These Are The 10 States With The Highest Salaries For Doctors

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do doctors get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for doctors by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how doctor salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for doctors by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for doctors after this adjustment? That would be Arkansas. Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for doctor salaries:

  1. Arkansas
  2. Georgia
  3. Indiana
  4. Mississippi
  5. Alabama
  6. North Carolina
  7. Wyoming
  8. Louisiana
  9. South Dakota
  10. Missouri

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

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How we determined doctor pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for doctors from the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their “Occupational Employment Statistics”.

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $199,200, so our index value would be:

$199,200 * (100 / 135.9) = $146,578

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for doctors.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

Detailed List Of Doctor Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Arkansas $304,661 $265,360 87.1
2 Georgia $284,868 $260,370 91.4
3 Indiana $281,910 $252,310 89.5
4 Mississippi $280,302 $240,780 85.9
5 Alabama $274,495 $250,340 91.2
6 North Carolina $265,250 $249,070 93.9
7 Wyoming $251,677 $231,040 91.8
8 Louisiana $250,864 $237,820 94.8
9 South Dakota $248,081 $257,260 103.7
10 Missouri $247,345 $223,600 90.4
11 Kentucky $246,154 $222,770 90.5
12 New Mexico $242,186 $233,710 96.5
13 Iowa $240,648 $218,990 91.0
14 Wisconsin $234,958 $227,440 96.8
15 Utah $233,956 $217,580 93.0
16 Minnesota $230,674 $232,520 100.8
17 Nebraska $227,237 $208,150 91.6
18 Kansas $226,740 $203,840 89.9
19 Oklahoma $221,782 $197,830 89.2
20 Montana $221,180 $222,950 100.8
21 Nevada $220,077 $227,340 103.3
22 South Carolina $216,703 $214,970 99.2
23 Ohio $212,420 $199,250 93.8
24 Florida $209,013 $205,460 98.3
25 Washington $205,095 $215,760 105.2
26 Arizona $195,959 $192,040 98.0
27 Illinois $195,761 $185,190 94.6
28 Tennessee $195,749 $175,000 89.4
29 Virginia $195,446 $197,010 100.8
30 Texas $194,024 $175,980 90.7
31 Delaware $193,856 $196,570 101.4
32 New Hampshire $191,034 $223,510 117.0
33 Colorado $186,069 $193,140 103.8
34 Oregon $185,821 $214,810 115.6
35 Maine $184,855 $204,820 110.8
36 New Jersey $172,961 $210,840 121.9
37 Massachusetts $172,743 $230,440 133.4
38 Pennsylvania $168,609 $170,970 101.4
39 Maryland $168,095 $210,960 125.5
40 Alaska $164,050 $215,070 131.1
41 Rhode Island $160,803 $194,090 120.7
42 Michigan $160,764 $143,080 89.0
43 Connecticut $151,425 $193,370 127.7
44 Vermont $147,250 $178,320 121.1
45 California $146,578 $199,200 135.9
46 New York $142,877 $187,170 131.0
47 Hawaii $124,586 $209,180 167.9

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