Podiatrists are physicians who specialize in treating disorders that affect feet and ankles. Many podiatrists perform surgical treatments as well as prescribing exercises, prosthetics and medication. While some podiatric physicians work in small practices with one or two other doctors, most work in group practices that target a range of specialized health care needs.
People who excel as podiatrists usually have interests in science, medicine, and health. Since the position requires extensive medical training, it attracts studious professionals who want to improve patient quality of life.
Podiatry Job Education Requirements
Podiatrists must complete extensive training before entering the field. After excelling in undergraduate studies, students enroll in medical school to earn their Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degrees. They must also complete surgical residencies and get licensed by the states they practice in. A podiatric surgical residency usually lasts three years.
Students who don't want to complete surgical residencies may want to pursue careers as orthopedics physicians. These medical professionals treat musculoskeletal conditions. While some doctors complete surgical residencies so they can work as orthopedic surgeons, others rely on nonsurgical treatment options.
Podiatry Job Market
In 2012, there were 10,700 podiatry positions available in the United States. Between 2012 and 2022, that number should increase by about 23 percent, which is much faster than the average rate. This will add approximately 2,400 jobs to the industry.
Medical professionals who want more job opportunities may choose to pursue careers in related fields. In 2012, for instance, there were 44,400 chiropractors working in the U.S. The chiropractic job market is expected to grow at a slower rate (15 percent), but growth should add about 6,500 positions to the field. Chiropractors also require fewer educational requirements than podiatrists do. This can make it an attractive career path for people who don't want to attend several years in medical school and residencies.
Podiatry Job Salary Information
The 2012 median pay for podiatrists was $116,440 per year. Doctors in the 90th percentile of earners made more than $180,000 in 2013. Those in the bottom 10th percentile made just over $52,000.
Podiatry jobs in certain states tend to pay more than those in other locations. States with the highest annual mean wages include:
New Hampshire ($187,370)
North Carolina ($160,190(
Podiatrists working for certain types of employers also tend to make more money. Podiatrists who want to earn higher salaries should look for positions at physician offices and outpatient care centers.