Best Paying Surgeon Jobs

Updated on February 22, 2024

The medical field is known for its demanding nature, long years of training, and, notably, the high compensation for specialists. Among these, surgeons stand out for their expertise and the critical role they play in healthcare. In this blog, we delve into some of the best-paying jobs in the surgical field, exploring various specialties that offer the most lucrative opportunities for those in the medical profession.


  • Average Salary: $302,970 per year
  • Job Description: Anesthesiologists are physicians specializing in perioperative care, developing anesthetic plans, and administering anesthetics. They play a critical role in ensuring patient safety and comfort during surgical procedures.
  • Responsibilities: Their primary duties include administering anesthesia, monitoring patient vital signs during surgery, and providing pain relief or sedation for intensive care patients.
  • Required Education: This role requires completion of a 4-year undergraduate program, 4 years of medical school, and a minimum of 4 years of residency in anesthesiology.


  • Average Salary: $229,300 per year
  • Job Description: Surgeons perform operations to treat diseases, injuries, and deformities. Their expertise spans a broad range of procedures, from minor outpatient surgeries to complex operations.
  • Responsibilities: Responsibilities include diagnosing patient conditions, performing surgical procedures, and overseeing postoperative care.
  • Required Education: Aspiring surgeons must complete an undergraduate degree, medical school, and a surgical residency program, which can last from 4 to 9 years, depending on the specialty.

Thoracic Surgeon

  • Average Salary: $706,775 per year
  • Job Description: Thoracic surgeons specialize in surgical procedures within the chest, including operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest.
  • Responsibilities: They treat conditions such as lung cancer, heart defects, and esophageal diseases through surgical interventions.
  • Required Education: This specialty requires 5 years of general surgery residency followed by 2-3 years of specialized cardiothoracic surgery training.

Orthopedic Surgeon

  • Average Salary: $624,043 per year
  • Job Description: Orthopedic surgeons focus on the musculoskeletal system, treating injuries and diseases affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.
  • Responsibilities: Their work includes setting broken bones, replacing damaged joints, and repairing injured tendons, among other procedures.
  • Required Education: After medical school, orthopedic surgeons undergo 5 years of residency training in orthopedic surgery.

Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

  • Average Salary: $571,373 per year
  • Job Description: Plastic surgeons perform surgeries to repair or reconstruct physical deformities, correct functional impairments, or enhance aesthetic appearance.
  • Responsibilities: They may work on virtually any part of the body, performing procedures like skin grafts, tissue transfers, and cosmetic enhancements.
  • Required Education: Plastic surgery requires completing a medical degree followed by a residency in plastic surgery, which typically lasts about 6 years.

Vascular Surgeon

  • Average Salary: $557,632 per year
  • Job Description: Vascular surgeons specialize in diseases of the vascular system (arteries and veins), using surgical and non-surgical treatments.
  • Responsibilities: They perform procedures like angioplasty, stenting, and bypass surgery to treat conditions like aneurysms and peripheral artery disease.
  • Required Education: This specialty involves completing a general surgery residency followed by additional training in vascular surgery, totaling 6-7 years post-medical school.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

  • Average Salary: $556,642 per year
  • Job Description: These surgeons focus on surgical treatments of the face, mouth, and jaws, including dental surgery, facial trauma repair, and congenital defect correction.
  • Responsibilities: Common procedures include wisdom tooth removal, jaw realignment, and cleft palate repair.
  • Required Education: Training involves dental school followed by a 4-year surgical residency.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a career in surgery is not only a commitment to years of rigorous education and training but also a pathway to some of the most rewarding and highest-paying roles in the medical field. Each surgical specialty offers unique challenges and opportunities to make significant impacts on patient lives. Whether your interest lies in the precision of neurosurgery, the transformative potential of plastic surgery, or the life-saving interventions of cardiovascular surgery, the field of surgery offers diverse pathways to professional satisfaction and financial reward.


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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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