The employment rate for both surgeons and physicians is expected to increase by 22 percent from 2008 through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The entry level salary for a surgeon is significantly higher than the average salary for all occupations and is largely determined by his location and the industry in which he works.
Entry Level Salary
The salary range for a new surgeon is a broad one, between $55,075 and $256,982, according to PayScale. Overall, the mean annual wage for all surgeons in the United States is $219,770. The broadness of the range may be due to the fact that surgeons must complete up to eight years of internship and residency, earning on the low end of the scale as they begin their internship and moving up closer to the mean annual wage as they finish school and practice on their own.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of surgeons are employed in offices of physicians, which offer a mean annual wage of $227,860. General medical and surgical hospitals follow in terms of level of employment, and offer an average salary of $191,200. Outpatient care centers offer surgeons an average annual salary of $214,090, and colleges, universities and professional schools have a mean annual wage of $166,710.
Hospitals, clinics and other institutions must consider factors such as cost of living when hiring a surgeon; therefore, salaries for surgeons differ from state to state. PayScale names New York as the highest paying state for surgeons with a salary range of $111,910 to $306,694, followed by Ohio with a range of $152,605 to $298,628. California and Pennsylvania follow with ranges that peak at $282,489 and $277,644, respectively.
For those pursuing a career as a surgeon, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the positive outlook is particularly strong in rural and low-income areas. In addition, those surgeons who specialize in afflictions of the elderly will also have increased job prospects, including cardiology and radiology.
- Photo Credit surgeon image by Elena Vdovina from Fotolia.com