Nephrologist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

Nephrology involves the treatment of kidney and urinary system diseases. If you are interested in Nephrology, you may be curious on what the nephrologist salary is.


Well, according to PayScale, the nephrologist salary is an average of $201,034 per year. The pay ranges for nephrologists from $149,000 to $323,000 per year.

Additionally, nephrologists have the opportunity to earn between $5,000 and $90,000 per year in bonuses. They can also earn $10,000 to $152,000 per year from profit sharing.

nephrologist salary


How Much Does a Nephrologist Make per Year by State?

Nephrologist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $96.63 C$122 £65 AU$169 NZD$142 INR1,125.96 R741
Annual Pay $201,000 C$254,055 £134,452 AU$350,910 NZD$294,665 INR23,42,000 R1,541,985

Nephrologist Salary Influencing Factors

As specialists, nephrologists can work in private practice, hospitals or public or private sector. The setting determines to a significant extent the pay of nephrologists. More experience and seniority usually translates to higher earnings. Where a nephrologist practice should also serve as a consideration in pay.

1. Location

Medscape’s 2017 survey shows the highest paid American nephrologists, by region, practice in the Southwestern region, at $376,000. Those in the Southeast followed at $320,000, while compensation averaged $318,000 in the South Central States. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, pay as reported by Medscape rested at $231,000.

Data from SalaryExpert highlights some places where nephrologists earn more than the national mean. In Vancouver, British Columbia, pay runs at C$273,509, compared to the Canada mean of C$254,005. Nephrologists in Toronto make C$274,125. The pay stands at AU$373,358 in Sydney, more than AU$22,000 above the national average. Nephrologists in Cape Town garner R1,670,021, while overall the pay averages R1,541,985 in South Africa. In Johannesburg, the mean is R2,055,482. In London, the figure is £168,263, versus the United Kingdom mean of £134,452.

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in the US?

Nephrologist Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum $148,026 $71.17
Maximum $297,905 $143.22
Bonus $1,468 to $76,596 $0.71 to $36.83
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay $148,708 to $313,634

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in Canada?

Nephrologist Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum C$170,063 C$81.76
Maximum C$333,149 C$160.17
Bonus C$14,303 C$6.88
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay C$170,063 to C$347,452

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in the UK?

Nephrologist Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum £90,002 £43.27
Maximum £176,311 £84.76
Bonus £7,570 £3.64
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay £90,002 to £183,881

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in Australia

Nephrologist Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum AU$235,279 AU$113.11
Maximum AU$460,905 AU$221.59
Bonus AU$19,756 AU$9.50
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay AU$235,279 to AU$480,661

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in New Zealand?

Nephrologist Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum NZD$197,411 NZD$94.91
Maximum NZD$386,723 NZD$185.92
Bonus NZD$16,590 NZD$7.98
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay NZD$197,411 to NZD$403,313

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in India?

Nephrologist Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum INR608,205 INR292.41
Maximum INR4,242,584 INR2,039.70
Bonus N/A N/A
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay INR608,205 to INR4,242,584

How Much Does a Nephrologist Make in South Africa?

Nephrologist Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum R1,041,084 R500.52
Maximum R2,039,449 R980.50
Bonus R86,814 R41.74
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay R1,041,084 to R2,126,263

2. Experience

For entry-level nephrologists in the United States, mean pay stands at $186,000. PayScale puts the average at five to ten years of experience at $204,000. With ten to 20 years of experience, a nephrologist can advance to a mean pay of $229,000. Those beyond the 20-year practice level make on a mean basis $267,000.

According to SalaryExpert, nephrologists in Canada with one to three years of practice earn C$170,063 on a mean basis. Pay increases to C$333,149 for those who achieve at least eight years. In United Kingdom, earnings average 90,002 at the entry-level stage and 176,111 for nephrologists with eight or more years of experience.

SalaryExpert puts the mean for nephrologists at entry-level in Australia at AU$235,279 and the senior-level earnings at AU$460,905. In New Zealand, salaries for the experience levels rest at NZD$197,411 and NZD$386,723 respectively.

According to PayScale, nephrologists in India who have practice from ten to 20 years see their pay fly to 51 percent above the national mean. In the five to ten-year experience stage, earnings drop 16 percent below the mean.

South Africa’s nephrologists can expect entry-level pay to average R1,041,084. With eight years or more experience, these practitioners earn R2,039,449.

3. Industry

Practice settings for nephrologists generally consist of hospitals and physicians offices. The Canadian Medical Association states that 52 percent worked in “Academic Health Sciences Centres” and another 22 percent practiced in community hospitals. Roughly one out of nine held private offices and clinics and non-teaching hospitals, individually, as practice settings.

Nephrology produces mean earnings generally in the middle or lower half of medical specialities. Medscape reports that earnings for self-employed nephrologists in the United States registered at $323,000, almost a $100,000 more than their counterparts who were not self-employed. The latter group made on average $226,000.

Doctor Portal ranks renal medical specialists as 24th ranked among male workers in Australia, with a mean pay of AU$298,681. Renal medical specialists were the 29th highest paid among female employees in Australia, at AU$155,133.

According to Medscape’s 2017 survey, nephrologists in the United States ranked 18th out of 27 medical specialties in the United States, at $280,000.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service employs or pays for the services of nephrologists. Consultant nephrologists in the National Health Service enjoy a base salary of £76,761 to £103,490. Pay can increase for those in private or independent practice. In New Zealand, nephrologists who work for one of the District Boards of Health fetch between NZD$155,000 and NZD$219,000.

Schedule & Working Hours

Nephrologists predominately are full-time professionals. Many practice well beyond 40 hours per week. The Canadian Medical Association’s survey reports that nephrologists logged 56.5 hours per week in 2014.

The practice setting often shapes the typical work schedule. In offices, nephrologists generally work daytimes and on weekdays. Those who report for surgeries may have some evenings or weekends, especially to meet emergencies. In the event their services are needed on an urgent basis, nephrologists remain on call. Shifts for those in hospital settings more likely run on nights and weekends and may last between 12 and 24 hours at a time.

Bonuses & Benefits

Employed nephrologists enjoy benefits such as retirement, medical benefits, assistance for student loans and help with moving expenses. Some employers may afford relocation or signing incentives.

Respondents in the United States to Medscape’s 2017 compensation survey reported having health insurance at a 75 percent rate. Approximately 57 percent had dental insurance. In the United States, earnings from profit sharing average $44,000 according to PayScale.

Becoming a Nephrologist

What is a nephrologist?

A nephrologist is an internal medicine physician who is focused on kidney care and the treatment of kidney diseases.

Nephrologists work with patients who have lost some kidney function, or are experiencing chronic kidney disease or failure.

Certain patients could be referred to a nephrologist by a physician for testing or treatment. Depending on their condition, a patient could see a nephrologist regularly.

Nephrologists are trained to treat:

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Kidney stones
  • Acute renal failure
  • High blood pressure

Certain nephrology patients, such as those on dialysis, are able to administer the treatment themselves from their own home.

Educational path for nephrologists

Nephrology is an internal medicine specialty. You must graduate from medical school and complete a three-year residency in internal medicine.

After that, nephrologists-in-training take The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification and apply to a nephrology program.

Nephrology programs are two or three year fellowships involving clinical or lab research.


Step by Step Path:


Earn a bachelor’s degree:

A specific type is not required, but majors in the biological sciences can help you get the prerequisites for medical school.

Be aware of the GPA requirements to get into medical school.

Apply to medical school:

This will require taking the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT, which will focus on our knowledge of verbal reasoning, the sciences, and math.

Contributers to medical school acceptance include the MCAT score, undergraduate GPA, interviews, letters of recommendation, life experience, and other factors.

Complete medical school:

This will be four years for internal medicine, involving two years of classroom time and two years of working in a medical setting.

During your second year, you study physiology, which is important for nephrologists.

Take any advantage of shadowing nephrologists during medical school, to get an idea of what is required from the profession.

Complete a residency in internal medicine:

You will complete a three-year residency upon graduation from medical school.

This will train you in providing care for patients, working with a team, and offering treatments.

This is the basis for further specializing in nephrology during fellowship.

After residency, doctors preparing for a specialty will take the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) exam.

Apply for a nephrology fellowship:

After passing the ABIM, you can start applying to nephrology fellowships.

This will give you a concentrated study of the kidney, diseases, and disorders.

Fellowships for nephrology are generally between two and three years total, with a one or two year lab research component.

The fellowship must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Obtain a license

Doctors in the U.S. are required to get a license specific to the state where you will be practicing. Requirements differ from state-to-state, but all state licenses require passing a two-part exam.

Get board certified

This is an optional step.

This will indicate that you have fulfilled special requirements beyond the state license.

Skills required

  • Detail-oriented
  • Critical thinking
  • Compassion
  • Problem-solving
  • Patience

Work environment

Nephrologists can work in a variety of medical settings, and this will be a factor in the nephrologist salary.

These could include private practice, clinics, hospitals, universities, medical centers, and more.

Most nephrologists work in a private practice, but that’s definitely not the only area where a nephrologist can practice.

You can work in healthcare organizations, academic settings, hospitals, office-based group practices, outpatient clinics, and more.

A nephrologist can be hired as an independent contractor, a direct employee, or be an owner or partner in a private practice.

Most nephrologists spend 30-40 hours per week seeing patients during a 41-50 hour work week. The remaining hours are spent for administrative or organizational duties and documentation.

You can expect to spend about 15 to 24 minutes with each patient.

Career Outlook

Disorders related to kidney and urinary system failure leads to a need for nephrologists. In many countries, the field is small especially when compared to the total population. The small ratios of nephrologists to potential patients spells opportunities for qualified specialists.

According to the Canadian Medical Association, Canada had 697 nephrologists in 2015, representing a ratio of 1.8 nephrologists for every 100,000 residents.

The National Health Service states that, in 2016, England had 523 consultant nephrologists and 407 medical registrars.  The United Kingdom stands among European nations with the lowest number of nephrologists per capita. The low numbers in the United Kingdom may result from the publically-run nature of the United Kingdom health system and lower pay for those who enter it.

Australia and New Zealand combined had 136 full-time and 82 part-time nephrologists, according to a report from the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology. For South Africa, the ratio of nephrologists to the population is one for every one million people.

Is Nephrology the Right Career for You?

Nephrology may, on the whole, pay at the lower scale of medical professionals in some countries. Nevertheless, salaries generally occupy higher levels among occupations in general. As demand and shortages abound, qualified nephrologists can find opportunities to fill jobs or operate a successful practice.

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