A type of medical doctor, pediatricians specialize in the treatment of children from birth through age 18 years. In California, pediatricians earned an average of $165,270 per year as of May 2009, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages in the state exceeded the nationwide average of $161,410 annually by more than 2 percent. California pediatricians were the fifth-highest paid among all of the states.
With average annual salaries of $188,590 per year, pediatricians in Santa Cruz and Watsonville were the highest paid in northern California as of May 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In San Francisco, San Mateo and Redwood City, pediatricians made an average of $175,660 per year, while those working in Oakland, Fremont and Haywood averaged $157,850 annually. Sacramento pediatricians received an average of $154,470 per year, the lowest wages in all of California.
Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Goleta served as the highest-paying city for pediatricians in California as of May 2009, explains the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries in the city averaged $196,740 per year, roughly 19 percent above the California average rate of pay. Pediatricians working in Fresno made an average of $173,310 per year. Wages for pediatricians in Bakersfield averaged $164,110, the lowest in central California, but less than 1 percent below the statewide average.
Santa Ana, Anaheim and Irvine featured the second-highest average annual salaries for pediatricians in California at $191,990 as of May 2009, estimates the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In San Diego, Carlsbad and San Marcos, pediatricians earned an average of $170,610 annually. Throughout the remainder of southern California, salaries for pediatricians were 1 to 11 percent below the statewide average. The lowest-paid pediatricians in the region and the second-lowest paid statewide were in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, where physicians in the specialty averaged $146,530 annually.
To become a pediatrician, four years of medical school are necessary. As of April 2011, California served as home to eight medical schools with accreditation through the Liaison Committee on Medical Education: Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of California-Davis School of Medicine, the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. After graduation, physicians must complete a three-year residency program in pediatrics accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. As of April 2011, 18 colleges and hospitals in California offered such programs.