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How Much Do Intensivists Make? A Guide to Intensivist Salaries

Intensivists care for some of the most critically ill patients at a hospital and have a great deal of responsibility in their daily work. Due to their specialty in treating critically ill or injured patients, they often make high yearly salaries. However, since intensivist pay can range widely based on several factors, it’s important to understand the average pay and the main factors affecting whether an intensivist is paid below or above the average.

How Much Do Intensivists Make on Average?

While sources differ on the average intensivist salary, Resolve’s data states that the average salary for critical care intensivist physicians based in the U.S. is $400,245 as of April 2024. Based on their data from April 2024, they also state the highest salary for a critical intensivist position is $694,512, while the lowest salary is $185,000. Since their data is based on physician contracts rather than employer surveys and they update their estimates daily when new contracts are submitted, their estimates can be largely trusted.

Alongside Resolve’s estimates, ZipRecruiter gives a similar yearly average, saying the national yearly pay for intensivists is $368,500 as of April 2024. Based on their data, intensivists make the most in New York state, with an average annual salary of $450,576. In contrast, they estimate intensivists in Arkansas make the least, with an average annual salary of 293,253. Since estimates for salaries can range based on the source, you may want to reach out to an intensivist recruiter to get a sense of what you can expect to make in your area.

How Much Money Can 1099 Intensivists Make?

1099 intensivists include locum tenens and moonlighting intensivists who work as contractors for healthcare organizations on short-term contracts. These types of intensivists usually earn more than intensivists who receive a W-2, as locum tenens and moonlighting intensivists tend to be hired when healthcare organizations must quickly fill gaps in coverage.

Average yearly pay for locum tenens and moonlighting intensivists is hard to estimate, as a 1099 intensivist may only work a few shifts a month while others might pick up more shifts than the average for a W-2 intensivist. However, some estimate that locum tenens physicians who work in critical care can make between $238-$275 an hour. In comparison, an intensivist earning $400,000 a year and working an average of 40 hours a week would make $192 an hour.

What Factors Affect an Intensivist’s Pay?

As you decide where to apply for intensivist positions, it’s important to know about all the main factors affecting intensivist pay. Below, you can find a breakdown of the four main factors that impact an intensivist’s pay:

  • Location: Intensivist pay can vary widely by state, but some states have significantly lower costs of living. As you look for a position, compare the cost of living and the average salary to see if a lower salary could actually save you money by working in an area with a lower cost of living. Urban areas also tend to have higher pay for intensivists and a higher cost of living compared to rural areas.
  • Volume of cases: If a healthcare organization tends to have a higher volume of patients needing critical care, they’ll often pay their intensivists more to offset the higher demands.
  • 1099 Work: As previously discussed, intensivists who work as locum tenens or moonlighting intensivists usually make more per hour than W-2 intensivists. If intensivists take enough shifts, they can also make more annually.
  • Type of cases: The types of cases an intensivist treats can affect pay. Subspecialties that generally make more will also come with higher salaries for intensivists who specialize in them. For example, intensivists with a surgical specialty tend to make more than those who have a specialty in pediatrics.
  • Years of experience and certifications: Intensivists who have more experience working usually make more than those who are new to the job. Alongside the experience of an intensivist, those who have also earned more certifications typically make more money.

Turn to OnCall Solutions for Intensivist Staffing Services

If you’re on the market for a new intensivist position or plan to look for a position soon, OnCall Solutions can help you find the right intensivist position for you. As a leading staffing agency for intensivists, we pair a nationwide network of healthcare organizations with a local focus to ensure we can ensure our physicians are matched with an organization that meets their goals.

Alongside helping intensivists find locum tenens, moonlighting, part-time or full-time positions, we streamline the onboarding process by handling medical credentialing and malpractice insurance for the intensivists who partner with us.

Learn more about our physician staffing services today. If you have any questions or want to connect with one of our recruiters, please contact us.

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