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Urologist: Job Description and Information About Becoming an Urologist

Learn about a career as a urologist. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right profession for you.

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Career Definition

Urologists are specialized physicians who diagnose and treat conditions of the urinary tract and male reproductive systems. The American Urology Association has identified seven sub-specialty areas that include pediatric urology, male infertility and urological oncology, among others. Urologists typically work in private practices, hospitals or clinics.

How to Become a Urologist

Required Education

All urologists have completed postgraduate educations at medical schools. The entry requirements for medical school include at least three years of college, though nearly all entering students have bachelor's degrees in a field like chemistry or biology. After medical school, urologists complete residency requirements in their specialty. These residencies typically take a minimum of five years, according to the American Urology Association. Certification as a urologist requires passing a board exam in the specialty.

Skills Required

Urologists must consistently update their practice based on new medical technologies, requiring that they commit to being lifetime students in their field. Serving as a urologist can frequently require working long and irregular hours.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment opportunities for physicians and surgeons to increase 18% from 2012-2022, faster than the average for all jobs. The mean annual salary of physicians and surgeons not listed separately, including urologists, was $184,820 in 2012, according to BLS data.

Alternate Career Options

Physician Assistant

Also known as PAs, physician assistants examine, diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of surgeons and physicians. Their education normally includes a master's degree in a physician assistant program; they are licensed in all states. Earning a median annual wage of $90,930 in 2012, per the BLS, these professionals can look forward to much faster than average employment growth of 38% from 2012-2022.

Dentist

With a professional degree in dentistry and licensing, dentists diagnose and treat patients' teeth and gums, also educating them about oral health. The BLS predicted faster than average job growth of 16% for dentists from 2012-2022, and reported the annual median salary for these professionals as $149,310.

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