Career Advice > Physician

How Much Do Orthopedic Surgeons Make?

If you’ve found yourself on a page about how much orthopedic surgeons make, you're probably considering becoming one in the future. This article takes an in-depth look at what job growth and salaries of these high-level healthcare practitioners will look like for the coming years.

Orthopedic surgeons work to remedy issues and health conditions that afflict the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body. The surgeries they're tasked with are primarily the result of trauma, infections, and tumors that have developed in one of the aforementioned areas.

Other duties that they're tasked with include diagnosing a given patient's condition and consistently monitoring patient conditions, adjusting health plans as necessary.

These surgeons can go on further to become more specialized in a field such as sports medicine or pediatrics.

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, now is great time to pursue surgery as a career. The current projected growth rate between now and 2024 is 14%, well above the average for all jobs:  7%.

How Much Do Orthopedic Surgeons Make?

How much a surgeon can make via salary varies depending on the location of the job, experience of the individual, and the current demand for specialized surgeons.

Use the table at the bottom of this article to find out whether your state, or the state you eventually want to work in, pays its surgeons above or below the national average.

As represented in the graph below, orthopedic surgeons can expect to earn a median hourly wage of $171.62, or $356,965 per year:

Surgeon Salary

Return on Investment

In order to become a surgeon, you must first complete a bachelor's degree, preferably in a pre-health program, take the MCAT, complete medical school, and then a residency program. All-in-all, the education requirements are steep, as are the costs, and one ought to be very committed to the decision before moving forward.

However, high-level medical programs that involved attending medical school are not without risk. Before taking the MCAT and continuing on, be sure that this is something that you can commit to long-term. The indebtedness of students graduating from medical programs can exceed $200,000.00!

However, despite the costs, the payoff is still extremely high, so the debt is manageable as long as you're practicing.

Best States for Orthopedic Surgeon Salaries

A major factor in determining what your salary may look like is the location in which you plan to work. However, this principle applies to nearly all occupations largely due to the varying cost-of-living rates across the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects salary and employment data for nearly all positions, nationwide. The following table includes all data compiled from the BLS from each state including total number of jobs and wages as of May 2016.

Search or sort the table to find out what you can expect to make if orthopedic surgery is in your future:

*Location quotients serve as a statistical representation of the concentration of a resource, like jobs, with a broader base area.