Facts about Pulmonologist Jobs

Pulmonologist jobs are some of the most important in the medical field. Pulmonologists deal with respiratory medicine and make a large difference in many people's health. Here are the basics of being a pulmonologist and what you can gain from the job.

Becoming a Pulmonologist

The process of successfully becoming a pulmonologist will involve a large amount of education. It is similar to the process that is involved for other types of doctors as well. You will first have to start out by getting a bachelors degree. From there, you will attend a medical school for four years. You will then go through a three-year internal medicine residency program. You will then have another two years of specialized pulmonology training. You will then have to pass a certification test in order to officially become a pulmonologist.

Basic Tasks

Pulmonologists deal with patients that have issues with their lungs or other respiratory conditions. Pulmonologists will use advanced medical equipment in order to formulate a diagnosis for their patients. They will also consult with other doctors in order to confirm a diagnosis. At that point, a pulmonologist will formulate a plan of treatment for their patients. Pulmonologists will have to be able to communicate with their patients in order to explain their conditions and treatment options.

Pulmonologist typically will not perform surgical procedures, but will be consulted upon before any surgeries that have to do with respiratory function are done. However, some basic procedures may be performed directly by pulmonologists. One of their most important duties is to prescribe the proper medications for their patients. This will often come in the form of inhaler's or oral medication. They might also prescribe oxygen treatments to patients with certain conditions. Pulmonologists regularly work with those that have asthma in order to help them manage their condition.

Work Schedule

The work schedule of a pulmonologist can vary greatly from one week to the next. You will most likely have office hours that try to stick to a regular 40 hour work week. However, your job depends greatly on the condition of your patients. Therefore, you may have to consult with them at irregular hours. Many pulmonologists will end up working 50 or 60 hours per week in order to keep up with their workload.


The median salary for a pulmonologist is approximately $215,000 per year. With experience, this figure can rise significantly.

Opportunities for Advancement

Becoming a pulmonologist involves aiming for a very specialized position. Therefore, many pulmonologists choose to stay in their current jobs for their manner of their career. However, there are some advancement opportunities for those in the pulmonology field. Some pulmonologists will choose to pursue hospital administration positions. Other pulmonoligists decide to devote much of their time to research projects in the field. They might work in a clinical trial on an experimental respiratory treatment. Other pulmonologists get into consulting roles within the industry or start their own practices.