Rheumatologists are physicians who diagnose and treat issues such as arthritis and lupus that affect the body’s joints, muscles, and ligaments. In the US, a rheumatologist earns about $226,000 per year. When converted to the US dollar, annual earnings in Canada and New Zealand are similar at about C$180,000 and $184,500, respectively. Rheumatologists in the UK earn about £115,951 ($140,000 USD), followed by South Africa at R1,319,706 ($102,000 USD). Of the countries reviewed in this guide, annual incomes for rheumatologists are highest in Australia at AU$302,255 ($243,539 USD) while India falls on the low end at Rs1,316,786 ($20,592 USD). Annual salaries for rheumatologists are dependent on geographic region, professional experience, and work setting as further explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Rheumatologist Make Per Year?
The chart below provides the average annual salaries and hourly wages for rheumatologists in select countries worldwide.
|Rheumatologist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Rheumatologist Salary
Overall earnings, including bonus and benefits, for rheumatologists are influenced by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting. This guide includes additional information for select countries worldwide.
1. Geographic Area
Rheumatologist Salary in the US
Rheumatologists in the US earn about $226,000 annually, or $109 per hour. Bonus pay can add a significant amount to total earnings with the average payment at $10,080. Entry level rheumatologists earn an average starting salary of about $162,000 per year while their senior level colleagues earn roughly $275,000 annually.
Rheumatologist Salary in Canada
In Canada, entry level rheumatologists earn about C$157,000 per year, increasing with experience to an average annual salary of C$219,000 for experienced professionals. Senior level rheumatologists earn about C$267,000 per year. The average annual bonus payment is just under C$10,000.
Rheumatologist Salary in the UK
The average starting salary for entry level rheumatologists in the UK is about £83,000 per year, increasing with experience to an average annual salary of about £116,000 per year, or £56 per hour. Rheumatologist positions are largely funded under the National Health Service (NHS) of UK with those outside of the system typically using the NHS payscale as a guideline. Senior level rheumatologists with the most experience see increased earnings to more than £141,000 per year. There is potential for bonus pay that can add a significant amount to overall earnings at more than £5,100.
Rheumatologist Salary in Australia
On average, rheumatologists in Australia earn more than AU$302,000 per year, or AU$145 per hour. Entry level rheumatologists can expect a starting salary of just under AU$217,000 per year while senior level professionals with the most experience earn about AU$368,000 per year. Bonus potential can add about AU$13,500 in additional annual earnings.
Rheumatologist Salary in New Zealand
Rheumatologists in New Zealand earn NZ$254,000 per year, on average, or NZ$122 per hour, with more than NZ$11,000 in additional earning potential through bonus pay. While the average starting salary for entry level rheumatologists is about NZ$182,000 per year, senior level physicians earn more than NZ$309,000 annually.
Rheumatologist Salary in India
In India, rheumatologists earn about Rs1,317,000 per year, or Rs633 per hour. On average, an additional Rs58,729 can be earned through bonus pay opportunities. Entry level rheumatologists in India can expect a starting salary of about Rs958,000 per year compared to senior level professionals who earn roughly Rs1,626,900 per year.
Rheumatologist Salary in South Africa
Rheumatologists in South Africa earn an average salary of R$1,320,000 per year, equating to about R634 per hour. The average starting salary for entry level rheumatologists is about R953,300 per year, increasing with experience to about $1,620,000 for senior level positions. Bonus pay opportunities can add another R58,000 to overall earnings.
Rheumatologists worldwide see increases in annual salary that correlates with additional experience. The average gap between entry level and senior level pay is about 70% worldwide in all countries reviewed in this guide. In additional to salary increases, bonus potential is likely greater for those with more experience, peaking for senior level professionals, as bonus pay is often calculated as a percentage of base salary.
Rheumatologists are employed by hospitals and in educational institutions as well as private practice. Those working in for-profit private practice have the greatest earning potential, with group practices offering higher pay than solo practices. These private practice rheumatologists earn roughly 65% more than their colleagues who work in nonprofit educational settings, and likely receive greater bonus pay opportunities.
Rheumatologists typically work full-time during normal business hours from Monday through Friday; however, there are some opportunities for part-time employment and flexible schedules. Some on-call and evening hours may also be required with occasional holiday work needs. While 40 hours per week is considered full time in New Zealand, rheumatologists in the US and Canada often work between 50 to 55 hours per week.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Rheumatologists typically receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as paid time off for vacations, holidays, and sick time. Those employed in private practice may be responsible for covering their own expenses or participating in a group plan. Because continuing medical education is required to maintain licensure, some employers offer allowances to cover these training expenses.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 14% growth rate among physicians, including rheumatologists, between 2014 and 2024. This rate is faster than average due to an aging population, increased diagnoses and treatment needs for those with chronic disease, and advancements in medicine that lead to improved treatment. To practice as a rheumatologist, following completion of an undergraduate degree, one must obtain a medical degree and complete training and internships. Licensure or registration with the required governing body is necessary.
Rheumatologists are highly paid physicians worldwide, and while extensive education is required for this career, the return on educational and financial investment is positive. It is common for rheumatologists to receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes full healthcare benefits, bonus pay, and paid time off. Strong growth is expected among physicians, including rheumatologists, which should support income levels and provide sufficient employment opportunities for those entering this career field.