The Plastic Surgeon Salary in 2017

The highest plastic surgeon salary is registered in the US, where professionals earn $259,000 per year. Next in line is Canada where professionals in this field earn C$204,000 (US$160,194) per year, New Zealand with NZ$175,000 (US$128,179), Australia with AU$120,000 (US$93,052), and The United Kingdom with ₤64,000 (US$82,962) per year. The lowest salaries for plastic surgeons are registered in South Africa and India, where professionals earn about R1,179,162 (US$89,372) and Rs1,209,000 (US$18,760), respectively.

How Much Does a Plastic Surgeon Make per Year?

Plastic
Surgeon
Salary
US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly
Wage
$124.52 C$98.08
(US$77)
₤30.77
(US$39.88)
AU$57.69
(US$44.73)
NZ$84.13
(US$61.64)
Rs581.25
(US$9)
R566.90
(US$42.96)
Annual
Wage
$259,000 C$204,000
(US$160,194)
₤64,000
(US$82,962)
AU$120,000
(US$93,052)
NZ$175,000
(US$128,179)
Rs1,209,000
(US$18,760)
R1,179,162
(US$89,372)

Factors that Influence the Plastic Surgeon Salary

The most important influencers of the plastic surgeon salary are the geographic area, experience, and industry of a professional.

Geographic Area

This is the strongest influencing factor on the salary of plastic surgeon is the location of employment.

Plastic Surgeon Salary in the US

A plastic surgeon working in the United States earns $259,000 per year according to Payscale. The same source reports the starting salary for professionals in plastic surgery at $72,371 per year, and the late-career salary at $614,228 per year. Bonuses can account for up to $125,000 of the total yearly pay, and profit sharing opportunities – for up to $40,695.

Even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers no information on how much plastic surgeons earn, we can take the surgeon salary as a reference while taking into account the salary of a plastic surgeon is generally higher than the average for all surgeons. The mean surgeon salary as reported by this source is $252,910 per year.

Highest Employment Levels for Plastic Surgeons in the US

These are the states with the highest employment level in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 4,770 0.30 1.02 $111.68 $232,300
Texas 3,230 0.27 0.94 $113.61 $236,300
Massachusetts 2,480 0.72 2.44 $119.13 $247,790
Ohio 2,300 0.43 1.47 $109.45 $227,660
Pennsylvania 1,800 0.31 1.07 $99.12 $206,170

The metropolitan areas with the highest employment levels in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 1,580 0.24 0.82 $119.17 $247,870
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division 1,370 0.76 2.59 $112.97 $234,980
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 1,080 2.74 9.33 $127.53 $265,260
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 1,080 0.25 0.87 $110.03 $228,870
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 1,040 0.29 0.97 $116.39 $242,080
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 890 0.47 1.59 $137.43 $285,850
Columbus, OH 870 0.85 2.90 $115.96 $241,200
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division 830 0.34 1.17 $103.84 $215,990
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 660 0.27 0.91 $104.04 $216,400
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 650 0.26 0.87 $126.52 $263,150

Here are the nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment levels in this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area 100 0.51 1.73 (5) (5)
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area 80 0.55 1.87 $130.26 $270,930
Piedmont North Carolina nonmetropolitan area 70 0.29 0.98 $138.71 $288,520
East South Dakota nonmetropolitan area 70 0.49 1.68 (5) (5)
Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area 60 0.52 1.77 $125.00 $260,010
Highest Salaries for Plastic Surgeons in the US

Here are the states with the highest salaries for surgeons:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Wyoming 110 0.39 1.33 (5) (5)
West Virginia (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)
South Dakota 350 0.83 2.84 (5) (5)
Oregon 440 0.25 0.84 (5) (5)
New Hampshire 350 0.54 1.84 (5) (5)

The metropolitan areas with the highest salaries for this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Worcester, MA-CT (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)
Portsmouth, NH-ME 30 0.38 1.29 (5) (5)
Pittsfield, MA (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)
Nashua, NH-MA NECTA Division 40 0.28 0.94 (5) (5)
Manchester, NH 80 0.77 2.61 (5) (5)
Dover-Durham, NH-ME (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)
Barnstable Town, MA (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 90 0.41 1.38 (5) (5)
Winchester, VA-WV 30 0.56 1.90 (5) (5)
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division 60 0.17 0.58 (5) (5)

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest surgeon salaries in the US:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area 40 0.18 0.62 (5) (5)
Southern Vermont nonmetropolitan area 50 0.50 1.72 (5) (5)
East South Dakota nonmetropolitan area 70 0.49 1.68 (5) (5)
Central Oregon nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)
South Coast Oregon nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) (5) (5)

Plastic Surgeon Salary in Canada

The starting salary for plastic surgeons is C$62,000 ($US48,862) in Canada. The national average is set around C$204,000, the equivalent of US$160,772. All plastic surgeons here have at least one type of health benefit with their job.

Experienced plastic surgeons can earn more than C$421,688 ($US331,910) depending on their hours, responsibilities, and achievements. Nevertheless, only 13% of the professionals currently working in this field in Canada have more than 20 years of experience.

Plastic Surgeon Salary in the UK

A plastic surgeon in the UK starts off at about £30,874, or US$40,196 per year. The salary will slowly grow as the professional advances up the career ladder until it reaches the national average of ₤64,000 (US$83,337). However, some experienced plastic surgeons still have salaries lower than the national average.

Those who stayed in this field for more than 20 years like 20% of the plastic surgeons in the UK did, you will likely earn around £176,246, or US$186,912. Bonuses can account for about £20,000 or US$26,063.

Plastic Surgeon Salary in Australia

The median salary for this profession in Australia is around AU$120,000 (US$93,052). The plastic surgeon starting salary, however, can go as low as AU$60,402 (US$47,258). Unlike other professions or countries, however, plastic surgeons in Australia enjoy a handful of health benefits with their jobs.

The 31% of plastic surgeons that have 20 years of experience or more earn around AU$820,623, or US$642,055. In fact, late-career professionals declare a very high job satisfaction.

Plastic Surgeon Salary in New Zealand

Careers.govt.nz tells us surgeons working in New Zealand, including plastic surgeons, earn between NZ$70,000 (US$51,468) and NZ$175,000 (US$128,671) per year in their first years of practice. Experienced professionals, however, can earn between NZ$151,000 (US$111,025) and NZ$600,000 (US$441,159) per year. Therefore, we can estimate the average around NZ$175,000 (US$128,671).

Plastic Surgeon Salary in India

Plastic surgeons working in India earn Rs1,560,000 (US$24,248) per year on average according to PayScale. Beginners in this field can start off with as little as Rs504,000 (US$7,834), while experienced professionals can take home up to Rs4,734,364 (US$73,589).

Plastic Surgeon Salary in South Africa

A plastic surgeon in South Africa earns on average around ZAR450,000 (US$ 32,907), but the salary can increase significantly with extra hours, responsibilities, and achievements. Among the perks that come with this job we highlight medical, dental, and vision insurance – 67% of the professionals in this field in South Africa enjoy these benefits.

Experience

Before being able to practice, a plastic surgeon must complete a 4-year tour of Med school which is usually followed by a surgical residency lasting 5 to 6 years.

Experience is an essential factor that determined the average plastic surgeon salary in all reviewed countries, as mentioned above. Given the limited information available for most countries, this section outlines the salary growth of plastic surgeons in the US. Therefore, the wage levels for this profession based on the employee’s experience in the field are:

  • $96,271 – $507,585 per year for an entry level plastic surgeon (0 to 5 years on the job);
  • $95,632 – $650,000 per year for a mid-career plastic surgeon (5 to 10 years);
  • $95,660 – $780,284 for an experienced plastic surgeon (10 to 20 years).

Even though there are some experienced individuals who still earn some of the lowest salaries for plastic surgeons, there are other factors that could decrease pay with experience – like the hours they work.

Industry

Based on the industry, the plastic surgeon salary may vary accordingly. In the United States and most of the other English-speaking countries, the Office-based single-specialty group practice is the highest paying industry for this occupationHere, a plastic surgeon earns about $382,000 per year according to estimates.

The second most high-paying industry for this occupation is the Office-based solo practice, where an individual having this profession earns $337,000 per year.

Here are the industries with the highest levels of employment for surgeons.
Note: Even though this table only refers to general surgeons, the data presented here is representative for plastic surgeons, too.

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Offices of Physicians 32,620 1.30 $125.99 $262,050
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 6,750 0.12 $105.69 $219,840
Outpatient Care Centers 690 0.08 $119.44 $248,440
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 180 0.02 $99.51 $206,980
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 140 0.06 (5) (5)

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 140 0.06 (5) (5)
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services (8) (8) (5) (5)
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories 30 0.01 (5) (5)
Local Government (OES Designation) 40 (7) $130.07 $270,540
Offices of Physicians 32,620 1.30 $125.99 $262,050

Note: All tables are courtesy of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Working hours

A plastic surgeon typically works in a hospital, day centers, and the clinic where they consult patients and perform surgery. However, some plastic surgeons can work in private practice or research facilities.

Although a plastic surgeon is required to work 40 hours per week, the schedule can be chaotic sometimes. As a future plastic surgeon, expect to be on call frequently, work night shifts, weekends, or holidays.

Bonuses and Benefit Packages

According to payscale.com, bonuses can sum up to $145,437 for plastic surgeons working in the US. Furthermore, a plastic surgeon is also entitled to other forms of bonuses such as profit sharing (up to $40,695) and medical coverage.  

Job Outlook

According to a report posted on BLS.gov, the job outlook for this occupation will increase by approximately 14 percent in the 2014-2024 interval. As for employment change, the value has been estimated at +99,300 for the same timeframe. While the plastic surgeon salary is one of the highest in healthcare, many choose other medical fields because of the lengthy and expensive training.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the plastic surgeon salary mostly varies in terms of geographic area, experience, industry, and local policies. Compared to other medical specialties, plastic surgery is considered one of the most lucrative branches of the industry. However, should you consider employment as a plastic surgeon, expect to spend a lot of time in practice, long working hours, and a fair amount of job-related stress.

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