Pediatric Oncologist

Provide cancer treatments to babies and children.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $172,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pediatric Oncologists do?

A Pediatric Oncologist diagnoses and treats cancer in patients under the age of 18. That’s serious business! After all, childhood is supposed to be fun, filled with ice cream, Saturday morning cartoons, and lots and lots of jumping on the bed. Unfortunately, cancer does occur in babies, children, and teens.

Although it’s uncommon — kids make up only about one percent of all cancer patients in the United States — it’s devastating when it happens. For kids with cancer, life is filled with nausea, headaches, and hospital beds. Fortunately, Pediatric Oncologists are there to help.

As a Pediatric Oncologist, you wage a war against childhood cancers like leukemia with a special sensitivity and skill set. That’s because pediatric cancer patients require unique and customized care due to their small size, immature immune systems, and developing anatomies.

That said, your job as a Pediatric Oncologist is similar in many respects to that of a regular Oncologist who treats adults. For example, it involves examining patients, evaluating symptoms, screening for and diagnosing cancers, and offering prognoses. It also involves recommending treatments, prescribing drugs, and administering therapies, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.

While those duties are standard, others are not: Since you work with children, you’re not only a Doctor but also a Counselor, helping children and their families maintain hope and high spirits during treatment.

Cancer at any age is traumatic. Because it’s especially harrowing among children, however, your job requires giving not only treatment but also education, empathy, and encouragement. Think of it this way: You’re not only fighting cancer; you’re also defending childhood.

Should I be a Pediatric Oncologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Associate Professor of Pathology, Orthopedist

    How to become a Pediatric Oncologist

    We recommend at least a Doctoral degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering Pediatric Oncologist-related education!
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