The Average Salary of Orthopedic Trauma Surgeons

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Orthopedic trauma surgeons are highly compensated for their surgical skills.
Orthopedic trauma surgeons are highly compensated for their surgical skills. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The average salary of an orthopedic trauma surgeon exceeds the salary of the average surgeon in the U.S. by nearly double. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for all U.S. surgeons was $225,390 per year, as of May 2010. Trauma surgeons spend four years in medical school and up to six or seven years in full-time internships and residencies following its completion. They are well-compensated for the amount of time they spend training to perfect their medical training.

Pay Scale

The median annual salary for trauma surgeons in the U.S. was $328,907, as of June 2011, according to salary.com. In the middle of the pay scale were those who made salaries ranging from $267,264 to $388,229. These individuals comprised the middle 50 percent of all surgeons working in this field. At the high end of the pay scale were those trauma surgeons who earned salaries of $442,239 per year or greater. The bottom 10 percent of surgeons working in this field earned $211,141 or less.

Average Salary

The average salary of an orthopedic trauma surgeon in 2009 was $592,536 per year, according to Becker's Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management Review. The publication based its assertions on the 2010 publication of the "2010 Physician Compensation and Production Survey." The survey indicates that trauma surgeons who practiced in more than one area of specialization earned more than those who simply specialized in one aspect of trauma surgery. Multi-specialty surgeons earned an average of $563,903 per year in 2009, while single-specialty surgeons earned $523,855.

Orthopedic Comparisons

Orthopedic surgeons, in general, are among the highest-paid surgeons in any medical specialty. A comparison of trauma surgeons with those in their broader field of specialization can provide additional context and insight for understanding the salaries in this field. By comparison, general orthopedic surgeons made an average salary of $524,259 in 2009, while those who worked as hand surgeons earned an average of $544,106 per year, according to Becker's Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management Review. Trauma surgeons ranked above these surgeons in annual salary, but below the salaries made by hip and joint surgeons, sports medicine surgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons.

Job Outlook

The overall job outlook for physicians and surgeons is expected to be favorable from 2008 to 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22 percent job growth for both physicians and surgeons across all medical specialties. Much of this projected growth is expected to occur because of an increasingly older population with increased medical needs and from a much larger population in general.

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