How Much Do Surgeons Make? | Salary Data & Information

According to, surgeons in the United States earn approximately $413,470 annually.

Nevertheless, yearly income varies significantly between the bottom 10% and top 10% of earners.

The bottom 10% of surgeons earn about $291,577 yearly, while the top 10% make around $561,055.

In addition, there are differences in annual income depending on the surgeon’s specializations.

For instance, neurosurgeons earn $746,544 annually, while orthopedic surgeons make $512,050.

Numerous factors influence how much surgeons make each year.

It includes their location, career experience, performance, specialization, additional skills, and negotiated benefits.

Surgeon Salary Factors:

  • Location | state and city
  • Career experience
  • Specialization
  • Benefits, perks, and incentives

Compared to other careers, surgeons are among the top 10 highest-paying occupations in the United States.

According to, oral and maxillofacial surgeons rank number two in the highest pay occupations.

Location | State and City

The state and city a surgeon operates in significantly impact their annual salary.

For instance, surgeons in California earn a median income of $461,846, whereas those in Wyoming make $367,988.

Those in busy cities also earn more than those operating in rural areas due to managing more patients.

It’s important to mention that a higher salary doesn’t always mean higher takeaway pay.

Some states have much higher living costs, property, and sales taxes.

As a result, surgeons in high-living cost areas have less spendable cash after paying necessary expenses.

That said, most surgeons earn enough money to have a very comfortable living regardless of where they work and live.

Career Experience

Having more career experience translates to higher learning potential in all careers.

Those who develop their skills, establish a successful work history, and improve their education earn more annually.

The same applies to surgeons who perform successful operations routinely and develop their expertise.

It enables them to take on more responsibilities, increase their occupational options and earn more competitive wages.

In addition, more patients are willing to pay top dollar for the best surgeon in various specializations.


Numerous specializations allow surgeons to provide different surgical procedures and medical care.

It includes neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, plastic reconstructive surgery, trauma, burn, and oral surgery.

Each specialization requires numerous years of education, training, practice, and understanding to master.

As a result, most professionals concentrate on a particular type of surgery to ensure top-notch patient care.

Surgeon Disciplines:

  • Cardiothoracic
  • Oral
  • Burn
  • Vascular
  • Trauma
  • Pediatric
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedic
  • Plastic reconstructive

A surgeon’s median salary varies greatly depending on the specialization they pursue.

For instance, U.S. neurosurgeons earn a median income of $640,501 compared to trauma surgeons, who earn $425,150.

Benefits, Perks, and Incentives

As with most careers, top-notch surgeons have an advantage in making a lot of money.

Surgical departments and patients often seek out those with the most expertise.

As a result, high-performing surgeons command high salaries, benefits, and perks from institutions requiring their services.

Taxes and Cost of Living

As previously mentioned, surgeons earn exceptional salaries for their expertise and medical capacities.

However, various taxes and expenses impact how much income surgeons have after their living costs.

Expenses include direct taxes from their paycheck, sales tax, local cost of goods, and property taxes/rent prices.

When you combine these expenses, that can have a significant impact on a surgeon’s salary.

Taxes alone can cost many thousands of dollars each year.

In addition to taxes, some locations have higher amenities, neighborhood/town luxuries, and other costs.

Of course, surgeons make enough to cover their costs efficiently.

However, it’s important to mention that their location impacts their finances and living costs.

As a result, understanding the exact spendale income of these professionals is challenging.

Surgeon Job Description

Surgeons perform invasive procedures on patients requiring surgical intervention.

In some cases, surgeons perform life-saving medical procedures for patients with severe medical issues and complications.

It includes appendectomy, cancer, cardiovascular disease, wound and burn treatment, breast biopsy, and others.

Common Surgical Procedures:

  • Appendectomy
  • Breast biopsy
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Cataract surgery
  • Cesarean section
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Debridement of wound, burn, or infection
  • Dilation and curettage
  • Free skin graft

And other standard surgical procedures.

Surgeons perform these procedures as a last option or a preventative measure for diseases or further complications.

In addition, emergency procedures may prolong a patient’s life until they can receive advanced treatment and care. 

In other cases, surgeons provide cosmetic procedures to improve people’s physical appearance.

It includes breast augmentation or enlargement, buttock lifts, facelifts, chin, cheek, jaw reshaping, and other procedures.

Surgeons provide life-saving procedures to prolong patients’ lives and improve their health.

Nevertheless, there are always risks involved with surgery.

As a result, patients must weigh different options to determine the best choice for their health and life.

Career Outlook

According to, job growth for physicians and surgeons is slower than average, with a 3% increase over the next decade.

In comparison, the average annual growth rate for employment is %8.

Despite the slow job growth, there are about 22,700 openings for physicians and surgeons annually.

It results from various factors, including specialists leaving the workforce or transitioning into other careers.

Therefore, the need for high-quality surgeons is strong throughout the United States.

Getting into medical school is unimaginably challenging, and those who receive their license are exceptionally talented.

As a result, surgeons can demand a lot of money for their expertise and medical procedures.

There is excellent job stability, benefits, and pay for those who make it through medical school and specialize in surgery.

At the low end, specialists earn several hundred thousand dollars yearly.

However, they can make approximately $750,000 yearly at the high end.


Surgeons make a respectable income regardless of location.

However, a surgeon’s salary varies depending on location, experience, specialization, and negotiated benefits.

How many operations and procedures they perform also influences their salary.

For instance, surgeons who conduct twice as many procedures usually make much more than those who perform less.

Nevertheless, some professionals may still earn more due to their specialization.

In other words, a neurosurgeon will earn more per procedure than an orthopedic surgeon.

Other factors like state of residence, taxes, and cost of living may hurt their income after expenses.

As a result, a surgeon’s estimated yearly income can vary from $291,577 to over $561,055 annually.