Podiatrists help Americans of all ages walk easier. After they complete their graduate school training, annual salaries depend on factors such as licenses and hands-on training experience. If podiatrists work in certain regions of the country and in certain industries, they can also increase their annual pay.
Starting Podiatrist Salaries
Across the United States, podiatrists who gain employment right out of school earned approximately $61,217 a year, according to Health Careers in Michigan. This national average starting salary was paid to podiatrists who worked at federal Veterans Affairs hospitals. Other beginning podiatrists can start earning about $79,100 a year as soon as they graduate. Additionally, podiatrists who open private practices can set their own hourly rates and earn higher wages. However, they generally must pay for their own health, life and retirement insurance policies.
Compared to Other Professions
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) reports that as of 2008, podiatrists earned some of the highest annual salaries for physicians. For example, podiatrists earned approximately $176,000 a year, while family physicians and general osteopathic physicians earned $160,000 and $156,000 a year respectively. Pharmacists earned $107,000 a year, and physical therapists took home about $55,000 a year. Dentists earned more than podiatrists in 2008; they earned approximately $200,000 a year. However, recently graduated podiatrists had lower amounts of student loan debt than some other physicians; graduating podiatrists had $110,000 in college debt while family physicians and general osteopathic physicians had $140,000 in student loan debt. Pharmacists and physical therapists had $100,000 and $55,000 in debt when they graduated with their degrees. Dentists had debt of $130,000.
As of 2008, nearly 12,200 podiatrists were working in the United States, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. From 2008 through 2018, podiatrists jobs are expected to grow by 9 percent, equal to projections for the job market as a whole. Job prospects for newly graduated podiatrists are expected to remain good as well. New medicines, technologies and older podiatrists retiring should create opportunities for new graduates.
Professional organizations like the American Association of Colleges and of Podiatric Medicine and the American Podiatric Medical Association provide networking, career advancement and educational support to newly graduated podiatrists. Experienced podiatrists can also receive support through the organizations. Some states also have local podiatric associations that new graduates can join.