How much does a surgeon make? Anybody wondering how much does a surgeon make is certain to come up with a large sum. Surgeons command high salaries due to the long and irregular hours at which they have to work, not to mention the years of education and training they must undergo to acquire the required skills. A surgeon usually passes through a total of 8 years of medical education and 3-8 years for internship and residency.
The earnings a surgeon can make often offset the demands of the profession, which are among the most difficult in any field of employment. Some procedures can take up to 12 hours to complete, and surgeons are always needed to attend to emergency cases and are often expected to be available at all hours.
Experience As a Surgeon Counts
As one of the most highly paid professionals in the world of healthcare, a surgeon with less than a year's experience can earn a modest yearly salary. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average wage for surgeons is $105.66 per hour, translating into an average annual salary of $219,770. Similar to other professions, the question of how much does a surgeon make often correlates directly with the number of years working as a surgeon.
General surgeons with less than one year's experience can earn $180,000 a year, while those with 1-4 years' experience can draw salaries averaging $200,739 per year. More experienced surgeons who have worked for 5-9 years can earn an average annual salary of $248,757, while surgeons with experience exceeding 10 years can draw an annual salary that averages $280,000.
The Branch of Surgery Practiced Can Influence Pay
The salary a surgeon draws can vary with the branch of medicine practiced. When determining how much does a surgeon make, oral surgeons receive relatively lower salaries than those who specialize in other areas. The most highly paid surgeons are those who carry out heart or neurosurgery. The average annual salary ranges for surgeons specializing in a particular field are as follows:
General – $145,679 to $265,433
Plastic/cosmetic – $122,112 to $300,281
Orthopedic – $158,072 to $347,079
Cardiac – $153,460 to $371,971
Cardiothoracic – $148,073 to $391,122
Trauma – $146,395 to $292,061
Oral – $132,822 to $258,346
Neurological – $102,556 to $296,239
Colorectal – $149,248 to $256,326
Eye – $144,690 to $292,744
Other Factors That Influence a Surgeon's Pay
A surgeon practicing in a private hospital enjoys a more substantial salary than one in a government hospital, earning an average of $250,000 per year compared to a government surgeon, who draws an annual salary averaging $180,000.
In addition to the basic salary, bonuses, profit sharing or even commissions received can determine the size of a surgeon's paycheck. Bonuses can range from $6085 to $38,140, profit sharing ranges from $6596 to $53,466 and a surgeon can receive commissions that range from $1418 to $51,266 annually.
There is no dearth of positions for well-qualified surgeons, especially with the current mushrooming of specialty hospitals. Encouragingly, surgeons willing to practice in low-income or rural areas stand to enjoy good job prospects due to the general difficulty such areas face in securing skilled healthcare providers.