Breaking Down the Numbers: how much does a general surgeon make?

Are you considering a career in medicine and wondering how much a general surgeon makes? Or are you simply curious about how much does a general surgeon make? Either way, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll break down the numbers and explore the various factors that affect a general surgeon’s salary. From the highest paying states to the job outlook for future surgeons, read on to learn everything you need to know about becoming a successful general surgeon. So let’s dive right in!

How Much Does a General Surgeon Make?

General surgeons are highly skilled medical professionals who specialize in performing surgical procedures to treat various conditions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for general surgeons was $409,665 as of May 2020. However, this figure can vary widely depending on several factors.

One of the most significant factors that affect a general surgeon’s salary is their level of experience and expertise. Surgeons at the beginning of their careers typically earn less than those with years of experience under their belt and specialized training in areas such as oncology or neurosurgery.

Another important factor is geographic location. General surgeons working in urban areas tend to make more money than those practicing in rural communities due to higher demand and cost-of-living expenses.

Moreover, the type of healthcare facility where a general surgeon works also impacts their income. Surgeons employed by private hospitals generally earn more than those working for non-profit organizations or government agencies.

While there is no guarantee when it comes to salaries for general surgeons, certain variables like location and specialization can significantly impact earning potential. Aspiring doctors should keep these factors in mind when considering a career path as a general surgeon and plan accordingly

The Different Factors That Affect a General Surgeon’s Salary

A general surgeon’s salary is influenced by a variety of factors. One of the most significant factors is their level of experience. Surgeons who have been practicing for several years or even decades typically earn more than those who are just starting out in the field.

Another factor that can impact a general surgeon’s salary is where they work. Those who work in urban areas or major cities tend to earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas or smaller towns.

The type of facility also plays a role in determining a general surgeon’s salary. Surgeons working at large hospitals with advanced medical technology and resources may receive higher compensation compared to those working at smaller clinics or outpatient centers.

Specialization within the field can also affect earnings, as some specialties require additional training and expertise, making them more valuable to employers and patients alike.

Market demand for surgeons can influence their earning potential. If there is high demand for surgeons due to an aging population or other demographic shifts, salaries may increase accordingly.

In summary, many different factors play into how much money a general surgeon makes. Experience level, location, facility type, specialization within the field and market demand are all important considerations when it comes to determining a fair wage for these highly skilled professionals.

The Highest and Lowest Paying States for General Surgeons

The salary of a general surgeon can vary depending on various factors, including the state where they practice. In the United States, some states offer higher pay for surgeons compared to others.

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest paying state for general surgeons is Nebraska, with an annual mean wage of $373,320. Alaska and Wisconsin follow closely behind with annual mean wages of $367,200 and $365,400 respectively.

On the other hand, Puerto Rico has been reported as having one of the lowest salaries for general surgeons in comparison to states located in mainland U.

S., with an annual mean wage at just $149,660. Other states that reportedly offer lower than average salaries include Arkansas ($258,780) and South Dakota ($255,560).

It’s important to note that while these numbers are accurate based on BLS data collected over time; ultimately a surgeon’s earnings depend largely on their experience level or years in practice along with local market forces like supply-demand dynamics. Additionally some regions may also have higher cost-of-living expenses such as housing rental rates which could impact overall financial compensation levels accordingly

The Job Outlook for General Surgeons

The job outlook for general surgeons is positive, with a projected growth rate of 4% from 2019 to 2029. The demand for healthcare services is increasing as the population grows and ages, which directly affects the need for qualified medical professionals such as general surgeons.

General surgeons can find employment opportunities in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and academic institutions. Those who specialize in areas such as trauma surgery or pediatric surgery may have even more job prospects due to the specific skills required for those fields.

Additionally, advancements in technology have expanded the capabilities of surgical procedures and increased patient access to medical services. This means that general surgeons must continuously update their knowledge and skill sets to remain competitive in this ever-evolving field.

However, competition for residency programs remains high due to limited spots available each year. General Surgeons with excellent qualifications will have an easier time securing a position than those without them.

In summary, the job outlook for general surgeons looks promising amidst growing demands on healthcare systems worldwide. There are diverse employment options available; however continuous learning is essential to stay ahead of changing trends within this profession.

How to Become a General Surgeon

Becoming a general surgeon is not an easy feat and requires extensive education and training. To become a general surgeon, you need to have completed a bachelor’s degree program in pre-med or any science-related field. Afterwards, you will need to enroll in medical school for four years.

During the first two years of medical school, students undergo classroom training where they learn about anatomy, pharmacology, pathology, and other related subjects. The last two years are typically spent on clinical rotations where students get hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of licensed physicians.

After completing medical school, aspiring surgeons must complete a surgical residency program that generally takes five to seven years depending on the area of specialization. During this period, residents work long hours alongside experienced surgeons while gaining practical knowledge in surgery.

Once your residency is completed successfully; however it doesn’t stop there! General surgeons also have to pass board certification exams offered by the American Board of Surgery (ABS). Certification by ABS ascertains that you’re capable enough for practicing as a qualified doctor/surgeon who can perform operations independently without any external assistance.


To sum it up, being a general surgeon is no easy feat. It requires years of hard work and dedication to achieve the necessary qualifications for the job. However, once you’ve made it, the salary can be quite rewarding.

The amount of money a general surgeon makes depends on various factors such as experience level, location, education and medical facility type. The highest paying states tend to offer salaries that are much higher than the national average whereas lower paying states may not provide surgeons with as much earning potential.

It’s important to remember that becoming a successful general surgeon takes more than just focusing solely on monetary gain. A true passion for helping others must drive one’s desire to pursue this field. After all, surgery is not only about making money but also about saving lives.

So if you have what it takes – ambition, intelligence and perseverance – then go ahead and pursue your dream of becoming a general surgeon! With time and effort invested into your craft along with patience while building your reputation in a reputable medical facility or hospital setting will eventually lead you towards achieving career success in this challenging but fulfilling profession!

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