A spine surgeon, is a highly trained medical professional who focuses on surgical treatment of the spine. These professionals share many commonalities with orthopedic surgeons. In the US, spine surgeons earn more than $438,000 per year compared to AU$587,000 ($445,984 USD) in Australia, C$425,000 ($333,127 USD) in Canada, and NZ$493,000 ($338,083 USD) in New Zealand. Annual earnings for spine surgeons in the UK can reach £225,000 ($266,894 USD) while those in South Africa earn about R2,575,000 ($190,443 USD) and Rs2,585,000 ($40,164 USD) in India. Average annual salaries for spine surgeons vary by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting with additional details provided in this guide.
How Much Does a Spine Surgeon Make per Year?
Average annual salaries and hourly earnings for spine surgeons are provided in the chart below.
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Factors that Influence the Spine Surgeon Salary
While geographic region is a strong factor in earning potential for spine surgeons, professional experience and work setting also heavily influence annual salaries. Additional information on annual earnings as well as career insight are provided in this guide.
1. Geographic Area
Spine Surgeon Salary in US
In the US, spine surgeons earn an average annual salary that tops $438,000 plus another $55,000 or more in bonus income. Early career spine surgeons see annual pay exceeding $280,000 compared to more than $626,000 per year for senior level professionals.
Spine Surgeon Salary in Canada
Spine surgeons in Canada earn between roughly C$271,000 per year for those at the entry level and C$607,000 per year upon reaching the senior level. The average annual pay among all experience levels can reach C$425,000 with more than C$53,000 possible in additional bonus income.
Spine Surgeon Salary in UK
As a spine surgeon in the UK, average earnings can reach £225,000 plus another £28,000 in bonus incentive pay. Entry level spine surgeons earn an average starting salary of nearly £144,000 per year compared to senior level professionals who receive more than £321,000 annually.
Spine Surgeon Salary in Australia
Spine surgeons in Australia earn about AU$587,000 in annual base pay and nearly AU$74,000 in additional bonus income. Those beginning their careers see an average entry level salary of nearly AU$376,000 compared to about AU$840,000 for senior level professionals.
Spine Surgeon Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the average annual salary for spine surgeons is nearly NZ$493,000, and bonus incentive pay can add another NZ$62,000 to overall earnings. On average, entry level pay tops NZ$315,000 per year while senior level positions garner an average annual salary that is well over NZ$704,000.
Spine Surgeon Salary in India
Spine surgeons in India receive about Rs2,585,000 per year and some employers offer bonus income that can tack another Rs325,000 to overall pay. The average entry level salary for those early in their careers is about Rs1,677,000 per year, increasing with experience to more than Rs3,749,000 annually for those in senior level positions.
Spine Surgeon Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, spine surgeons see annual earnings that can reach R2,575,000 and an additional R324,000 in bonus income. Entry level employees earn more than R1,659,000 per year compared to senior level professionals who receive an annual salary well over R3,709,000.
As one gains additional professional experience, a lift of 123% to 124% is seen in earning potential. For example, senior level professionals in the US earn about $346,000 more per year, an increase of 124% compared to entry level spine surgeries. While annual earnings in India are on the lower end of the pay scale, the gap between senior level and entry level pay is also 124%. For those spine surgeons who are eligible for bonus incentives, their bonus income may also increase with experience as this pay is often a percentage of annual base pay.
Spine surgeons work primarily in hospitals and private practice, though some are also employed in research roles in universities and laboratories. According to a Medscape compensation report, self-employed spine surgeons in the US earn about $103,000, or 24%, more per year compared to those who work for others. Employment in for-profit organizations may also offer higher salaries and more opportunities for bonus income compared to nonprofit employers.
Most spine surgeons work full-time schedules, and Medscape reports that nearly 40% consistently work more than 40 hours per week. This same Medscape report indicates only about 8% of male and 18% of female spine surgeons work part-time hours. Surgeries are often scheduled during normal business hours Monday through Friday; however, there may be emergency situations requiring time worked in the evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Spine surgeries typically receive a benefits package that includes healthcare and dental coverage, professional liability insurance, and paid time off. Other benefits may include life insurance, disability coverage, health savings accounts, retirement plans, and commuter assistance. While bonus pay is seen worldwide, only about 32% of US spine surgeons see bonus income potential, possibly due to the high number of self-employed professionals who are responsible for their own compensation.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 15% growth in surgeons, including spine surgeons, through 2026. This growth is faster than average and is the result of increased access to healthcare and advancements in medical technology and acute care treatment. To practice as a spine surgeon, a bachelor’s degree, typically in a science-related field, followed by a medical degree is required. Between three and seven years of residency and advanced training are necessary, as well as successful completion of a licensing exam and registration with the region’s appropriate governing board.
Spine surgeons are among the highest paid healthcare professionals worldwide, and with future growth expected in the coming years, incomes will likely be supported at these high levels. A full benefits package is typically provided, and many spine surgeons also earn bonus income. Most spine surgeons work full-time hours, and many are self-employed; however, about 26% of spine surgeons hold part-time schedules.