What Surgeon Makes The Most Money

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 7 minute read

In no way, shape, or form did anybody ever claim that becoming a doctor was an easy path to take. Medical school is a highly competitive, demanding, and costly endeavor. Your medical profession should be financially and otherwise rewarding if you put in the time, effort, and money to get your M.D. or D.O. degree.

It’s important to be committed to your education, and your job will continue to be physically and mentally taxing. Physicians and surgeons typically have to deal with irregular work schedules that include lengthy hours. They may also be available to respond to emergencies. The hard effort pays off in the form of a high-paying job and the opportunity to help people of all ages find hope and healing.

Even though medicine is a well-paying profession, salaries can vary widely from one specialization to the next. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual pay for all physicians in the United States is above $208,000 per year. According to Medscape, the average yearly salary for specialists is $284,000 on average.

Top 11 Highest Paying Medical Specialties 

1. Neurosurgeon

The medical profession’s highest-paying specialty is neurosurgery. Neurosurgeons must have a thorough understanding of the brain, spine, spinal cord, and nervous system in order to treat patients with brain-related sickness or damage. Neurosurgeons might focus on treating adults or children, depending on their training and experience.

Neurosurgery, according to, is the highest-paid medical profession with an annual salary of $609,201. Because the neurological system influences every part of the body, neurosurgery has a significant impact on a patient’s life.

Neurosurgeons provide a substantial contribution to the medical community, despite the lengthy training required.

Brain, Spine, and Nervous System Surgery is Their Specialty. Their Annual Earning is $609,201. Length of Training, one-year internship in general surgery followed by a five-to-seven-year neurosurgery residency program.

2. Invasive Cardiology

As long as you don’t mind the stress of having a patient’s heart in your hands, invasive cardiology can be the ideal medical specialization for you. Per Forbes, doctors who specialize in invasive cardiology get on average $525,000 per year as their basic income. 

Cardiology is a great career option even if you’re not interested in the high-stress invasive aspects of the speciality. Cardiology was ranked as the second-highest speciality by CBS News, with an annual patient care budget of $376,000 as a result.

Specialists in the field of cardiovascular medicine are known as cardiologists. Blood flow, blood pressure, and other markers of health are used to determine how well the heart is working and how healthy it is.

If a patient has significant heart failure and requires a transplant, these experts may be able to help. Repairing damaged heart valves, implanting pacemakers or defibrillators, and conducting heart bypass surgeries are all common invasive cardiology treatments performed by invasive cardiologists.

It’s what they do. Surgery and heart health are intertwined. Their earnings are five hundred and twenty thousand dollars a year. Subspecialty training is 3 years of general cardiology training, with 1 year of additional subspecialty instruction

3. Orthopedic Surgery

There is an annual compensation of $497,000 for orthopedic surgeons as reported by Forbes. Various other sources give varying figures for the specialty’s revenue, but it is typically towards the top of the list. Orthopedic surgeons, for example, earn an average salary of $421,000, according to Medscape and CBS News, although the discipline is considered the highest-paying one in medicine.

Orthopedic surgery alone has several subspecialties. In the hands and feet and ankles, certain orthopedic surgeons have a singular emphasis. It is possible for them to specialize in a particular field, such as cancer or sports medicine (sports medicine). Bone fusion, joint replacement, tendon healing, and tumor removal are just a few of the surgeries that orthopedic surgeons do.

Surgical techniques on the musculoskeletal system are their area of expertise. $497 000 is the annual income. Education of training for five years

4. Gastroenterology

According to Forbes data, gastroenterology is the fourth highest-paying medical specialty, with an average annual compensation of $455,000. Additionally, Medscape ranked the specialty equally as highly, despite listing yearly salaries of $370,000.

Gastroenterologists treat conditions that affect the whole digestive system, from the esophagus to the intestines, as well as organs such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and others within the abdominal cavity.

These professionals are involved in the prevention and diagnosis of digestive organ malignancies, such as esophageal and colon cancer. Gastroenterologists undertake minimally invasive treatments and diagnostic tests, such as endoscopies, which let physicians to view the interior of the gastrointestinal organs.

What They Perform: Digestive wellness
Annual Income: $450,000
Three years of specialized training in addition to three years of study in internal medicine.

5. Radiology

In medical radiology, nuclear radiation is used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. According to, radiologists make an average annual salary of $414,090. Radiologists are employed in a variety of healthcare facilities, including hospitals.

Interventional duties, such as giving radiation to cancer patients, can also be performed by radiologists. Radiologists frequently specialize in distinct areas of the body, such as chest and heart imaging, abdominal imaging, and conducting mammography to check for breast cancer.

This is what they do: they do medical diagnostics and administer radiation therapy
Income: $414,090 a year
Years of training: 5 years

6. Urology

Forbes claimed that urologists make $412,000 per year. Even though the specialty was ranked lower by Medscape, with an annual salary of only $344,000, urology still reached the top 10.

Male and female urinary tract health and male reproductive health are addressed in urology, a medical speciality. In addition to the bladder, kidney, prostate and urethra, male genitals are under the purview of urologists.

Function: urinary tract
Earnings per year: $412,000
Education: five years

7. Dermatology

Given that skin is the body’s biggest organ, it seems sense that it has its own specialty. Forbes lists an annual pay of $412,000 for dermatologists, however Medscape cites wages of $339,000.

Dermatologists diagnose and treat a wide range of skin problems, from acne to cancer. They may do routine skin checks to screen for melanoma or other kinds of skin cancer, keeping track of any changes in the look or location of moles.

Unusual skin diseases and alterations may be subjected to diagnostic procedures, such as biopsies. Dermatologists treat allergic reactions, skin infections, eczema, and other skin diseases. Numerous doctors also offer cosmetic operations, ranging from laser surgery and excisions of undesirable skin diseases and birthmarks to liposuction, chemical peels, and Botox injections.

Their Role: Skin health
$412,000 in annual income
4 years of schooling

8. Plastic/ Reconstructive Surgery

Plastic surgeons are the specialists who devote their lives to medical aesthetics and reconstruction. Dermatologists may perform some cosmetic operations. Plastic surgeons make an average of $393,073 a year, according to Plastic surgeons’ salaries have risen steadily during the previous decade.

In terms of appearance, plastic surgeons can work on everything from the skin and facial features to bodily parts including the chest, breasts, and limbs. They can even alter the look of external reproductive organs.

In contrast to the purpose of cosmetic surgery, certain plastic surgery operations are meant to repair damage done by an injury, congenital flaws, or illness that affects both look and function. These procedures include skin grafts, liposuction, tissue transfers, and other treatments that are often used by plastic surgeons. Subspecialties in plastic surgery include surgery of the head and face (craniofacial surgery), surgery of the hand, and treatment of severe burns, as do other specializations.

Cosmetic treatments are what they specialize in. Earnings for the year: $393, 073. Two years of training

9. Emergency Medicine Physician

The specialty of emergency medicine focuses on providing urgent care and stabilization in the event of a patient’s medical emergency. According to Forbes, emergency medical specialists may expect to earn an annual salary of $345,000 or more. A somewhat lower yearly salary of $306,000 is seen in Medscape’s list of the top 10 highest-paying specialties.

When dealing with a medical emergency, doctors are under a lot of strain. A patient’s health might be seriously harmed or perhaps killed if help isn’t given promptly enough. It is the job of ER physicians to treat patients with severe sickness or injury in both emergency departments and in pre-hospital settings.

Only through making rapid and accurate judgments are the lives of emergency patients able to be saved. It is essential that these doctors have a strong foundation in clinical and technical talents as well as an in-depth knowledge of medicine when it comes to evaluating patients and developing treatment programs for them.

An annual income of $355,000 would cover medical care in the case of an injury or illness. Training that lasts three years.

10.  Anesthesiology

During surgical operations, anesthesiologists are in charge of keeping patients comfortable, sedated, or otherwise unconscious. In other publications, earnings for urologists and dermatologists dominate those of anesthesiologists, despite the fact that this crucial position has a high earning potential – $261,730 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The primary focus of anesthesiologists is on patients having surgery, despite the fact that they aren’t surgeons. Anesthetics and pain medicines are used to make diagnostic and surgical procedures less unpleasant for the patient. Doctors monitor the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and body temperature throughout surgery for any symptoms of discomfort or stress and alter the patient’s anesthetic dosage accordingly. Following surgery, they keep an eye on the patients and help with postoperative care.

In addition, anesthesiologists use their knowledge of analgesics to provide effective and safe pain treatment to patients with chronic pain, those in the intensive care unit (ICU), and laboring mothers.

What They Perform: Analgesia during operation
Earnings per Year: $261,730
Training length: 4 years

11. General Surgery

BLS reports a yearly base income of $252,040 for general surgery, rounding out the top 10 highest-paying medical specialty.

Many other specializations practice surgery, including some of the highest-paying ones, such as orthopedic surgery and invasive cardiology. A surgeon who specializes in general surgery has a broad basis of knowledge that enables them to address a variety of medical issues through surgeries using specialized equipment.

Most general surgeons undertake surgeries involving the skin, neck, breasts, belly, and arteries, directing patients with orthopedic, neurologic, cardiac, and similar disorders to surgeons specializing in those fields. General surgeons collaborate with their patients throughout the surgical process, from assessing the medical condition that necessitates surgery and preparing them for the procedure through after care.

$252,040 Annual Income
5 years of training

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