DOCTOR vs ENGINEER | A Financial Analysis

If you like science, it’s not unreasonable
to be weighing your options in becoming an engineer versus a doctor. But which is better financially speaking? Stay tuned to find out. Dr. Jubbal, For those who are new here, my name is Dr.
Kevin Jubbal. If you want to know the down and dirty of
what it’s like to be a doctor, check out my second channel titled Kevin Jubbal, M.D.
Link in the description below. In certain cultures, becoming a doctor is
the highest achievement, followed by becoming an engineer or lawyer as number two. Why is becoming a doctor so highly valued
at number one? There are a few reasons: First, it’s an incredibly competitive and
difficult path to complete, and the type of work you do is often considered noble. For that reason, being a doctor is highly
prestigious. Second, the financial aspects. Job security is high, because people will
always have health issues and doctors are always in demand. Additionally, doctors are some of the highest
paid professionals, making low to mid six figures on average. In short, being a doctor is safe. It’s the only profession where if you work
hard, you are almost guaranteed to make low to mid-six figures. Can you make more in other professions? Sure, but going into business or engineering
doesn’t have that guaranteed level of salary. The range is much broader, meaning you can
make much less or much more than the average physician, but on average you’ll probably
be making less. Did your parents ever pressure you to become
a doctor? If so, mash that like button and drop a comment
below. So let’s say you want to get rich above
all else. You don’t care about job satisfaction, or
lifestyle, or your purpose in life. You’re just trying to make it rain. In that case, going into medicine must be
the best choice, right? After all, it’s the highest paid profession. This is the part where we crunch the numbers. With any analysis, a series of assumptions
must first be made. On the doctor side, we’ll have two comparisons:
primary care and specialist. To become an average primary care doctor,
you’ll finish college, then spend 4 years in medical school, graduating with an average
debt of $198,000, and then complete 3-4 years of residency prior to earning your attending
salary. Based on recent data, that starting salary
will be $223,000. To become the average specialist, you’ll
again have to complete 4 years of medical school, but since becoming a specialist like
a plastic surgeon or dermatologist is so insanely competitive, many students take an extra research
year to bolster their residency application. For that reason, we’ve simplified the analysis
with 5 years of medical school. You’ll still graduate with an average of
$198,000 in debt, but now residency is a bit longer. If you go into orthopedic surgery, it’ll
be 5 years, 7 for neurosurgery, 6 for plastics, and 6 for cardiology. For simplicity, we’ve rounded residency
and fellowship to 6 years in length. The starting salary for specialists is $329,000. On the engineer side, you’ll be starting
immediately after college and be pulling in a starting salary of $100,000, which is actually
on the lower end of the starting salaries for a computer programmer in San Francisco. However, given the wide range of starting
salaries for engineers, we’ve set $100,000 as the starting point. Additionally, student loans will accrue interest
at 6%, investments earn 7% per year, and wage growth increases at 3% annually. If you’re confused about the wage growth
rate, understand that inflation is on average 1-2% per year, and salaries usually steadily
increases over the course of one’s career due to promotions and other factors. In order to reduce extraneous variables, we
have eliminated living expenses and savings ratios, as it’s impossible to accurately
estimate the average engineer’s versus doctor’s living expenses — cue lifestyle inflation. Therefore, we are going to be looking at only
the lifetime earning potential. Do you have a problem with any of these assumptions? Fantastic. Feel free to download the excel spreadsheet
I created and plug in your own numbers using your own assumptions, and drop a comment to
let us know about your findings. You can find a link to the spreadsheet down in the description
below. First, between primary care doctor and specialist,
it’s clear that choosing a specialty that earns a high salary is far more advantageous
from a financial perspective. Despite spending 1 more year in medical school
and 2 more years in residency, specialists blast past primary care doctors just 8 years
after completing their training. Given the high salary, they must also blast
past engineers, right? Not so fast. Despite a starting salary of more than 3 times
that of an engineer, specialist doctors only surpass engineers in lifetime earnings at
the age of 45. That’s right, from the age of 22 to 44,
engineers are in a more favorable financial position than even specialist physicians. Primary care doctors don’t catch up to engineers
until the age of 49, just a little over a decade away from retirement. To most people, this is counterintuitive. It comes down to one often overlooked and
underestimated factor: opportunity cost. While future doctors are toiling away in medical
school and residency, engineers are already making six figures. And if you manage to save that money, the
powerful force of compounding comes into effect, accelerating your wealth accumulation. This analysis is far from perfect — and
that’s beside the point. If you want to adjust the assumptions, feel
free to download the spreadsheet and modify it yourself. No whining in the comments. That being said, you’ll likely find similar
results. The purpose of this analysis was to demonstrate
that becoming a physician is not as lucrative as you or your parents may initially think
from seeing those salaries. There is a massive opportunity cost due to
over 10 years of training and massive student debt. This is why you hear so many physicians warning
youngsters from going into medicine for the money. On one hand, the training to become a physician
is incredibly challenging, and the desire to get rich won’t help you push through
in the same way that more personal motives will. But equally important, it just doesn’t make
financial sense, unless your idea of financial success is being dirt poor during the best
years of your life, and being rich only when you’re too old to fully enjoy the wealth. If you are on the fence about going to medical
school, my advice is that you spend the extra time making sure it’s the right path for
you. Shadow doctors, gain more clinical experience,
and only pursue it if you are truly going into it for the right reasons. If you need help deciding, I recommend you
start with my video titled “Do Not Go to Medical School (If This is You).” If, on the other hand, you know that becoming
a doctor is in your future, you’ve come to the right place. Whether or not you plan on going into something
hypercompetitive like plastic surgery, it’s in your best interest to be the strongest
applicant that you can be. By crushing my MCAT, having a near perfect
college GPA, and a rock solid application, I had my pick of top medical schools, with
some even offering to pay my bill. That alone saved me over $200,000. My suggestion is to invest in yourself so
you too can be in the best possible position. Improvements in your grades, test taking skills,
and application will only have compounding effects, so you won’t be pigeon holed as
you move forward with your training. Rather, you’ll open additional doors, and
have your pick at the best opportunities. Trust me, it’s much harder to become an
orthopedic surgeon at a leading institution if you aren’t at the top of your game and
crushing it in school. Med School Insiders is innovating and turning
the tutoring and admissions consulting industry upside down. If you work with us, you’ll always get a
phenomenal experience. No hit or miss like you may experience elsewhere. Don’t believe me? Our results speak for themselves. We have industry leading satisfaction scores
and our students’ success is second to none. Visit to see for yourself. Thank you all so much for watching. I’m curious, did your parents pressure you
to go into medicine at all? Why or why not? Let us know down in the comments below. Much love to you all, and I will see you guys
in that next one.

100 thoughts on “DOCTOR vs ENGINEER | A Financial Analysis

  1. Splendid analysis. I will finally start working as an intern house officer from next week. And all my Engineering friends have been doing jobs for around 3-5 years. I guess I'm around 5 years behind them in terms of money and quality of life. Good thing is my starting salary is higher than that of them and I'll exceed their current salaries in one year's time.

  2. The difference for me is that electronics don't leak nastiness all over you when you try to fix them hahaha engineering all the way!

  3. Great timing, I was just about to create the same type of spreadsheet analysis (including law and consulting). But since you have already created a model, could you repost the link to the spreadsheet? Thank you for continually giving these insightful videos!

  4. What about europe
    In europe Doctors are able to start working on average after 6 years for general practitioner and 8 for specialist and universities are usually free.
    Moreover their salary remain higher than engineer's one

  5. My parents wanted me to become a doctor (as everybody at my family is a doctor)but I was passionate about engineering. I chose the right path for me because I'm at the top of my game. BTW, I love MedSchoolInsiders, but, just to mention, these are very average figure. There are quite a few crazy rich engineers too. Just saying, I liked the video.

  6. loool 😂 coming from an Asian family, I was constantly drilled with “you must become a doctor” by my parents even though I want to be a steward l.

  7. I haven’t really been pressured, but I’ve been told that medicine is a good field to go into as a person of color especially because when someone is in need of a service that you have the education to provide they can’t really discriminate against you since they are not educated about it themselves and they are in need. Also because there will always be a job market for doctors in this world and because the education process to become a doctor is not easy people don’t really have the option to discriminate it’s not like cardiovascular surgeons are just walking around everywhere you go. I think this is why medicine has had a lot of progress when it comes to diversity, even though in the 21st century we are still hearing about the first African American female stock exchange trader person (sorry I don’t know the correct term) or McDonalds first black CEO.

  8. I've been working in IT for 27 years (I have a Computer Science degree and an MBA from a top 20 public university in the U.S.). Layoffs happen every year. We are being replaced by workers from India and contractors, or these higher supply of labor is keeping our salaries from growing higher than they would be.

  9. I know from the get go that an Engineer is wealthier job compare to being a Doctor but I chose that route with full confidence .

  10. The engineer’s lifestyle is better. Typically, their shift isn’t as long and they aren’t exposed to a sick population everyday as an integral part of their job. I applaud medical personnel for their courage, they can make all the difference. That said, engineers make a big difference too. Everyone wants bridges that don’t fall down.

  11. My father non stop pressured me and my sister to become engineers. The last thing he ever wanted us to do was medicine or the arts. Five years later and my sister is getting her master's at Juliard and I'm taking my MCAT in February so I guess he didn't get his wish xD

  12. It would be interesting to add "total # of hours worked" added to the equation. I would imagine this would put the docs, particularly with residencies, even more at a disadvantage.

  13. Well… I have been telling my parents that fact for ages now but becuase they are both doctors they strongly believe in medicine to the extent i think they have not even thought of other career paths… So.. Yep here iam at my last year in med school 😂
    No whining though dr. J 😉

  14. Ngl both of parents are mechanical engineers but were by no means rich. Dad works for the government and mom works for a private company under flood control. She handles the South Asia region. So i rlly don't understand how being an engineer is financially stable

  15. As a former aerospace engineer, I have to say that $100k out of college is not realistic. At the high end, maybe a computer science major might get a hot Silicon Valley job at $90k. Most of the mechanical and electrical engineers I graduated with came out with, on average, a salary of $70k and we all started at major, top companies

  16. As a Biomedical Engineering major pursuing Medicine. I see how both sides can be financially advantageous.

    I agree with choosing and seeing which path is right. There are so many more factors than just the money, after all.

  17. I was never pressured into becoming a doctor. I'm a 2nd year at a US MD school. I mostly wanted to be some kind of biologist or artist growing up. I was a very lackluster, unmotivated student in high school. My career path is something that kind of grew organically into what it is based on the options I had and what I came to want out of my career. I'd say don't go into medicine if you aren't interested in the science. It would be way to much work, time, and debt for the eventual money you'd make, and you'd likely give up along the way anyway. I spend almost all of my waking day either studying for exams, doing research, or studying for Step 1. But if you don't enjoy what you do you'd get tired of that kind of extreme lifestyle fast. Sorry for the wall of text just wanted to put in my two cents.

  18. generally, medicine is going to be a much better deal over the long term for power+prestige+money+portability+personal control.
    so yes go into medicine.

  19. I wasn't pressured to go into medicine at all and I'm 100% asian. All my parents want is for me to not waste my time and effort and actually do something that does benefit me. Sure they'd like a doctor kid, but doesn't have to mean they sacrifice family for money and fame and what others think. Being happy and middle class is better than being rich but depressed.

  20. My uncle became a cardiologist and started practice in the late 70’s. Back then before the invasion of insurance companies he was making well above $3 million a year while having only $25,000 loan. He paid off his loan in two years. By the time he retired in 2017 he was seeing maybe 70% of the patients he use to and only made about $300,000 a year.

    As for me I finished my surgical residency and started practicing in 2004. Some say I have reached my peak. I am currently still paying off a $280,000 student loan and making about $550,000 a year. Many will say that’s a great salary so why are you complaining? What they don’t realize are a few things.

    1) I work close to 100 hours a week. If someone working for $20.00/hour and worked the same number of hours with time and half and double time would make close to $250,000
    2) even on those hours that I don’t work I am still on call and have to answer patient calls even at 2:30am
    3) doctors (specially surgeons) have the highest risk of being sued. No other career choice has as much risk as medicine does.
    4) and finally medicine is the most regulated occupation in the US. If an engineer chooses to leave their job they can always use their degree to do something else. However a medical degree is the most worthless. If you choose to leave medicine and do something else the options are very limited.

  21. If your primary concern is making money, you're making a mistake that has the potential to hurt a lot of people by trying to go into medicine. So for the sake of everyone, please don't.

  22. If you want to live anywhere outside of Silicon valley you can forget about starting at six figures as an engineer. The only exception would be computer programmers in some other big cities. The problem with this analysis is that he's assuming ALL engineers have the potential to start at $100,000, but there are many different engineering disciplines. The reality is that most engineering starting salaries are closer to $60,000 when you adjust for COL. Of course you'll make more salary as an engineer in San Jose vs Kansas City. You'll be paying a hefty chunk of that extra salary on your cost of living expenses. Then you have the extra taxes that go with earning 50% more. It quickly evens out.

    Case in point: I worked in Los Angeles as a civil engineer and I made $105,000/yr. I recently moved to a very low COL state and I have much better quality of life and save more money for retirement even while making 30% less. I pay less taxes, drive fewer miles to work every day, and generally live with less stress than I did when I was in a big city. I also own a house for the first time in my life; something I couldn't do in Los Angeles where the housing is 3x more expensive and the median property tax is $4,000/yr.

    To summarize, this analysis is flawed because it assumes the average engineer will start out making what is essentially the median salary for all engineering disciplines after 10 years of experience. You need to consider where you want to live and what you want to do. Do not assume everyone is making Silicon Valley tech money just because a youtube video told you so.

  23. Your data is a bit skewed. Most engineers aren't computer scientist and starting salary is definitely not 100k unless you graduating from Harvard. Even in engineering if you're studying it just to get rich you'll be exposed very quickly. If you're goal is make bank I'd look into business and consider creating your own business.

  24. In Austria it’s a little bit different, since we have 6 years of medical school and then 3-4years of specialization and tuition is free as well

  25. Ah average engineer makes a lot less than 100k, sure software engineers CAN make 6 figures after years of experience
    So I don’t know how this is accurate
    After all, I believe whoever goes into medicine for the money, are shooting themselves in the foot
    You have to want medicine wholeheartedly otherwise, any logical person would simply quit
    Engineers ( the good ones) can be financially comfortable but personally the meaning that medicine provides is what should give purpose and fulfillment to our long training and life long learning

  26. Definitely was stamped doctor the moment I was born by my parents bc I was the first born with the highest expectations and I was fed this dream of becoming a doctor for the (respect, status, money, impact, and overall stability). Not only that but being told I won't become one due to my talent of being a rebel renegade really angered me. Found a talent as a combat medic and AEMT, I thought why not pursue it. But I have to make a strong decision on leaving the people I care for (a time) to pursue this extremely competitive path for the hope I will succeed just to become a physician. After all the mistakes made, doubts accumulated, growing fan-base of haters, I'm still trying to become one. Lol

  27. Both of my parents are engineers and they don’t want me to go into medicine. They’re worried because they know how brutal med school/residency is lol😂 they do the exact OPPOSITE of pushing me! But I want it, so I’m gonna do it 😁

  28. is the med school insider program useful for international students trying to get into a residency ( a very competitive one)?

  29. Me, a med school student: explaining to my bf that he’ll make more money than me until I’m 40.
    My boyfriend, an engineer: 🧐

  30. They pressured me first, now I have made it a matter of life or death for me. Godspeed to my medical fraternity, we go beyond economics.

  31. I want to work with kids and be a doctor 🙂 I’m not sure if I just want to be a paediatrician or a paediatric surgeon though

  32. I'm currently working on becoming a Paramedic for the experience with intent on going to Medical School down the line.

    I haven't decided what my specialty will be, but I have keen interest in either Emergency Medicine, Toxicology, or Diagnostician.

    To me it's not about the money btw. I just want to serve my community and do what I can to help others.

  33. Most medical students (including me) are in it because they don’t see themselves doing anything else. But from a financial standpoint there’s still some factors where doctors win like
    1. Job security
    2. Job satisfaction
    3, yeah that’s it lol

  34. I decided to go into medicine after reading "Gifted Hands". I just thought it was soooo amazing. Also, thank you for using different types of characters in your animations. Representation means so much no matter how big or small.

  35. I was an engineer for ten years and the majority of my job was just technical bureaucracy or admin….but paid SOOO WELL. Sadly it was completely devoid of purpose and meaning for me. Wish I had become a doctor.

  36. Hi! I just find your channel and you are amazing! Thanks for making such a good videos.
    Can you please tell us about bioengineering like a profession. Because I want to become bioengineer so bad, and I can’t find a lot of information about it in youtube and internet. It will be perfect, if you will do a video about it! Thank you.

  37. MOST COMMON COMPLAINT = Engineer starting salary. SEE BELOW


    Biggest point of contention are the starting salaries! Feel free to play around with the spreadsheet yourself. Here are the reasons for the starting salaries we used:

    There is limited data on STARTING salaries in these professions. For that reason, we have to use the data available, which includes AVERAGE salaries. For reference, MedScape salary data: This is the AVERAGE for primary care and specialist physicians, not necessarily STARTING salaries. I have not been able to find reliable public available information on starting salaries for doctors, so this was the best approximation. If you want to change the numbers, go at it. For this reason, we have also set Engineers at $100k.

    Don't like these assumptions? Fantastic. Play around with the numbers. You'll find something similar. Main point = going into medicine for the money is NOT a good idea. Thanks for watching =)

  38. I really really want to pursue something in paediatrics and honestly speaking I only found this out at 17, which feels like it's late for me. Dr Jubbal, I did get kind of pressured into medicine when I was a little younger but I knew it was hard to work in the medical industry, so I chose to stay away from any jobs that were medicine related. Also, even if you are younger or older than me, it is never too late to pursue what you truly want and are interested in. Just make sure, you are able to understand yourself before taking a step that can ultimately change your life.

  39. Can you do a financial comparison between Doctor vs PA? It's cool if you don't but it would be awesome if you did. (No reverse psychology intended).

  40. The sad part is, its actually even worse for doctors than your model suggests. This model assumes that 100% of all salary goes towards eliminating student loans (I highly doubt there is anyone who will be able to pay their $200,000 student loans off within a 5 years after medical school). Because of that there will be more interest accrued and even less lifetime earning potential. For people who attend costlier schools and go into primary care, they may never pass up as an average engineer. Its probably worth mentioning that.

  41. If you're in it for the money with my limited experience I would say don't go into either of these professions
    Business, IB, Law and Consulting is probably th way to go there

  42. I’m probably the only desi person on the planet whose parents actually DONT want me to become a doctor lmao but I still want to

  43. You forgot to mention medical school student loan, malpractice insurance, night calls etc. Doctors make some money, but if you really want to be rich, you need to go to Wall street.

  44. I have to make a point that in Australia, becoming a doctor is far more advantageous than engineers. Firstly, in Australia, all local students are given government subsidy to study medicine, which means that they pay only $60000 Australian dollars instead of $200000, even this amount of student's contribution is deferred to government loans, which means they pay nothing. For engineer student, not all students get subsidy's at graduate school, and full fee isn't cheap to make a loan.

    Secondly, Most engineers in Australia would need to go to graduate school in order to secure a job, and go through low-wage training before starting to earn a median salary of which is lower than a doctor in residency. Think this way, the engineer student would need to complete a 3 + 2 year degree, whilst a doctor do a 3+4 year degree. 5 vs 7 years not too much difference. When doctors begin residency, the engineers on the timeline would make a similar salary, only for 3-7 years the doctor triple the amount salary of engineer. Unless the engineer start his own business, he would be far behind.

    Also, last point is that doctors have a better chance of being engaged with another doctor. A research in medscape suggests that 25% of doctors in Australia engage with other doctors, and 50% of them are engaged with other health care workers. The opportunity for high combined income is not factored into consideration.

  45. Really well organised video. My parents didn't pressure me at all. I always liked to study. However, when time for my countries national exams came I did ask their advice and they did tell me that there are these 5-6 career options that are more likely to give you job security. Some options like joining some public services were too safe for me and salary wise decent. But I found them boring. So, I decided to get into medical school for two reasons. That it's safe. And also that I will get to learn a lot about the human body and through that discover who I am. I was really insecure and unsure of who I was 5 years ago so I though knowing all these things will help me find out who I am. Although I had these thoughts I was never certain I had made the right decision. I never really talked about my thoughts. Recently I spent some time with myself because of a family crisis and started talking more to family and close friends. I believe the time you spend with yourself and having the courage to honestly analyze your emotions and your thoughts and share them with people you trust will help you make the right decision. The hard part is to be strong and admit to yourself that if you shared something with the wrong people or at some point in life you made the wrong decision it's okay. You are not alone. Just give up for a little, retreat, revavulate and then go after your new or revised dreams.

  46. My mom never believed I could make it into medical school. Here I am, entering the fourth year and getting a scholarship for good grades. Take that, mom! sob

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