Pediatric Anesthesiologist: Salary, Career and Education Info

Working as a pediatric anesthesiologist requires significant formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure to see if this is the right career for you.

Pediatric anesthesiologists not only observe and maintain patients' vital signs during surgery, they are also responsible for explaining the pain relief and treatment process to both their young patients and their patients' parents. In addition to the successful completion of a lengthy education, these physicians must also secure the appropriate licensure in order to practice medicine.

Essential Information

Pediatric anesthesiologists specialize in working with patients 21 years of age and under, providing them with pain relief before, during and after surgery. The educational process to become a pediatric anesthesiologist is extensive, lasting eight years, followed by three to eight years of internship and residency, but many would consider the annual salary substantial.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; completion of medical school; internship(s) and medical residency
Other Requirements State licensure is mandatory; board certification is not required but highly preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 21% for all anesthesiologists*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $258,100 for all anesthesiologists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pediatric Anesthesiologist Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual income for anesthesiologists was $258,100 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Those in the lowest ten percent made approximately $142,590 yearly.

Salary can vary depending upon employer; for example, physicians' offices were the highest paying businesses in 2015, with anesthesiologists earning a mean of $267,360 annually, per the BLS. That same year, anesthesiologists working at specialty hospitals made a mean of $204,820. Salary info specific to pediatric anesthesiologists isn't available from the BLS.

Career Info

Pediatric anesthesiologists specialize in taking care of children, toddlers, teenagers and young adults. Generally, these medical professionals work with family physicians, pediatricians and surgical staff. Anesthesiologists explain clearly to patients and their parents the pain relief and treatments available at all stages in the surgery process. By constantly assessing and watching a patient's vital signs, the pediatric anesthesiologist ensures that the patient is as comfortable as possible to aid in his or her recovery.

Education Info

To become a pediatric anesthesiologist, one must complete four years of undergraduate school and four years of medical school. The latter must be through a program accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to qualify the graduate for state licensure. Required residency and internship programs can last anywhere from three to eight years. Aspiring pediatric anesthesiologists should seek out internships and residencies that focus on pediatric work.

Licensure requirements for pediatric anesthesiologists vary, but all mandate passage of the United States Medical Licensing Examination. In some cases, a pediatric anesthesiologist seeking work in another state can simply transfer his of her license, but in others, the anesthesiologist needs to repeat licensing exams.

Those seeking voluntary board certification with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) need to meet minimum eligibility requirements, which include completing residency training and passing an exam (www.osteopathic.org).

As a pediatric anesthesiology you'll need to contend with not just the complexities of anesthesiology but also working with children. The extensive schooling process that a pediatric anesthesiologist must undergo, combined with experiential learning, provide the necessary training for the job. Pediatric anesthesiology can be both a financially and personally rewarding career.

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