Dermatologists are considered part of the Investigative careers category according to the Strong Interest Inventory® Assessment. This assessment was first published in 1927, and since then has been an invaluable tool used for pointing job seekers in the direction of careers that they will find both enjoyable and fulfilling. The assessment works by matching one’s interests and preferences to careers that leverage those interests. For example, Dermatologists and other Investigative career titles, typically involve solving real-world problems by analyzing, investigating, or researching detailed situations, from symptoms of a disease to how to construct a building. People who gravitate towards Investigative Careers often enjoy tinkering and are motivated rather than daunted by challenges.


Read about a career in Dermatology including information such as a Dermatologist’s salary, daily tasks and other career information.

Dermatologists are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and helping to prevent skin conditions and diseases. These diseases may include various kinds of nevi (acquired, congenital, dysplastic, Spitz, and blue) as well as more common conditions like acne, dandruff, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, or skin cancers like melanoma. These conditions are diagnosed first with a preliminary examination, and then, if needed, with biopsies, though they may recommend additional tests as well. They may counsel patients on awareness of such diseases or conditions and how they can be prevented. They may also prescribe hormonal agents or topical treatments, which may include hormonal contraceptives, retinoids, antibiotics, or corticosteroids. In some cases, Dermatologists may refer patients to other specialists, or conduct or order diagnostic tests, like X-rays or endocrinologic tests. For minor conditions such as sun damage, rough skin, oily or discolored skin, therapies like chemical peels may be prescribed. As they diagnose and treat patients, Dermatologists also maintain careful medical records and histories of their patients. As with most other medical professionals, Dermatologists are responsible for conducting research and staying up to date on current literature and developments in the field, as well as training interns and residents to become the next generation of Dermatologists.

Dermatologists use many different kinds of tools and technologies in their trade. These range from medical equipment (e.g., Automated external defibrillators, dermatoscopes, EKG machines, medical thermometers, cauterizers, forceps, nail clippers, suture scissors, stethoscopes, vein locators, pulse oximeters, nebulizers), surgical equipment (e.g., surgical microscopes, surgical lasers, retraction hooks, scalpels, surgical scissors) to biologic testing equipment (e.g., biopsy aspirator guns, cryosurgery tweezers, biopsy containers). They also use standard office equipment (e.g., desktop and laptop computers, digital cameras, tablet computers, etc.) In addition to standard software, like word processing and email software, they also use medical software (e.g., Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR, Encite Dermatology Electronic Health Records Software, Greenway Medical Technologies PrimeSUITE, etc.).

Dermatologists are medical doctors, and so have complete both college and medical school, as well as an internship and residency in dermatology. Through this intense educational regimen, they develop a detailed understanding of medical and dentistry as well as the related fields of biology and psychology. In addition, they learn how to handle issues in customer and personal service, as well as the administration and management of their own medical practice. In some cases, a background in therapy and counseling can also be helpful. In addition to this academic background, Dermatologists also need precise physical coordination and manual dexterity, as well as the ability to read and understand large amounts of information. They need to draw conclusions from this information, and often make decisions and judgments that may affect their patients’ lives in the long and short term. Last but certainly not least, Dermatologists need to be able to communicate clearly and confidently in spoken and written English.

Dermatologists are highly paid for their skills. The average national Dermatologist Salary is just over $200,000, with the median in many states being over $208,000. Even the lowest 10% of Dermatologists in nearly all states still earn more than $100,000 annually, though this may not be the case for states in the deep south like Alabama, where the lowest 10% is under $55,000. Nonetheless, demand is rising across the country, and the largest states of New York, Florida, California, and Texas are projected to add over 5,000 new jobs in the next decade. While some states, especially in New England, are experiencing little to no growth, the national average is 8%.

Below are some employment trends for Dermatologists:

  • Median Salary: $99.28 hourly, $206,500 annually
  • Employment: 433,700 employees
  • Projected growth (2018-2028): Faster than average (7% to 10%)
  • Projected job openings (2018-2028): 16,500
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections