Entry-level Cardiologists earned a median salary of $272,000, and cardiothoracic surgeons earned a median salary of $360,000, according to a 2011 survey conducted by specialty recruiting firm Profiles. After six years on the job, the median salary for cardiologists rose to $402,000 and $522,875 for cardiothoracic surgeons.
The American Medical Group Association returned similar results, with cardiothoracic surgeons earning a median salary of $533,084. Cardiothoracic surgeons had the third-highest salary among surgeons; only neurosurgeons and spinal orthopedists ranked higher. A base salary of $512,000 was guaranteed for cardiologists, according to the 2012 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives from Merritt Hawkins & Associates.