Work with patients who have diseases and disorders of the lungs.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $172,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pulmonologists do?

Humans need food and water to survive. In addition, we need to inhale and exhale air, which is something we often take for granted. When the breathing gets tough, the Pulmonologist is there to help. And she treats not only diseases and other lung conditions, but also problems with the heart, blood vessels, and surrounding tissues that help air move throughout the body.

When you’re a Pulmonologist, many of your patients are diagnosed with very serious conditions like lung cancer or pneumonia. Other patients seek treatment for a nasty cough related to bronchitis or emphysema. Still others have chronic asthma. You might even handle cases in the emergency room or the critical care unit at the hospital.

Your knowledge as a Pulmonologist is constantly put to the test because each patient presents a new challenge. While one might need a new inhaler for asthma, another might need antibiotics for a lung infection. In addition to medication-related solutions, you use respirators, flow rate testers, and other tools to help evaluate the patient. Depending on the test results, you might refer the patient to a Pulmonary Surgeon or a Pulmonary Physical Therapist for further treatment.

In addition to diagnosis and treatment, you offer information and support to your patients. With your help, they better understand what factors contribute to their condition, what options they have in treating it, and what they can expect in the future.

Should I be a Pulmonologist?

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.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Associate Pathologist, Attending Pathologist

    How to become a Pulmonologist

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