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Medical pathologist career & salary information

Medical or clinical pathologists are physicians specialising in diagnosing disease or studying medical conditions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Their salaries are comparable to other doctors, though some specialities, of course, pay more than others. Exact salaries depend upon the setting--whether hospital, medical clinic, educational facility--and years of experience.


Clinical pathologists often work simultaneously as investigators, teachers and diagnosticians.

Clinical pathologists work with other doctors to help diagnose and treat patients. They do this through ordering various tests to check for diseases and sometimes visiting patients and conferring with other health care professionals about patient cases, according to the College of American Pathologists.

Clinical pathologists may also perform their own biopsies, which mean more patient interaction. Diagnosing, however, is the foundation of clinical pathology.


It is a common misconception that the career of medical pathologists is less challenging and stressful than other doctors.

Sometimes they may get a difficult-to-solve case and spend considerable time diagnosing a patient. Unlike many other types of physicians, though, medical pathologists have relatively stable schedules, according to the College of American Pathologists. They are not often called upon in the middle of the night to help with a patient.


Completing a five-year pathology residency program is required to obtain certification through the American Board of Pathology, a leader in credentialing pathologists. Four of the five years must be in pathology, according to the College of American Pathologists. For the credential in clinical pathology, three of the years must be in clinical pathology.

Salary By Experience

Salaries for medical pathologists with less than a year of experience is generally £33,085 to £81,965, according to With one to four years of experience, the range becomes £64,090 to £125,060; with five to nine years, £91,130 to £155,415. Medical pathologists with the most experience, 20-plus years, earn £124,800 to £182,000.

Salary By Setting

Medical pathologists work in a variety settings. In general hospitals, they earn £79,430 to £147,355, as of June 2010; in physicians’ offices and private practices, £105,430 to £165,295. Interestingly, some of the highest-paid medical pathologists are in schools or teaching facilities, earning £68,900 to £166,075, according to PayScale.