Surgeons are doctors who specialize in using operations to treat diseases, injuries and other medical conditions. They may use noninvasive, minimally invasive or invasive surgical techniques to correct deformities, prevent the development of a physical condition, treat an existing condition or repair damaged tissue. Surgeons are highly skilled and educated, and they are among the most highly compensated professionals in the U.S.
The average national annual income for surgeons in the U.S. was $231,550, as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10 percent of surgeons earned less than $117,390. A surgeon's salary can be affected by numerous factors, including geographic location and type of employer.
More surgeons worked in California than any other state, according to the BLS. These surgeons earned average annual salaries of $216,350. Surgeons who practiced in Alabama earned $248,060 on average. Those in Texas earned an average of $196,770, while surgeons in New Hampshire earned $250,320.
Most surgeons worked out of private doctors' offices. They earned average annual wages of $241,060, according to the BLS. Surgeons who worked for general medical and surgical hospitals earned $204,970 on average. Those who worked for scientific research and development services received $246,570.
The BLS anticipates strong demand for new physicians and surgeons between 2010 and 2020. While general-practice doctors can begin their career after completing medical school, surgeons typically require another five years of surgical residency. Those who are willing to practice in areas that have been traditionally under-served by the health care profession, such as rural and inner city areas, may have increased employment opportunities.