +1 percent 

Radiology

Average: $401,000

High: $825,000

Low: $150,000

Year-over-year difference: -3 percent 

Psychiatry

Average: $279,000

High: $400,000

Low: $185,000

Year-over-year difference: +1 percent

Internal medicine

Average: $244,000

High: $500,000

Low: $170,000

Year-over-year difference: -12 percent

OB-GYN

Average: $291,000

High: $750,000

Low: $207,000

Year-over-year difference: -11 percent

Anesthesiology 

Average: $367,000 

High: $750,000

Low: $245,000

Year-over-year difference: -8 percent

Hematology/Oncology

Average: $385,000

High: $1 million

Low: $180,000

Year-over-year difference: -4 percent

Gastroenterology

Average: $453,000

High: $750,000

Low: $125,000

Year-over-year difference: -1 percent

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Average: $222,000

High: $353,000

Low: $158,000

Year-over-year difference: +3 percent

Cardiology (non-invasive) 

Average: $446,000

High: $700,000

Low: $350,000

Year-over-year difference: +9 percent 

Cardiology (interventional) 

Average: $611,000

High: $1 million

Low: $400,000

Year-over-year difference: -5 percent

Neurology 

Average: $332,000

High: $850,000

Low: $215,000

Year-over-year difference: +13 percent

Orthopedic surgery 

Average: $546,000

High: $1 million

Low: $300,000

Year-over-year difference: -13 percent

Dermatology

Average: $378,000

High: $1 million

Low: $200,000

Year-over-year difference: -10 percent

Pulmonology 

Average: $385,000 

High: $650,000

Low: $250,000

Year-over-year difference: -10 percent 

Oral maxillofacial surgery

Average: $349,000 

High: $1.2 million

Low: $275,000

Year-over-year difference: N/A

Physician assistant

Average: $128,000

High: $350,000

Low: $100,000

Year-over-year difference: +14 percent

Pediatrics 

Average: $236,000

High: $400,000

Low: $180,000

Year-over-year difference: +7 percent

Endocrinology 

Average: $241,000

High: $325,000

Low: $200,000

Year-over-year difference: N/A

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