How much are doctors paid in Nigeria?

Although their salary is not as motivating as compared to that of other countries, Nigerian doctors get paid well, at least, more than many other professionals. In this post, we will answer the question: How much are doctors paid in Nigeria?

Who is a doctor in Nigeria?

According to Wikipedia, a medical doctor is a health professional who practices medicine. Such a person will devote his career to the maintenance, development, and restoration of health.

This will be achieved through the study, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of diseases and other physical and mental health problems.

Factors that determine the salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria

No handbook or constitution specifies a fixed amount that doctors can earn in Nigeria. Just like every other profession, many factors determine the salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria.

1. Place of work

Your salary as a medical doctor in Nigeria depends largely on the state and type of hospital you’re employed at.

For instance, government-owned hospitals do pay more than private hospitals. Also, doctors working in a federal or state-owned hospital will likely get paid more than those working in a hospital owned by a local government.

Note that some private hospitals pay doctors well too. Medical doctors working at big hospitals, such as Lagoon Hospital, Reddington Hospital, Eko Hospital, and Nicholas Hospital will definitely have a large monthly salary.

2. Experience of the doctor

Medicine is a very voluminous profession. You can’t learn everything, even in 20 years. As a result, most of what a doctor knows is actually learned when they start working in a hospital and attending to patients.

The more cases and patients you meet, the more knowledgeable you will be.

This is the number 1 reason why a doctor with 8 years experience will always be paid more than a doctor that has 5 years experience. Although there’s only a difference of 3 years, it’s a very wide gap when it comes to human health.

3. Area of specialization

While other factors only determine how big a doctor’s salary will be, the area of specialization is what determines the lowest or the highest amount you can ever be paid in your entire medical career.

Some areas in the medical field pay better than others. Neurosurgery is the highest paying (and also one of the most difficult) medical fields in the world.

Another high-paying area of specialization in medicine is oncology. Oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating cancers.

You can’t compare the salary of a Neurosurgeon with a Family Doctor in Nigeria. Even though they are both doctors, Family Medicine is priced lower in Nigeria, since there are many of them.

On the other hand, Neurosurgery is priced higher because of the area of specialization:

  • More difficult to excel at
  • Has fewer professionals (less than 100 in the whole of Nigeria as of 2021)
  • Attends to patients whose conditions are more critical (deals with the brain)

Other factors determine the salary of a Medical doctor in Nigeria, but these are the major factors. Now let’s start answering the question “how much are doctors paid in Nigeria?

How much do resident doctors earn in Nigeria?

Residents are doctors that earn while also in training. They are also known as interns, and they work under the supervision of a senior physician.

Resident doctors have graduated from a Medical School, have obtained their MD degree, and are currently training to specialize in a particular area of specialization.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Resident Doctor in Nigeria is ₦200,000 per month.

Recommended: 10 Best universities to study medicine in Nigeria

Starting salary for doctors in Nigeria

The starting salary varies, depending on the hospital and your area of specialization. However, you shouldn’t get paid less than the lowest scale, which is ₦292,000.

If you’re an Anesthesiologist or Neurosurgeon, your starting salary can be up to ₦500,000 or even more, depending on the hospital you’re employed in.

How much are surgeons paid in Nigeria?

According to Salary Explorer, a surgeon in Nigeria receives an average salary of ₦1,050,000 per month. Salaries range from ₦538,000 (lowest) to ₦1,620,000 (highest).

Which type of doctor has the highest salary in Nigeria?

Here are the most lucrative and highest-paid medical specialties in Nigeria.

  1. Neurosurgery (deals with the brain)
  2. Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic surgeons (deal with heart problems)
  3. Orthopaedic surgeon (deals with the musculoskeletal system)
  4. Gastroenterologist (deals with the digestive system)
  5. Urologist (deals with urinary tract disorders)
  6. Plastic surgeons (deal with medical aesthetics and reconstruction)
  7. Dermatologist (deals with the skin)
  8. Vascular surgeons (deal with the blood vessels, arteries and veins)
  9. Oncologists/Radiotherapists (deals with cancers)
  10. Anesthesiologists (Gives anaesthesia and also deals with the care of surgical patients and pain relief)

Bonus: What kind of doctor makes the least money?

First of all, note that all specialties of Medicine are lucrative. In the worst case, you will only get paid less than other doctors, but that doesn’t mean you won’t live a comfortable life. 

Here are the least lucrative and lowest-paid medical specialties in Nigeria.

  1. Paediatrics
  2. Family Medicine
  3. Diabetes & Endocrinology
  4. Infectious Disease
  5. Internal Medicine
  6. Psychiatry
  7. Allergy & Immunology
  8. Rheumatology
  9. Neurology

Who earns more: Neurologist or Neurosurgeon?

Neurosurgery is the highest-paid medical specialty in Nigeria as of the moment of writing this article, while Neurology is one of the lowest-paid.

Although they both diagnose and treat conditions that involve the nervous system, they are actually different professions.

Neurologists discover and diagnose certain neurological conditions that can be corrected through medications or other therapies. Unlike Neurosurgeons, Neurologists don’t perform surgeries.


Although Medicine is one of the most lucrative courses in Nigeria, not all doctors have big salaries as most people think. 

Private hospitals and clinics don’t pay up to what federal and state hospitals pay, as the former has to make a profit.

The average monthly salaries of doctors in Nigeria range from 292,000 NGN (lowest average) to 1,340,000 NGN (highest average).

Note that the data on this page is not guessed or arbitrarily provided. They are from verified sources, including Glassdoor, Salary Explorer, and Wikipedia.

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Victor Iyiola

Victor Iyiola

Victor Iyiola is a Content Writer with He has a great passion for Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurial topics. Victor is a big fan of
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