Pathologists in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $199K per year on average. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women account for the majority of Pathologists who responded to the questionnaire — 60 percent to be exact. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a majority collect dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Pathologists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Pathologist
A pathologist is a clinical specialist whose role is akin to being a detective for medical conditions. He or she analyzes samples of tissues, fluids, or other pertinent hard data related to a patient and then reports findings to the primary physician. Sometimes a pathologist offers recommendations for treatment. Pathologists also typically work with doctors performing autopsies to determine the cause of death.Read More...
In most cases, the pathologist will generate some sort of report of the work performed. The report may simply include pertinent data. For instance, an autopsy may conclude that a patient suffered from a condition or perhaps had external factors such as drugs or other agents that contributed to death. In more intricate cases, the pathologist may detail his or her analysis to the primary care physician, indicate possibilities and probabilities, and suggest avenues to pursue for treatment.
To be a pathologist, a person must first graduate from an accredited medical school after completing undergraduate work. Most pathologists specialize in this area of concentration during their education and post-graduate residency. This work is highly selective, and most pathologists rarely interact with patients in person. They perform most of their work in a laboratory setting. Pathologists typically work long hours during the week, although larger clinics and hospitals may have a pathology department that works weekends and extended hours as well.
- Consult with patients to explain and diagnose conditions.
- Perform autopsies to understand cause of death and progression of diseases.
- Supervise testing and analysis of samples to determine health and pathology of patients.
- Document findings and conclusions, and make recommendations.
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Pay by Experience Level for Pathologist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Pathologists, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Even the relatively untested can score weighty six-figure salaries; survey participants with less than five years' experience report earning a median of $192K per year. Pathologists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $242K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $254K.