Physicians consider a variety of factors when looking for a new job, but compensation usually tops the list. If you’re looking to maximize your earning potential, Medscape has identified the top ten highest paying states for physicians in the 2019 Physician Compensation Report. While your pay will vary based on your experience and specialty, these locations are a safe bet if you’re interested in earning top dollar in your field. Plus, physicians working locum tenens jobs in those states can often earn more than those in permanent positions, giving you even better reason to check out these high-paying destinations.
Physicians working full-time in Indiana typically earn about $322,000 per year, well above the national average of $313,000. Employees in the Hoosier state also benefit from Indiana’s ranking as the third most affordable state in the country, meaning things like groceries and housing cost less than the national average. Throw in a strong economy, several nationally ranked hospitals, and a variety of sports teams to root for, and it’s clear that Indiana is a great state for physicians.
One of the most populous states in the country, Georgia offers physicians an average salary of $322,000 and the chance to experience true southern culture. From Atlanta’s crowded streets and Savannah’s historic squares to the sun-drenched Golden Isles, Georgia offers an appealing mix of urban and rural environments. Its nearly 180 hospitals, a dozen of which are ranked as high performing, are a good match for both permanent and locum tenens placements.
As the only state on the list in New England, Connecticut’s small size belies the immense opportunities for physicians here. With an average salary of $323,000 and the top ranking in health care access nationally, physicians are both well paid and well situated to make a difference. Doctors interested in locum tenens work will find plentiful job opportunities ranging from the state’s nearly 50 hospitals to smaller medical facilities. Its central location in the Northeast provides quick access to nearby states, making it easy to spend a weekend in Maine or New York City.
Home to the Great Smoky Mountains, a prominent music scene, and Nashville hot chicken, Tennessee is a great state for physicians, who earn on average $323,000 a year here. The state has 13 hospitals ranked as high performers, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which is also nationally ranked in many adult and children’s specialties. Throw in a lower than average cost of living and an abundance of exciting tourist destinations, and Tennessee is a great location for physicians looking to settle down or complete a short-term locums assignment.
An average physician salary of $324,000 isn’t the only thing that’s attractive about working in Kentucky. With more than 120 hospitals, six of which are ranked as high performing in various procedures and conditions, there’s a wealth of opportunity for those in the healthcare sector. Physicians who choose to work in rural areas can make a real difference in the lives of patients and their communities. You’ll also be able to experience Kentucky’s unique culture, from horse racing and bourbon distilleries to bluegrass music and the hollers of Appalachia.
With 20 million residents, Florida offers an abundance of opportunities for healthcare professionals. More than 250 hospitals and a growing population of elderly residents make physicians in high demand in the Sunshine state, and they receive an average salary of $325,000. Adding to its draw as one of the highest paying states for physicians, Florida also has no personal income tax, making it an affordable place to both live and retire. With thousands of miles of coastline, a distinctive cultural identity, and more theme parks than you can count, you’ll never be bored in Florida.
Physicians who want a good work-life balance should consider Arkansas, where thriving urban centers, an abundance of state and national parks, and a lower than average cost of living make it a great location to live and work. If that’s not enough, you can also expect to earn an average salary of $326,000. In Little Rock, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences operates a teaching hospital that’s nationally ranked for cancer and nephrology treatment. Farther north, the growing city of Fayetteville was recently ranked as the fourth best place to live in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
This Western state may be best known for gambling, but Nevada also has a lot to offer physicians, including an average salary of $329,000 and no personal income tax requirement. Nevada’s vast open landscapes, combined with the large tourist destinations of Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe, make this state a unique place to call home. Whether you want to work in a small rural clinic or one of the state’s 60 hospitals, Nevada offers the best of both worlds.
For a true Southern experience, there’s no better place than Alabama. With a critical shortage of physicians — especially in rural areas — job opportunities here are plentiful, and physicians can expect to earn an average salary of $330,000. From the nationally ranked hospital at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to the growing biotechnology scene in Huntsville, Alabama is a great destination for healthcare professionals who want to make a difference. The low cost of living, combined with a diverse economy, makes it a good choice for both your career and your bank account.
Oklahoma tops the 2019 list of highest paying states for physicians at an average annual salary of $337,000. For locum tenens doctors, this translates into attractive locums jobs as well. But pay isn’t the only reason you’ll want to check out the Sooner state. In addition to its growing cultural scene and natural beauty, Oklahoma is also home to more than 150 hospitals and healthcare institutions, three of which are high performing in a total of 10 procedures and conditions. Your paycheck will go farther here too, as Oklahoma has one of the lowest costs of living in the country.