A perfusionist operates the heart-lung machine that keeps a patient alive during heart surgery that involves stopping the heart. According to the 2009 Perfusion Benefits & Salary Survey Results, which collected survey data from 916 perfusionists, the average 2009 salary for a hospital-employed perfusionist was $117,986, for a perfusionist in a private perfusion group was $101,931, for a surgeon-employed perfusionist was $103,813 and for a self-employed perfusionist was $141,298.
Salary by Years of Experience
As of December 2010, the website Payscale.com, a job compensation database, reports the salaries for the job title cardio-pulmonary perfusionist by years of experience as: one to four years, $54,600 to $89,999; five to nine years, $72,224 to $111,588; and 20 years or more, $94,223 to $136,327. For the job title medical perfusionist, Payscale reports salaries as: less than one year, $60,000 to $74,851; five to nine years, $81,277 to $103,202; 10 to19 years, $98,303 to $124,604; and 20 years or more, $87,676 to $141,632.
Salary by State
For the title medical perfusionist, Payscale reports salaries by state as: California, $81,952 to $95,000; Texas, $70,500 to $100,483; Michigan, $65,328 to $96,828; New York, $100,058 to $147,426; Florida, $80,729 to $102,946; Pennsylvania, $68,047 to $116,997; and Indiana $76,323 to $87,403.
Salary by City
For the title medical perfusionist, Payscale reports salaries by city as: Kalamazoo, Michigan, $65,000 to $78,195; Los Angeles, California, $78,987 to $85,636; Indianapolis, Indiana, $75,807 to $98,500; and Jacksonville, Florida, $81,691 to $102,500. t.
Perfusion is a small career field. The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, as of December 2010, certifies fewer than 4,000 perfusionists, not all of whom are located in the U.S. Perfusion training programs graduate about 140 new perfusionists each year. Some sources question the future of the perfusion profession, as less invasive surgical techniques become more common.