Many physicians turn to locum tenens because it’s a great way to grow or supplement their income. Whether you want to work locums on the side or make it a full-time career, locum tenens physicians in most specialties are in high demand across the U.S. Here’s a look at the locum tenens physician pay trends in 2023.
Where are locums paid the most? 10 highest-paying states for locum tenens
Locum tenens pay is trending upward for most specialties in 2023
Emergency medicine and orthopedic surgery saw the largest increases in locum tenens compensation. Many specialties are in high demand with many job options available, like anesthesiology, neurological surgery, pediatric anesthesiology, and urology.
Pay for locum anesthesiologists saw a modest increase in 2023. Demand for anesthesiologists remains high with many open locums opportunities available. Current pay rates for anesthesiologists run between $275 – $325 hourly. Assignments in this specialty average 20 days, and a typical shift is 7 am – 4 pm.
The daily pay for locum tenens cardiac surgeons in 2023 is $2,000 – $2,500 daily — the same as in 2022. Cardiovascular surgeons are in high demand, so locum tenens physicians have more options to choose from. The typical locums schedule for this specialty runs four days, and these assignments are often available as a long-term option.
Locum tenens pay for cardiovascular disease physicians saw a jump from $175 – $200 in 2022 to $200 – $225 hourly in 2023. This specialty is in very high demand in most parts of the country, and industry experts expect more long-term locum tenens jobs in the future. Assignments for cardiovascular disease physicians are typically Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. Invasive cardiology assignments are typically about a week, and non-invasive cardiology assignments last two to three months.
Critical care medicine
Pay for critical care medicine locums is $238 – $275 hourly — about the same as in 2022. The good news is demand continues to remain high for physicians in this specialty.
Emergency medicine locums pay saw a modest increase in 2023, up to $125 – $300 per hour. Locum EM physicians are back in high demand, with plenty of opportunities and locations to choose from. Assignments are usually 12- or 24-hour shifts, with options to work as few as four to as many as 12 shifts per month for up to six months or longer.
There’s a high demand for family medicine physicians with many locum tenens opportunities to choose from. In 2023, family medicine physician pay has been between $90 – $130, unchanged from last year. This specialty has a very good job market with lots of open jobs to choose from. Assignments average two to six months in duration and are typically Monday to Friday from 8 am – 5 pm (with some call).
This specialty pays $1,800 – $2,100 daily, slightly more than in 2022, and it is one of the highest-paying specialties. Demand for gastroenterologists has risen in 2023. A typical locums schedule for this specialty is 8 am – 5 pm or seven-on/seven-off. Assignments average about two weeks in length.
In 2023, general surgeons will earn nearly 35% more than last year, up to $1,400 – $1,800 hourly. Demand for general surgeons is high, with plenty of job opportunities in a wide variety of locations. Locum general surgeons have a lot of flexibility; shifts can be anything from shift work to long-term assignments.
Pay for internal medicine physicians remained the same as in 2022, at $90 –$130 hourly. IM physician hospitalists are in the highest demand, with nocturnist positions paying the highest rates. The typical schedule for IM physicians is Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm, with little to no call. Assignments average 60 days in length.
Pay for interventional cardiologists remained the same as last year, at $2,200 – $2,500 daily. Interventional cardiologists continue to be in high demand as locums. Assignments typically consist of 24-hour call and can last five to seven days.
Due to an extreme shortage of neurosurgeons, this is one of the top-paying locum tenens specialties. Neurosurgeons can make between $2,000 – $2,500 daily (for stroke, up to $5000 daily), the same as in 2022. Assignments are typically 24-hour call with options for shift work or long term.
Pay for locum neurologists remained unchanged in 2023 at $1,400 – $1,600. However, the demand for neurologists remains high. Neurology locum tenens assignments average about a week in length and are typically Monday to Friday from 8 am – 5 pm (with call).
Obstetrics & gynecology (OB/GYN)
Locum tenens pay for this specialty has risen to $150 – $200 per hour; demand increased this year due to a very strong job market. Typical locum OB/GYN hours are Monday to Friday clinic from 8 am – 5 pm and 1:3 call time. The average assignment length is three to six months.
Pay for locum tenens orthopedic surgeons has leveled out, staying steady at $1,200 – $1,500 daily in 2023. There’s moderate demand for orthopedic surgeons, with a wide variety of assignments to choose from. Assignments are typically seven-day shifts with call, clinic, and surgery and average one to three months in duration.
This specialty saw a jump in locum compensation, from $263 – $313 hourly in 2022 to $285 – $350 hourly in 2023. Physicians in this specialty are in especially high demand with a huge increase in the number of open positions. Typical locum assignment hours are Monday to Friday from 7 am – 4 pm with assignments lasting about 20 days on average.
Physical medicine & rehabilitation
PM&R physicians saw a big jump in locum compensation from $125 – $190 hourly in 2022 to $165 – $200 hourly in 2023. There’s moderate demand for these physicians, but there are plenty of jobs available. Typical hours are Monday to Friday from 8 am – 5 pm with call. The average assignment length is one week.
Locum tenens urologist pay stayed the same in 2023 compared to 2022: $1,500 –$1,800 daily. Due to a severe shortage in this specialty, there are plenty of assignment options and locations for locum tenens urologists to choose from. The typical locums schedule consists of eight-hour clinic shifts with call at night and 24-hour weekend coverage hours. The average assignment length is one to six months.
Vascular/interventional radiologists saw a moderate increase in pay, from $250 – $325 hourly in 2022 to $275 – $350 in 2023. Demand is moderate but consistent for locums in this specialty. A typical locums shift for interventional radiologists is Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm and might include night and weekend call. The average assignment length is one to three months.
There’s a significant shortage of vascular surgeons, so locums in this specialty are in very high demand. It continues to be one of the highest-paying locum specialties, with daily compensation at $1,800 – $2,800 in 2023, up from $1,700 – $2,200 daily in 2022. Schedules are typically 24-hour call, with options for shift work or a longer-term assignment.
For most physician specialties, the locum tenens pay trend shows continued growth in 2023 and demand remains high. As a result, locum physicians have more options to create an ideal locum tenens schedule that fits their lifestyle.
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