Surgeon Salary

What is a Surgeon?

surgeon salaryA surgeon is one of the specialized types of physicians whose job is to diagnose the existent internal problems, and repair them by cutting the body of a human or an animal. The purpose of a surgeon is to remove the diseased organs or tissues, to repair the systems existent in the body, or to replace by performing transplants the organs that are affected.

Surgeons can have various specializations and end up to be heart surgeons or even brain surgeons or just specialize to become general surgeons. In this field of Surgery, these specialists can be veterinarians, dentists or even physicians.

Job Description of a Surgeon

A surgeon will try to identify the existent internal problems within a human body and fix them through surgery. They will operate a patient on an existing problem that appears in the event of an injury, disease or illness. They are allowed to perform any number of various different surgical procedures on the human body. In some cases, surgeons can intervene to correct issues in the body or just to stop the cause of an internal bleeding.

These professionals are considered to be responsible for the aspects of the entire surgery. They will oversee the surgical technicians and make sure that the protocols in the operating rooms are fulfilled such as the standards of safety and care.

Their jobs involve cases in which a surgery can last hours or just minutes, this depending on the gravity of a situation. Some of the required surgery procedures can be minimal, and they will require small surgery procedures while others involve extensive surgical procedures. Surgeons can work in areas such as Pediatrics, Cardiac, Plastic, Oncology and other.

Surgeon career is known for the type of specialization they choose to follow. For instance, at one point in their educational training, surgeons will decide upon the path that they want to follow and choose a specialization in a particular area of study.

They will then perform only that type of surgery. A certain type of surgery is becoming better and better performed by surgeons after they have years of experience developed within this procedure. Some of the surgeons will limit their career to that type of particular surgery.

As a surgeon, you’ll have to be aware of what is going on around you all the time. It’s important especially because there are many lives involved, you’ll have to be prepared to deal with any type of emergency situation and be able to carry out during the operation any lifesaving actions. As well you have to possess the right training in which concerns the tools that are used when performing an operation. Surgeons use various types of tools from calipers and up to scalpers. That means that you fully have to understand all the aspects when using these kinds of tools.

You need to have a great understanding of the various types of medications that exist and what effect they have upon the human body when they are administered during or after the operation. You also need to understand what are the reactions or potential ones involved when you are operating on a patient.

How to Become a Surgeon?

If your dream is to help other people get better from an illness or a disease and save many lives, if you like to operate on people and you can resist seeing blood then this career might be the right one for you. A career as surgeon also means having a high training and a very strong educational background. This career is very well paid in the US, and there are plenty of accomplishments in this field that can be achieved.

The first step while you are in high school involves passing the GED else known as the General Education Development exam. Focus your attention on subjects that involve classes of biology, chemistry, physics and physiology.

Don’t forget to take the required standardized tests for college admission, or else known as SATs. Also, if possible, in order to increase your chances for good results try taking SAT preparatory courses or hire if you have the funds a private tutor.

Since there aren’t any major requirements for the medical school, you should choose a science related major. Then focus on completing courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, English and other that will help you improve and learn. You can maximize your performances through a great time management between the pre-med courses and the four year courses.

When you have time, try to create a great communication with your professors on a personal level since you might be asked to have letters of recommendation when you apply for the medical school. To be accepted into the medical school, you’ll need to pass the MCAT or else known as the Medical College Admission Test. Scoring well on this test as well as your college transcripts will allow you to enroll in a medical school.

After you’ve completed the test, you can then apply to various medical schools. Check out first their location, the reputability that they have as well as the costs and the one that suits you the most. Make sure to send to the admission offices of the schools that you are applying the scores of your test, the transcripts and fulfill any other additional requirements.

There are some schools that might ask for letters of recommendation from your previous employers or your professors while others have interviews that you must go through before being accepted. Most of the medical school programs take up to four years of completion and at the end of them you can earn either an M.D. else known as a Doctor of Medicine or a D.O. – else known as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

The classes are a combination in the years of study between coursework and hands-on training. In the initial two years of study, you’ll get around classes that are based on anatomy, medical ethics, psychology as well as biochemistry, and other classes in laboratory settings and classroom settings. The last two years are dedicated mainly to the hands on training and gaining experience in treating patients under the direct surveillance of other medical specialists.

Both the D.O. and the M.O. receive as part of their program curriculum very similar education and training and mainly they are performing the same duties as physicians. Still there are differences since the D.O.s receive extra training in the systems of bones or muscles that are in the body or the musculoskeletal system. After they complete the medical school and the residency programs, they will also take a different licensure examination.

Once you’ve graduated from a medical school, you can follow the next step, and that is enrolling into a residency program. The surgical residency programs will vary according to the area of specialization that you choose to follow, and their estimated length is between 3 and up to 8 years. They will mainly involve working in hospitals and treating patients under the supervision of medical professionals.

The specialized areas of study are different such as anesthesiology, psychiatry, urology, and preventative medicine and other. They will vary in length due to the subject that you choose to specialize in. When you’ve completed the residency, you can think of the next step, and that is getting a license that will entitle you to practice.

Every state is requiring that surgeons, as well as doctors, must possess a license, but there are also specific requirements that must be taken into consideration. Having a licensure is only possible if you’ve graduated from an accredited medical school if you completed a residency and you’ve passed the written and practical examinations.

As an M.D., you must pass the national standardized licensure examination that is the USMLE or else known as the US Medical Licensing Examination while if you are a D.O. then you must take the COMPLEX-USA else known as the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination. There are plenty of DOs that are taking the USMLE even though this is optional.

The most important choice in this field is to decide what type of surgeon you’ll want to be. There are many various types of surgery that a doctor can focus on. The experience that you gain during the first two years of medical school will help you limit your focus to only one specialized area of study. For instance a Cardiac Surgeon is the one that is focused on the heart and the cardiovascular system and that performs all kind of operation interventions and procedures on heart diseases. Instead a General Surgeon is focused on treating those patients that are dealing with health conditions of the colon, liver, pancreas, appendix and other.

Except all the expertise in the field and the extensive knowledge of a Surgeon, you must hold a certain set of skills that are a must in this field. We are referring to skills such as having a great dexterity in your hands, be emphatic and have very strong communication skills.

Work Environment and Schedule

The main working environment of a surgeon is to be found in a sterile operating room. Their schedule is based on a full-time position in which they are performing various types of procedures and most of the time they have to stand on their feet while they are working. They usually spend long working hours many of them can be considered as irregular with overnight shifts.

You might even have rounds in the evening when you’ll have to go and check your patient condition. As a surgeon, you might be asked to travel from your office and to the hospital to take care of your patients.

Pros and Cons of Being a Surgeon

The best idea about being a Surgeon is that you can make a better change in the lives of many of your patients. You will be highly respected and appreciated among your colleague and in the community. Another great news in this field is that this career is one that is very sought. This is due to the well paid salaries and the continuous large demand in the next years due to the issue that the population confronts with.

You have plenty of specializations where to choose from and available sub-specialties such as neurological, cardiovascular and other. There also plenty of jobs that have favorable prospects in the low-income communities or rural areas.

However, the drawbacks in this job or else known as cons start with every day working period. In fact, your day starts many times up in the early morning with surgeries that have to be performed. You will often be on call, standing most of your working hours on your feet, with crowded and full scheduled days.

This job can be very tiring with almost no moment for personal life since you’ll have to be at work. Another con that is very important is the fact that the medical schools are expensive. Tuition will vary according to each institution and to carry out you’ll have to take loans that will allow you to pay the costs of the school that you’ve chosen to go to.

Surgeon job growth

For the next five to ten years, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth for all those who work as Physicians and Surgeons is predicted at an 18% rate of increase that is faster than all the occupations found in this field. The job opportunities are really great with plenty of working places in various facilities.

This job growth is due to the number of demands in this field but also due to the aging population and the rise estimated among them who mainly rely on having quality health care. Another reason for this increase is due to the higher demand for the healthcare services that is taking proportions every year. Surgeon jobs have a great level of satisfaction and reward, with good job prospects, especially for those who choose to specialize in radiology or in cardiology.

A good future outlook for Surgeons can be found in the rural areas and communities, since many of those who hire, choose the urban areas, leaving a gap in some of these areas. Job openings are also expected due to plenty of surgeons that after years of work are on the point of retirement.

Surgeon Salary

The salary of a surgeon in the United States varies greatly based upon several influential factors that determine the figures. You can add here the geographical location of these professionals, the years of practice and experience that they have gathered as well as the type of specialty, reputation, set of skills, personality and other.

With no doubts surgeons, careers are among the highest well-paid jobs in the healthcare system as well as those of Physicians. More than half of the surgeons that are working in US gain around $117,392 per year or even higher salaries. The annual estimated income of all the specialties

Surgeons reaches at $231,552 per year or even higher and the demand for these professionals is still very strong. There are very increased employment opportunities for the years that follow. The typical median expected salary of a surgeon in the United States reaches about $351,363 per year or less due to the economic flux that is present.

One of the factors that influence a lot when it comes to the incomes of these specialists is the type of specialization that one has choose. For instance, those who are already working as orthopedic surgeons can expect to a salary that usually ranges from $397,878 per year and up to $600,010 per year. Also, Neurological Surgeons usually expect to annual salaries that range from $287,010 per year and up to $637,010 per year.

Salary of a Surgeon in 2015

In 2015, the salary of a surgeon is still influenced by many factors among which the size of the company in which one of these professionals found work, the type of industry and other. With the number of constantly demanding increasing due to the importance of this job in the healthcare setting the salaries are to grow on a constant base.

For instance upon a selected specialty such as the one of General Surgeons the expected incomes that are given can reach up to $367,887 per year or even higher. The factors that affect this field are the geographic location as well as the career duration. The median income for these professionals reaches an annual average of about $246,064 per year.

The salary in this area of specialty varies from $101,976 and up to $354,267 per year. Such wages come with bonuses granted that tend to reach up to $41,936 per year and profit sharing that is estimated to from $3,483 and up to $51,206 per year. This will lead in the end to a total payment in this specialty that ranges from $102,058 and up to $360,567 per year.

Surgeon Salary in 2016

In 2016, in the United States, the median yearly income of a surgeon is reported to be at $358,341 per year, with a range that is comprised between $303,043 per year and up to $425,292 per year, according to the salary data survey made by These incomes vary greatly according to various factors, such as the geographical location where one individual has found work, type of employment as well as education and years of experience in the field.

The bottom ten percent of people who work as surgeons can expect in the US, to gain an income that reaches only at $252,698 per year while those situated on the top with great jobs can expect to take home a yearly salary that gets around $486,249 per year.

The incomes in this field for these professionals also vary when it comes to the geographical factor. For instance, those who are located in Florence, Alabama can expect at a median income that reaches at $298,212 per year with a range that usually is estimated between $252,193 per year and up to $353,928 per year. Those living and working in Auburn, Alabama can expect to earn a median salary that is estimated at $337,628 per year with a range that is usually comprised between $285,527 and up to $400,712, the same estimated salary amounts as for those who work in Columbus, Georgia.

The incomes vary not only from state to state but also according to each town and region. The differences in the salaries of surgeons can also be spotted when it comes to the urban versus rural areas, or the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. In New York, New York, the median salaries reported by these professionals are estimated to reach at $422,518 per year, with a range that is comprised between $357,318 and up to $501,462. Those professionals who are working in Albany, New York can expect to receive a median yearly income that gets around $344,544 per year, with a range that gets between $291,376 and up to $408,919.

Surgeon Salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom

In other countries, the salary of surgeons is also viewed from the type of specialization that these professionals choose to follow.

  • For instance in Canada, General Surgeon earns an estimated median income that reaches at C$195,183 per year. At the same time, an Orthopedic Surgeon can expect to earn around C$254,818 per year, and the salaries continue to fluctuate based on the area of specialization.
  • In Australia, a General Surgeon can expect to an average annual salary that is comprised between AU$48,798 and up to AU$254,342 per year. To this, you can add a bonus that reaches up to AU$51,713 per year this leading in the end to a salary that is estimated to range between AU$44,938 and up to AU$357,524 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, the salary of a General Surgeon is estimated to have a median average that reaches at about £65,005 per year. Here the factor with most of impact is the age of the employee. For instance, one professional that is working as a General Surgeon and is in his 20s will take home an earning that reaches ta about £48,752 per year. Also, those who are already in their 40s and even in their 50s can expect to take home an earning that is estimated at £75,410 per year.

Conclusion on Surgeon Salary

The salary of a Surgeon in The US is estimated to have an annual rate that starts from $95,010 per year and easily encompass $338,010 per year. This salary is even higher for those Surgeons with years of experience in the industry leading to a salary that can go up to $358,005 per year and even higher.

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  • First Published Date: 26 July, 2015
  • Last Updated Date: 1 November, 2016