Endocrinology is an expensive field that includes a wide variety of jobs in medicine, healthcare, and scientific research. Endocrinologists of all types study how our glands and hormones impact our bodies and minds. If you’re interested in these topics, you can benefit from learning about the different career paths for aspiring endocrinologists. In this article, we describe eight high-paying endocrinology careers and offer tips for starting and developing your career.
What is endocrinology?
Endocrinology is the study of physiology and hormone function. People who study endocrinology seek to understand the role that hormones play in the human body. They research and evaluate the impact of hormonal function on growth, development, sensory perception, fertility, reproduction, and metabolism. They also study the way that a healthy endocrine system can protect people from hormone-related diseases and illnesses.
Endocrinologists are medical doctors who specialize in evaluating hormonal health. They run diagnostic tests to measure the function of different glands to assess the health and functionality of a person’s endocrine system. They work to prevent, identify, and treat hormone-related diseases. Their work helps people with diabetes, infertility, cancers, respiratory illnesses, and thyroid concerns.
The endocrine system is an intricate and multi-faceted component of human health, and it affects the functioning of various organs within the body. For this reason, there are a variety of areas of specialty that an endocrinologist might focus on. Here’s a list of 10 common subspecialties in endocrinology:
Career pathways for endocrinologists
The implications of the endocrine system are expansive, and the list of subspecialties within endocrinology is expansive as well. Within each subspecialty, there are multiple roles a person can pursue, depending on the career path they follow. Here are explanations of the three career pathways a person can choose from when entering the field of endocrinology:
Those who follow a clinical path in endocrinology train to become medical doctors. As the endocrine system affects so much of the human body, doctors in this field may specialize in one of many areas. Whether an endocrinologist focuses on diabetes management, hormone replacement, thyroid disease, reproductive oncology or any other specialty, their primary focus and function is to identify, prevent, and treat diseases and illnesses by regulating chemical and hormonal signals produced within the body.
Similar to clinical endocrinology, endocrine nursing also focuses on treating patients with chemical or hormone-related diseases or disorders. People pursuing this career pathway train to become registered nurses or nurse practitioners, and they often specialize in geriatric or pediatric endocrinology. They work with medical doctors, endocrinologists, and other medical professionals to provide guidance to help support healthy endocrine functionality.
Endocrine science is a career pathway for people who want to study the chemical and hormonal elements of the endocrine system. They conduct research and scientific studies to examine endocrine health, and they work to challenge conventions regarding this intricate bodily function and system. Those pursuing a career in endocrine science may work as chemists, biologists, clinical researchers, and research scientists. Similar to those embarking on other endocrinology career paths, endocrine scientists regularly focus their work and research efforts on a specific organ, disease, condition, or disorder.
8 high-paying endocrinology careers
Here is a list of eight high-paying jobs for endocrinologists to pursue:
1. Registered nurse
National average salary: $73,480 per year
Primary duties: A registered nurse is a nursing professional who provides care to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers, and clinics. They’re typically responsible for monitoring vital statistics, administering medication, and working with other medical staff for the recovery and wellness of their patients. They perform diagnostic tests, update patient records, and provide education on post-hospital treatment. Endocrine nurses are responsible for treating patients with endocrine-related disorders such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus and may also have a further specialization, such as pediatric endocrinology nursing.
National average salary: $80,613 per year
Primary duties: A chemist is an expert in the structure, interaction, use, and benefits of chemicals. Medical chemists research and develop chemical compounds for use in therapeutic medications. They may work to create new medicines or improve the efficiency and efficacy of existing medications as part of their daily work. Chemists collaborate with pharmacologists, biologists, and toxicologists in the development, testing, and administration of new medications. Chemists working in the field of endocrinology focus their research and development on medications that help regulate hormones and increase the healthy function of the endocrine system.
3. Research scientist
National average salary: $107,745 per year
Primary duties: A research scientist performs scientific research using accepted criteria, techniques and methodologies to close gaps in the knowledge of their chosen research field and develop and refine scientific theories. They conduct research and experiments and share hypotheses and results with peer colleagues for review and publication in medical journals and periodicals. Research scientists in the field of endocrinology focus their research on understanding the role of hormones in the functioning of the human body, the job certain bodily organs have in the production and regulation of hormones, and related topics in the overall specialization of endocrinology.
4. Nurse practitioner
National average salary: $113,408 per year
Primary duties: A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who contributes to all aspects of patient care, including the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, providing consultation and advice regarding ongoing care and disease prevention. They work in a variety of settings such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, critical care facilities, and rehabilitation centers. Nurse practitioners can work independently or as part of a medical treatment team. They can specialize in specific areas, such as endocrinology. Endocrinology nurse practitioners focus their care on patients with diseases or abnormalities of the organs or hormones of the endocrine system.
5. Infertility specialist
National average salary: $170,099 per year
Primary duties: An infertility specialist diagnoses and treats patients experiencing infertility or difficulty in conceiving a child. They’re experts in the field of human fertility and the roles the endocrine and reproductive systems play in conception. They work directly with patients to understand their case history, medical background, and desired outcomes to prescribe the most efficacious treatment protocols possible. Infertility specialists conduct tests of a patient’s hormone levels and functions that relate to conception and pregnancy and prescribe treatment protocols such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and hormone replacement therapy.
National average salary: $237,072 per year
Primary duties: An endocrinologist is a specialized medical professional who’s an expert in the composition, importance, and proper function of the endocrine system and in the diagnosis and treatment of related diseases. Endocrinologists treat patients with hormonal disorders and diseases such as infertility, abnormal thyroid function, and diabetes. They evaluate and diagnose patients through an understanding of their medical background and case history and use a variety of testing protocols to identify and treat diseases affecting the endocrine system. Endocrinologists may work alone or as part of a medical care team for the holistic treatment of patients.
National average salary: $271,615 per year
Primary duties: An oncologist is a physician who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of all varieties. They typically work as part of a cancer treatment team and healthcare specialists who collaborate to care for cancer patients. Oncologists perform tests using innovative diagnostic techniques to accurately diagnose and treat cancers. Oncologists may further concentrate their practice on treating certain types of cancers or certain types of patients, such as children. Hormonal components of a cancer diagnosis or cancers affecting the organs or glands of the endocrine system take knowledge of or specialization in endocrinology.
National average salary: $287,740 per year
Primary duties: A surgeon is a type of doctor whose technical expertise is in the performance of surgery to repair injuries and broken bones, prevent disease spread, and correct malformations of bones. They perform examinations using tools such as X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs to determine if surgery is necessary. They also determine how to safely and effectively perform any necessary procedures. Surgeons work closely with other specialists as part of a patient care team. Surgery that directly impacts or affects the organs and glands of the endocrine system requires an understanding of the endocrine system and its functions.
6 additional jobs for endocrinologists
Here are six additional job titles for endocrinologists with specific areas of focus:
5 tips for starting a career in endocrinology
Here are five tips for creating a pathway for your career in endocrinology:
Study chemistry and biology
Endocrinology revolves around maintaining hormonal and glandular health and preventing and treating hormone-related diseases. Before, during, and after your formal training occurs, it’s important to study chemistry and biology. Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of these scientific areas is important for treating patients, conducting research, and changing or progressing in the way endocrinological diseases are treated.
Develop excellent study habits
People who want to pursue endocrinology often seek to become doctors, nurses, physicians, research scientists, chemists, and biologists. Whatever career path in endocrinology someone chooses, they’ll need to earn one or more degrees from a college or university, and they’re likely to earn certificates or even doctorates in their area of specialty. It’s important to develop excellent study habits, like time management, note-taking, and regular reading, in order to succeed in their academic endeavors.
Foster your problem-solving skills and curiosity
Whether you are considering going to school for endocrinology or you’re currently in medical school or a nursing program, it’s important to encourage your academic and scientific curiosity and foster your problem-solving skills. Research questions pertaining to hormonal health and the endocrine system, and hypothesize, test, and study your ideas. Developing and fostering these skills and attributes is an important part of your preparation for a career as an endocrinologist and researcher.
Join an endocrine or scientific society
There are a wide variety of scientific societies and endocrine societies. They’re groups of people who represent a medical and scientific community. Each individual group is dedicated to making advancements relating to endocrinological research and treatment methods. Joining a community of scientific researchers, physicians, surgeons, and endocrine nurses can help expand your clinical knowledge and improve your ability to treat and care for your patients. Here is a list of six major endocrine societies you may want to explore:
The Endocrine Society
The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES)
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
The American Society of Endocrine Physicians Assistants (ASEPA)
The Endocrine Nurses Society (ENS)
The Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES)
Explore multiple specialties during your residency program
The endocrine system is complex, and the study of human chemistry, hormones, and glands can be applied to a wide variety of specialties in medicine and science. As a clinical student of endocrinology, you’re likely to engage in a medical residency program, nursing residency program, or a scientific research internship. By exploring multiple specialties and speaking with people who work in different areas of endocrinology, you can get a better understanding of the topics and subject areas that interest you most.
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