Salary Ranges for Oncologists

If you are studying medicine and considering specializing in oncology, you may be wondering what the salary ranges for oncologists are. Depending on your level of experience and the area of the United States where you want to practice, your pay could vary greatly.


In general, you can expect to earn just over $250,000 a year, since that is the median income for an oncologist. But you probably won't start off earning that much, since oncologists who have been practicing for less have than a year generally earn between $70,0000 and $200,000 annually. As you gain experience, you will earn more. For example, oncologists who have 1 to 4 years of experience will most likely earn somewhere between $100,000 and $245,000 each year.

With 5 to 9 years of experience working in the field, you can expect an annual salary ranging from $115,000 to $270,000, and with between 10 and 19 years of experience, an oncologist will usually earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $155,000 to $305,000 yearly. Once you have over 20 years on the job, you can expect to make between $195,000 to $310,000 each year.


One of the reasons there is such a wide range of salaries for oncologists is that different areas of the country pay different amounts of money. If you practice in the eastern United States, the median pay is right around $285,000 whereas if you work in the western United States, you can expect to earn closer to $330,000. If you want to work the northern states, the median pay is around $315,000 every year.

The high end of the scale is represented by Atlanta and other cities in the southeast with average salaries ranging from $130,000 to $300,000. On the low end of the scale, are the Midwestern regions and cities like Chicago, with a range from $50,000 to a little more than $200,000. In general, if you are a doctor in a large metropolitan area, you will earn more than someone who chooses to practice in a smaller town.

Other Considerations

If you are employed by a university or non-profit company, you will generally earn more than an individual who is in private practice. Whether you are a man or a woman shouldn't influence your pay significantly; however, female oncologists with less experience tend to earn a couple thousand more a year than males with similar experience whereas women with more experience in the field often make a few thousand less than than men in similar positions. Also, depending on where you work, you could be eligible for cash bonuses of between $10,000 and $25,000 a year. Your employer also might offer a profit sharing option that can be as much as another $10,000 annually.


The demand for oncologists is increasing, and as a result, the starting salaries are also increasing. If you work in a major metropolitan area, you can expect to make between $180,000 to $220,000. You might even earn more than $300,000 to start if your are willing to work in less desirable areas where the need is great. In the coming years, there could be a shortage of qualified oncologists, especially since the population is aging. If the demand for oncologists does, indeed, go up, then the pay for these doctors will also increase.