Dermatologist: Job Info & Career Requirements

You've got a desire to heal, and you're driven to work long hours to achieve your dreams. If you're willing to get a bachelor's degree in a pre-medical program, followed by seven more years of training, a career as a dermatologist might be for you. View article »

View 10 Popular Schools »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
  • 0:03 Career Definition
  • 0:42 Required Education
  • 1:24 Skills Required
  • 1:51 Career and Salary Outlook
  • 2:18 Alternate Career Options

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Career Definition

Degree Level Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
Degree Field(s) Biological sciences (for bachelor's degree) then medical school
Licensure/Certification Licensure required in all states; board certification voluntary
Experience 1-year internship, 3-year residency
Key Skills Compassionate and patient; good communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills; detail-oriented and manually dexterous
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 14% growth
Median Annual Salary (2016)** $204,072

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Dermatologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat ailments of the largest organ of the human body and advise patients on achieving healthy and attractive skin. During patient visits, dermatologists take medical histories and use a dermoscope, or magnifying or illuminated device, to detect abnormalities or malignancies. They might use diagnostic techniques, such as biopsies, to identify diseases and determine appropriate therapies. Areas of specialization include cosmetic dermatology; pediatric dermatology; and dermatopathology, or the study of skin diseases.

How to Become a Dermatologist

Required Education

Prospective dermatologists must first obtain a bachelor's degree, taking courses in English, math, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics and biology. Then they must complete medical school, where they'll spend the first two years studying human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pathology and medical ethics, among other subjects.

During the last two years, they'll work with hospital patients under the supervision of staff doctors. Graduation from medical school is followed by a 1-year year internship, three years of on-the-job training as a medical resident, a state-licensing exam and, for those who qualify, certification by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD).

Skills Required

Dermatologists must be emotionally stable, motivated to serve others, able to work long hours and willing to engage in lifelong learning. Compassion for patients and good communication, organizational and problem-solving skills, are key. Dermatologists should also be detail oriented, manually dexterous and patient when dealing with individuals or young children who are anxious about treatments.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aesthetician and Skin Care
  • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
  • Beauty Salon Management
  • Cosmetology, Hair, and Nail Instructor
  • Electrolysis
  • Facial Treatment Specialist
  • Hair Design
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing

Career and Salary Outlook

Career opportunities for physicians and surgeons in general were predicted to grow by 14% nationwide from 2014 to 2024, which was faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to, dermatologists earned a median annual salary of $204,072 as of January 2016.

Students who aren't sure if dermatology is the right career for them, might be interested in learning more about the related careers of chiropractor and dentist.

Alternate Career Options


Chiropractors work with patients who are suffering from neuromusculoskeletal pain, including that which may be associated with the bones, muscles and nerves. Treatments used to alleviate back and neck discomfort include physical manipulations and spinal adjustments. A Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), as well as a state license, are required in order to work in the field.

According to the BLS, employment opportunities for chiropractors were expected to increase by 17% nationwide between 2014 and 2024. As of January 2016, chiropractors earned a median annual salary of $58,739, according to


Dentists examine and treat patients having issues with their gums, teeth or other related features. They also work proactively to prevent oral and tooth-related conditions and diseases by providing patients with information about nutrition and oral hygiene. Graduates who have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree program, especially one that includes courses in biology, chemistry and other sciences, can apply to accredited dental schools and start fulfilling the requirements for state licensure.

Between 2014-2024, the BLS projected 18% growth in jobs nationwide for dentists. Dentists earned a median annual salaries of $123,942 based on's figures from January 2016.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Cosmetology Operator

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Makeup Artistry and Skin Care

    What is your highest earned degree?

    • Cosmetology

    Year of High School Graduation or GED completion:

  • 5
    West Tennessee Business College
  • 7
    W Academy of Salon and Spa
  • 8
    Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology
  • 9
    Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
  • 10
    VICI Aveda Institute

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?