How Much Does it Cost to Become a Dermatologist

Last Updated on August 27, 2022 by

Becoming a dermatologist is no easy task but who really wants to know how much it costs? The answer is a lot. And if you’re like me you want a detailed breakdown of all the expenses up front. This will help you understand why this career path costs so much and whether or not it’s something you can afford based on salary alone. Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to become a dermatologist and what they earn once they finish medical school.

Finding the latest & best information on fastest way to become a dermatologist & entry requirements for dermatologist could prove a bit difficult sometimes, but you need not worry anymore. The article below brings you the best information on all these and more.

You will also discover related posts on how many years to become a dermatologist & dermatology school requirements on collegelearners.

How much does it cost to become a dermatologist? It’s a question that haunts many aspiring skin scientists who are studying towards their degree. The answer can be complicated, and it’s not the same for everyone—but don’t worry, we’re going to break it down for you right here.

We think it’s time that a resource like this existed, so we put together this guide to help anyone who is looking to get into dermatology—whether you want to be a dermatologist yourself, or you just want to understand how becoming a dermatologist works.

This guide will cover:

-how much money you need to become a dermatologist

-what the steps are from college student to board-certified dermatologist

-how long the process takes

-what kind of support there is along the way

-and more!

15 Career Tips from Dermatologists - How to Become a Derm

Who is a Dermatologist?

Facial Care Tips from a Dermatologist

You may not realize it, but the skin on your face is even more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body. It’s more susceptible to dryness and irritation, so it makes sense that you should take special care of it. Here are some tips from a dermatologist for keeping that mug healthy:

  1. Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a gentle cleanser designed for sensitive skin. Don’t scrub–just massage the product into your skin with your fingers and let it sit for about 15 seconds before rinsing thoroughly.
  2. Don’t use bar soap–that’s too harsh for facial skin. Opt instead for a liquid formula or (if you really dig bars) one specially formulated for sensitive skin.
  3. Avoid touching your face throughout the day, as this can transfer dirt and oil to your pores, leading to breakouts.
  4. Be sure to apply lip balm before heading out into cold weather; chapped lips can be painful!

Furthermore, they are experts in handling and managing serious skin diseases like skin cancer. They improve people’s quality of life by relieving painful skin conditions. Also, they help people with disfiguring conditions feel more confident and accepted.

A dermatologist may specialize in a specific area of practice. A dermatologist may be a specialist in areas such as cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, or dermatopathology. Some other dermatologists may train to become proficient in a technique called Mohs surgery, which is usually used to treat skin cancer.

What is Dermatology?

According to the Florida Medical Clinic, dermatology is a medical specialty that focuses on conditions and disorders that affect the skin, nails, and hair.

There are several specializations which a dermatologist can study and practice, such as:

  • Pediatric dermatology: Dermatologists who focus on skin conditions in children
  • Cosmetic dermatology: Specialists whose goal is to improve the appearance of the skin.
  • Dermatopathology: A specialist who diagnoses skin conditions by examining samples under a microscope
  • Procedural dermatology: Another term for a dermatologist who specializes in dermatologic surgery

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Dermatologist?

How much it will cost to gain a dermatologist degree differs from school to school. The average annual cost of attending a dermatology school ranges between $35,218 to $59,339.

For a total of 8 years, an out-of-state student pursuing a career in dermatology may spend up to $400, 000. This largely depends on the school, anyway. An in-state- may pay up $281,704.

During residency training, residents are usually paid about $40,000 to $50,000 per year to help pay the bills. They are paid a minimum salary because medical residents are not fully licensed to practice medicine, and therefore residents do not independently bring in any revenue for a medical facility.

dermatologist salary

According to Medscape’s 2014 Dermatologist Compensation report, as seen on doctorly, the average salary for a U.S. dermatologist is $308,000, ranking in the top third highest paying physician specialties. The top earners come primarily from the Southwest and Northwest regions, with average salaries reaching up to $385,000.

Below is a breakdown of the various earnings of dermatologists in some notable regions of the USA. This report was gathered from

New York$177,330

What Are the Best Dermatology Schools?

There are no best schools for dermatology anywhere. As a matter of fact, anyone who tells you there are dermatology medical schools is not telling you the truth. Dermatology is a medical specialty that requires you to have a medical degree first. One requirement of becoming a dermatologist is that you must first go to medical school to get your MD or DO or MBBCh or MBBS.

During your medical school, you will have a lot of specialties to choose from. Some may decide to delve into obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, urology, neurology, surgery, preventive medicine, pathology. But you will need to opt-in for dermatology.

So you go to a medical school to become a doctor, then become a dermatologist by completing a multi-year residency. What you want to do is offer one of the best residency programs in dermatology.

However, below is a list of the best medical schools you may want to start with before your residency in dermatology.

List of best medical schools for dermatology

  • Harvard University, Harvard Medical School
  • University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • University of Washington, School of Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
  • Stanford University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine

Acceptance Rate: 3.9%

Graduation Rate: 93.1%

Johns Hopkins Medical School is the best medical school in the US. The school has been known for its outstanding contributions to the provision of astute medical research and interventions. Students at this school pursue various sub-specialties including dermatology.

Stanford University School of Medicine

Acceptance Rate: 2.3%

Graduation Rate: 94.6%

The Stanford University School of Medicine is another school topping the list among medical schools in the US. Students attending SU medical school find specialties such as oncology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology including dermatology and more.

Harvard University, Harvard Medical School

Acceptance Rate: 5.4%

Graduation Rate: 97.5%

Harvard Medical School is one of the best medical schools in the US where you can pursue your medical degree. Medical students Harvard Medical School are on the front lines of medicine and science serving individuals and populations locally, nationally, and globally.

The school is committed to nurturing a diverse community of individuals dedicated to promoting excellence and leadership in medicine and science through education, research, clinical care and service.

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Graduation Rate: 63%

The University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine is one of the best medical schools in the United States. The school has been ranked among the best five for the past 10 years.

The University of Washington, School of Medicine

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Graduation Rate: 83.9%

The University of Washington School of Medicine ranked nationally as a top medical school for primary care and research by U.S. News. Students can pursue many medical specialties and options in this school including dermatology.

how to become a dermatologist

Steps to Becoming a Dermatologist

If you re looking to become a dermatologist here is a full guide for you. This guide will help you know what actions to take at what time. Carefully read through this guide.

Acquire a bachelor’s degree

The first step to becoming a dermatologist is to acquire a bachelor’s degree. The students will get a foundation in core sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry, along with written and oral communication course study. It is always advised that before a student graduates from the university, he should apply to medical school.

Attend a medical school

After you graduate from undergraduate school, you will need to enroll in medical school. At the medical school, budding dermatologists will spend the first year in the classroom where they will be exposed to core medical science courses like anatomy, histology, pathology, pharmacology, biochemistry, psychology, ethics and preparing for Objective Structured Clinical Exams.

During their second year, the students’ training will become more clinically based. During the third and fourth years, students will start getting clinical duties and shifts. This is where they will get mentorship from senior medical personnel and gain exposure to a wide array of medical specialties. Students interested in dermatology will need to settle for it.

Complete a Residency Program

After completing a medical school, a prospective dermatologist will need to apply to complete a three-year dermatology residency. If his application is accepted, the candidate also known as ‘resident’ will need to spend at least 36 months consulting and seeing patients. They will also be learning how to diagnose and treat various degrees of skin, hair and nail conditions. They will also get surgical training such as skin and nail biopsies.

There are two more things that happen during the residency process. The first is that the candidate will have to sit for the licensing exam particularly in the state where he or she wishes to practice. Another thing that happens during this period is that the candidate will be certified by the professional board of dermatologists.

According to, below is a list of the requirements that prospective dermatologists must meet before being certified.

Candidate must:

  1. Be a graduate from an accredited medical school in the U.S, Canada or an international school approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  2. Possess an unrestricted license to practice in at least one state.
  3. Complete required training for dermatology specialty, as dictated by the ABDerm.
  4. Sit and pass the ABOD exam for Dermatology
  5. Dermatologists should be aware of some maintenance of certification (MOC) activity should be completed every three years and physicians must pass the MOC exam in their specialty or specialties every 10 years, per ABOD requirements.

Complete a Sub-Specialty Program

Dermatologists who wish to major in a certain area of their practice can settle for a sub-specialty likeDermatopathology, Pediatric Dermatology, and Procedural Dermatology but first, they must sit and pass the subspecialty exam.

Can you make good money as a dermatologist?

Let’s face it: there are a lot of reasons to become a dermatologist, but “getting rich” isn’t one of them.

It’s not that dermatologists don’t make the big bucks—they do. In fact, the average dermatologist salary is about $250,000 per year. But it takes a long time for you to get there.

The first year you graduate medical school, you have to do a residency in dermatology. This means you’re getting paid around $40,000 to $50,000 to update your bills. And while that might seem like a lot now, when you’re racking up student loan debt and trying to afford rent in an expensive city? Not so much.

But once you’ve done your residency? The money starts to roll in. Your first year as an actual doctor making actual doctor money? Upwards of $234,000 per year. By year six? Almost $400k on average!

Average Cost of Becoming a Dermatologist

The average annual cost of attending a dermatology school ranges between $35,218 to $59,339. For a total of 8 years, an out-of-state student pursuing a career in dermatology may spend up to $400, 000.

Who doesn’t love to get an alluring body and face value? If you asked me I would tell you, there’s just no one who doesn’t love the glorious feeling that comes with having glowing and lusciously tempting skin.

Helping you get that perfect skin is the job of a dermatologist. In this article, I will show you how to become a dermatologist, I mean, the hottest sought after skin therapist.

Unarguably, people will pay anything just to get perfect skin. They spend so much at the spa, spend money on expensive products, and almost change everything about their beauty routine in order to have a glowing, healthy complexion.

As a dermatologist, you’ll be the next go-to for anyone who needs naturally glowing skin. Part of what you will be doing is providing them with expert tips and products that will help them gain the kind of skin they so desire.

This article will solely direct you through the right step to become a dermatologist is no distance time. The table of content below will help you for easy navigation through this article.

what do dermatologists do

Dermatologists are medical specialists who diagnose and treat skin, hair, nail, and mucosal disorders in both adults and children. The services they offer are wide-ranging from acne, infections, genetic disorders, and skin cancer, to cosmetic problems such as scarring, hair loss, correction of burned skin, tattoo removal, and aging.

Dermatologists, as skin doctors have unique job descriptions. This largely depends on the condition of the patient whom they are working for. Aside from the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders, dermatologists perform physical examinations occasionally with the help of what they call black light.

Furthermore, they perform several types of minor surgical procedures, including the excision of moles and techniques like Moh’s surgery – a specialized procedure that removes skin cancer from sensitive regions (such as the face) with minimal scarring and physical disruption.

Furthermore, some dermatologists are specially trained to perform vitiligo surgery or skin grafting, which is used to treat burn victims or patients with large scars.

In the same vein, some dermatologists work as lecturers in medical schools where they provide education and preventative care for skin and other health-related issues.

How Long Does a Dermatology Program Last?

Dermatology is one of the most highly competitive medical careers and as a result, requires many years of education and training for one to be competent in the practice.

Usually, if you want to pursue a career as a dermatologist, the first thing you will need to do is to enroll in an undergraduate degree program. This will last about four years.

Typically, the long pathway to becoming a dermatologist typically combines the following steps:

  • Bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree (4 years)
  • Medical school (4 years)
  • Dermatology residency (4 years)

Students may find accelerated programs in some schools. These accelerated programs compress bachelors and medical degrees into a single 6- or 7-year program instead of the usual 8 years.

Is Becoming a Dermatologist Hard?

The path that leads to being a dermatologist is the same path that leads to becoming a general medical practitioner. The path is usually very long and rigorous.

The program begins with a four-year bachelor’s program. This will be followed by another four years of medical school and then another four years of residency.

During these years, students will be exposed to a lot of medical courses like anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, etc.

At medical school, students spend the first two years in lab, lecture, and practicum courses. The curriculum usually covers:


Students will explore the visible anatomy of the human body through lectures, dissections, videos, and medical imaging.


Students will be exposed to biochemistry where they will learn the structure and behavior of the chemicals that make up the body, including proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates.


Students will study mechanisms of drug action, how drugs are processed by the body, and methods for administering drugs to patients.


Pathology will teach students about disease processes and how specific diseases impact organs and body systems.


Physiology will expose students to the various functions of the different systems of the body.

5 Beauty Habits of Super-Busy Dermatologists | Tatler Asia

So, you want to become a dermatologist? We’re here to help.

In this article, we’ve broken down what it takes to become a dermatologist, from the education and training required to the kinds of skills you’ll need to succeed in dermatology.

We’ve also taken a look at average salary for dermatologists—and how much it would cost for you to get your start. But we’ve also looked at how much debt medical school graduates take on and what factors contribute to their decisionmaking process. And finally, we’ve explored why people choose this particular field of medicine—even in spite of the high cost of getting into it.

Ultimately, you should do whatever feels right for you—and if that includes becoming a dermatologist, then by all means go for it! But do your research first so that you know what you’re getting yourself into and can make the right choices along the way.

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