The middle 50% of plastic surgeons make a yearly salary within the range of $286,000 and $424,000. This is the equivalent of an hourly pay between $138 and $204. Therefore, the median annual plastic surgeon salary is around $340,000, which is also $163 per hour. Even plastic surgeons working in the lowest 10th percentile make a luxurious salary. The base salary for a plastic surgeon should be around $238,000, or $115 per hour. However, the top 10th percentile of plastic surgeons make a much better yearly income, around $501,000 or higher. This is equal to working for $241 per hour.
There are many factors that may determine the differing incomes for a plastic surgeon. The type of practice a plastic surgeon is employed in could determine his or her salary. Surgeons working in a hospital setting tend to receive a lower income than those working in private practices. Plastic surgeons working in multi-specialty groups also made more money than the same surgeon working in a single-specialty office. Region also played a big part on average salaries for plastic surgeons. Those working in the Northwest were paid much higher than those working in the Southeast, for instance.
Paid benefits from an employer add to the total compensation a plastic surgeon may make. Some paid benefits may include health care insurance, paid time off, social security, and pension, among many others. The total compensation package taken home by a plastic surgeon after benefits is on average about $440,000 per year.
Job Description of a Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgeons are also called reconstructive surgeons. These doctors typically deal with reconstruction, repairing, or replacing various parts of the body. Most of the time, plastic surgeons reconstruct portions of the face. However, other body parts may also need the delicate work of a plastic surgeon. The torso and hands are other popular portions of the body for plastic surgeons.
How to Become a Plastic Surgeon
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Becoming a plastic surgeon will require long, arduous years of training. Aspiring plastic surgeons must begin by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a pre-med major. Biology and chemistry are just two options. Medical school is the next step.
The first two years of medical school will be spent in classroom instruction and completing laboratory practice. The final two years will involve placement into hospitals or clinics where students may receive clinical experience. The completion of medical school will earn a student an M.D.
Like many other doctors in the medical profession, aspiring plastic surgeons must next complete a five to six year residency. The first three years of training will involve general surgery. The two to three years following this will focus on specifically plastic surgery. Finally, after the residency has been completed, a licensing exam must be successfully passed. Only upon obtaining a license can graduates call themselves a plastic surgeon.
Some plastic surgeons will choose to follow up their residencies with fellowship training. This will allow them to specialize in a subfield of plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons may specialize in areas such as the hand, breast reconstruction, eyelid surgery, craniofacial surgery, or hair replacement, to name a few.
As a final note, certification may be gained through the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Plastic Surgeon Salary in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
Plastic surgeons working in other first-world countries may enjoy an income close to those found for surgeons in the United States. Australian plastic surgeons enjoy an average annual income of about AU$240,000. Plastic surgeons working in Canada may enjoy similar salaries. The average annual income in Canada for surgeons is about C$214,000 on average.
The United Kingdom offers its plastic surgeons an income slightly less than those found in Canada, Australia, or the U.S. The average annual income for plastic surgeons working in the U.K. should be around £93,000. This equates to almost $150,000 in America.
Verdict on Plastic Surgeon Salary
While plastic surgeons may not see the highest income in the medical field, they still see a luxurious salary. Six-figure plastic surgeon salaries are not only common; they are expected for plastic surgeons. The educational requirements are long and training may take many years, but the high standard of living upon receiving only a few of those doctor’s paychecks will more than make up for that.