Salary for a Pulmonologist

A pulmonologist specializes in respiratory diseases and conditions.
A pulmonologist specializes in respiratory diseases and conditions. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A pulmonologist is a lung disease specialist. Pulmonolgists are board certifed doctors trained to diagnose and treat diseases and conditions of the chest, such as tuberculosis, asthma, emphysema, or pneumonia. Pulmonologists usually do not perform surgery, though they may acquire additional critical care certification to treat patients who require mechanical ventilators.


The Pay Scale website reports that the median annual salary for a pulmonologist is $190,000 per year, as of 2011. According to the Health Care Training Center website, the Allied Physicians Salary survey reports that a pulmonologist's salary increases with years of experience. For example, a pulmonologist with 1 to 2 years of experience earns an average of $215,000 per year, One with three or more years earns $288,000 up to a maximum of $417,000 a year.

Benefits and Bonuses

Pay Scale reports that pulmonologists earn a median annual bonus of $30,000, as of 2011. Benefits include 401ks, paid holidays and vacations, paid sick leave, life insurance and disability, education reimbursement and malpractice or liability insurance.

Differences by Location

A pulmonologist's salary may vary according to city, according to Pay Scale. For example, a pulmonologist makes a median salary of $62,496 in Manhattan, Kansas, $139,400 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and $88,732 in Atlanta, Georgia. The favorite states for a pulmonology practice as far as salary is concerned are California, Texas, Georgia and Florida.


The Health Care Training Center website points out that since pulmonologists often treat patients in intensive care who need ventilators, demand for them is greatest in hospitals that frequently use mechanical ventilation for life support. Furthermore, the website cites the U.S. Department of Labor statistic that only 15 percent of physicians specialize in internal medicine. Since the Bureau for Labor Statistics projects that job growth for physicians will expand through 2014, the outlook for pulmonologists, especially in large hospital settings, will be good.

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