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Korean doctors make $146,000 on average a year: report
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.03.16 17:28
  • Updated 2018.03.17 11:24
  • comments 0

Contrary to general expectations, Korean physicians working at small- to medium-sized hospitals and medical clinics earned up to 30 percent, or $55,000, more than doctors working at the country’s most renowned Big-Five hospitals, by raking in an average of $235,000 a year.

An average Korean doctor made around 156 million won ($146,000) a year with their salary increasing with age, according to a 2017 report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare released Tuesday.

A Health and Welfare Ministry finds Korean doctors made an average annual salary of $146,000, pharmacists $67,000, and nurses $33,000.

Doctors in their 40s made about 192 million won ($180,000) on the average. Of physicians in the age group, those working at hospitals with 30 to 99 beds and medical clinics that have beds raked in the most with an average salary of 252 million won ($235,000). Doctors working at long-term care hospitals that have fewer than 100 beds had the lowest payroll of 108 million won.

Meanwhile, people with a medical license working at nonmedical institutions made about $56,000 less than doctors who did, earning around $90,000 last year. Doctors in their 40s outside medical institutions made approximately $112,000, which was also lower than the $180,000 made by doctors working inside at these institutions.

In another unexpected finding, nurses who worked outside of hospitals, such as at government agencies, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical firms, made more than those who worked at medical institutions. Nurses working at hospitals made an estimated average of $33,000 per year in 2016, while those with nurse licenses working at a non-medical institutions made about $45,000.

Nurses in their 30s working at “superior general hospitals,” or government-designated general hospitals, earned the most, making an average of $47,000 a year while those working at long-term care hospitals with fewer than 100 beds received the least with $25,000.

By age group, 30-year-olds with nursing licenses working outside medical institutions made about 20 percent more than those who worked at them. The 30-year-olds working outside medical institutions earned an average of $41,000 a year while those working at medical institutions made $33,700. Licensed nurses working at educational institutions made the most among those working at non-medical facilities, earning around $38,000.

Pharmacists had an average salary of 72 million won ($67,000) with those in their 30s earning an average of 60 million won. Pharmacists in their 30s working at superior general hospitals received the most with $54,000 while those working at long-term care hospitals made a little more than half of those at the superior general hospitals with $29,000

People with pharmacy licenses working outside of healthcare facilities such as pharmaceutical firms earned around 80.4 million won ($75,000) in 2016. Those in their 30s working outside a medical institution made around 63.6 million ($59,600), similar to the 60 million ($56,000) earned by those who worked at them. People licensed to practice pharmacy working at educational facilities made the most with 72 million won ($67,000).

Wages were on an overall rising trend for all three professions, the report noted.


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