Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in the US

Orthopedists are doctors who specialize in musculoskeletal problems like fractures and fractured bones. They undertake joint and bone procedures and non-operative treatments such as physical therapy. Considering how delicate the job of an orthopedic surgeon is, I guess that you are probably wondering what their salary would be. Well, how much an orthopedic surgeon earns varies by country and specialty, with the United States at the top of the pay scale. An orthopedist’s work environment varies based on the context in which they work. If they practice as self-employed orthopedists, they can be affiliated with a hospital or clinic or establish their own private clinic. They do, however, make a good living. However, Orthopedic surgeons caution against choosing this medical specialty simply out of a desire for a high salary. Let us learn about Orthopedic surgeons and their salaries in recent times.

Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in the US

How to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon

When someone is handicapped or afflicted, they frequently seek the help of an Orthopedic surgeon in the hopes that the surgeon will be able to repair the problem. This sort of doctor specializes in diseases and injuries affecting the human body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, bones, tendons, joints, ligaments, and nerves. Orthopedic surgeons conduct various medical procedures, including osteotomies (surgical repairs of bone abnormalities). Non-surgical therapies, including medicines and rehabilitative physical therapy, are sometimes prescribed. Reading the questions and answers below will help aspiring doctors discover some critical information about the field of orthopedic surgery.

What Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Do?

Orthopedic surgeons are doctors who specialize in treating musculoskeletal problems, including scoliosis and catastrophic injuries like broken hips. They can also aid persons suffering from back pain or knee pain and those who have osteoporosis or arthritis. Orthopedic specialists with experience treating sports injuries may be able to work with professional sports teams and treat professional players. According to these specialists (also known as orthopedists), one significant difference between orthopedic surgery and other disciplines of medicine is that it rarely involves life-or-death situations.

Instead, the discipline focuses on improving patients’ lives with pain and mobility concerns by addressing the underlying cause of their misery, whether it’s a fracture, sprain, deformity, trauma injury, bone break, or replacement joint. Some orthopedists, however, specialize in orthopedic oncology and have become masters at removing malignancies from the musculoskeletal system, and they do address life-threatening circumstances, according to orthopedists. Furthermore, while orthopedic surgeons are educated to do surgeries, they also treat patients’ musculoskeletal disorders using non-surgical treatments and occasionally cooperate with physical therapists.


Orthopedic Surgeon Requirements

It takes 14 years to complete all of the prerequisites to become a board-certified orthopedist. Future Orthopedic surgeons must have outstanding exam results, a high GPA, and recommendations from their teachers or employers since they study the broad and intricate structure of the body’s framework. The following is a typical approach to board certification:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree
  • Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Complete medical school as DO or MD
  • Complete residency
  • Complete fellowship
  • Earn national and state license
  • Become board certified

Before joining this difficult environment, orthopedic surgeons devote a significant amount of time and effort to intensive education and training. Orthopedists study the huge and complex musculoskeletal system for many years before advancing to a specialization or specializing in specific body parts such as the spine, ankle, or hand.


Seven Steps to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon

1. Earn a degree

You must get a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. General chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and English are among the subjects covered in the curriculum. Pre-med classes are available, as well as internships and science-based electives. A bachelor’s degree takes four years on average to complete.

2. Pass the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

After that, you’ll take a seven-hour test to show your medical school readiness. Individually scored portions make up the test, with a total score ranging from 472 to 528. Potential orthopedists should achieve the highest possible score.

3. Attend medical school

You’ll apply to medical school after passing the MCAT. Orthopedic surgeons have either a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree (DO).

4. Complete residency

After that, you’ll spend five years learning on the job in a residency. Students complete the first two or more years of their training in general surgery before moving on to Orthopedic surgery in their final years. Students work alongside attending physicians during this period and grow confidence in their abilities while learning to build patient rapport.

5. Complete a fellowship

Most orthopedic surgeons go on to complete a fellowship or enter a specialization after completing their residency. Orthopedic surgeons study the following topics during their fellowship, which usually lasts one to two years:

  • Hand, foot, ankle, spine surgery
  • Pediatric Orthopedics
  • Orthopedic oncology
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Surgical sports medicine

6. Earn your license

After completing their training requirements, orthopedic surgeons must pass the national US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensure Examination (COMLEX). Licensing requirements differ from state to state, so check to see if your area has any additional licensing needs.

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7. Become board certified

Orthopedic doctors are not required to pass a board exam once licensed, but the designation instills confidence in patients and shows the surgeon’s commitment to their field. Board-certified orthopedic surgeons have passed an examination by a jury of their peers and have been declared competent and knowledgeable. The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS) administers board exams that consist of 320 multiple-choice, computer-based questions.

Following the written component, surgeons must take and pass an oral question-and-answer exam that assesses their surgical technique knowledge and expertise. Orthopedic surgeons must participate in continuing education and have their certification renewed every seven to 10 years through board evaluation and tests. These standards ensure that surgeons are up to date on the latest research and developments.


Orthopedic Surgeon Salary

The average income for an orthopedic surgeon in the United States is over $320,000, making it one of the highest-paid occupations in the medical industry. In Australia, the average Orthopedic Surgeon income is Au$271,000, whereas, in Canada, the average Orthopedic Surgeon pay is CA$253,432. The average income for an orthopedic surgeon in the United Kingdom is £87,936. Orthopedic surgeons in India get salaries ranging from Rs 78,000 per month for government jobs to Rs 2 lakhs per month for private-sector jobs.

The same rent ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 a month in Dubai. The musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, is examined, diagnosed, and treated by orthopedic surgeons. Orthopedic surgeons can either be generalists or specialize in a specific body part, such as the back or the foot. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physician and surgeon employment is expected to expand faster than the national average from 2012 through 2022.

Physician and surgeon job opportunities were predicted to grow 18 percent in May 2014, while orthopedist job opportunities were expected to grow 16 percent over the same time (www.bls.gov). As of May 2014, the BLS stated that all physicians earned an average yearly wage of $187,200.


The average Orthopaedic Surgeon Salary

The average salary of an Orthopedic surgeon in the United States is $400,000 annually. An Orthopedic doctor can earn salaries between $150,000 and $500,000 a year. Orthopedic surgeons’ salaries depend on the length of their experience in the field. The more experienced they are, the higher their annual pay will be. The amount of money they get also depends on their specialty. According to Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report from 2018, orthopedists are among the highest-paid doctors in the United States. Their average annual salary is $489,000 before tax. According to PayScale, an orthopedic surgeon earns between $100,000 and $501,000 a year.

The average Orthopedic surgeon’s salary in the United States is $464,526, or an equivalent hourly rate of $223. In addition, they earn an average bonus of $47,620. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in the United States. An entry-level Orthopedic surgeon (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of $350,618. On the other end, a senior-level Orthopedic surgeon (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of $584,068.

Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They provide medical care for patients with problems in their bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Orthopedic doctors offer a wide range of surgical and non-surgical options for their patients, ranging from exercise and physical therapy to joint replacement surgeries. Orthopedic surgeons generally work in private offices or clinics. They can also be found working at hospitals or medical centers that offer 24-hour emergency services.

Because many Orthopedic conditions require urgent treatment to prevent further injury or loss of function, orthopedists may be on-call for emergencies that arise outside of regular business hours. The average annual wage for Orthopedic Surgeons in the US as of May 2015 was $369,573. This is 7% higher than the May 2014 figure. The median annual wage for physicians and surgeons was $204,950 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $67,530, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $187,199.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for physicians and surgeons in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

  • Outpatient care centers —$214,115
  • Offices of physicians —$210,170
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private— $208,000


Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in the US

In the United States, the average salary for a Medical Orthopedic Surgeon is $524,368. A Medical Orthopedic Surgeon’s average bonus is $58,553, or 11% of their annual pay, with 100% of respondents indicating that they receive a bonus every year. Medical Orthopedic Surgeons earn the highest in San Francisco, CA, with a total pay of $629,085, which is 20 percent higher than the national average. Medical Orthopedic Surgeon salaries in the United States range from $454,934 to $648,993, with a median of $512,254. Medical Orthopedic Surgeons in the middle earn between $513,216 and $555,281, with the top 83 percent earning $648,993.

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In 2018, the average federal tax rate for an individual filer in this tax band was expected to be 37 percent. Medical Orthopedic Surgeons might expect a take-home income of $364,662 per year after a federal tax rate of 37 percent is deducted, with each paycheck equaling around $15,194. In the United States, an Orthopedic Surgeon earns an average of $481,942 a year and $232 per hour. An Orthopedic Surgeon’s average income ranges from $307,902 to $688,367. An Orthopedic Surgeon’s highest degree of schooling is typically a Doctorate Degree.

This wage survey data was acquired directly from employers and anonymous employees in the United States for this compensation research. ERI’s wage data is based on ERI’s salary surveys conducted and researched. The Assessor Series’ labor cost data is based on actual dwelling sales data from commercially available sources, rental rates, gasoline prices, consumables, medical care premium costs, property taxes, effective income tax rates, and other factors.


10 Countries With The Highest Orthopedic Surgeon Salaries

An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of bone, joint, ligament, tendons, and muscle diseases. A generalist can specialize in specific parts of the body, such as the spine, hand, shoulder, elbow, or hip and knee. The countries with the highest-paid orthopedic surgeons are shown below (salaries converted to US dollars);

1. Canada

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the average yearly income for medical experts in orthopedic surgery in Canada is roughly CA$422,000. Orthopedic surgeons in Newfoundland and Labrador are the highest paid, with an average compensation of CA$757,665. Alberta (CA$519,000), Saskatchewan (CA$484,000), and Manitoba (CA$447,000) are the other top-paying provinces.

2. Switzerland

According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health data, orthopedic surgeons in Switzerland make an average yearly salary of CHF483,000.

3. Germany

Orthopedic surgeons in Germany are among the highest-paid doctors in the country. The annual average income is between €311,000 and €405,000.

4. United States

According to the Medscape Orthopedics compensation survey, orthopedic surgeons make $482,000 per year. Those who work for themselves earn slightly more than those who work for others. Self-employed individuals should expect to earn $505,000 per year, whereas employed individuals should earn $459,000 per year.

5. Netherland

According to ERI, Dutch orthopedic doctors earn between €180,000 and €400,000 per year.

6. Australia

According to the Tax Office, orthopedic surgeons in Australia can earn up to AU$450,000 per year, making them one of the highest-paid positions in the country.

7. France

According to BRM Conseil data, orthopedic surgeons in private practice can make up to €288,000 per year.

8. New Zealand

According to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, trainee surgeons working for a district health board earn between NZ$72k and NZ$124k per year, while experienced surgeons earn between NZ$151k and NZ$212k per year. The top earners in the private sector might make up to NZ$600,000 each year.

9. United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, most medical experts work for the National Health Service (NHS). Newly qualified consultants earn a starting pay of £77,913 per year, which increases to £105,042 per year depending on how long they work.

10. Denmark

Denmark’s healthcare system is almost entirely funded by the five regions and covered by the government. The healthcare system is organized into two parts: primary care (GPs and private practicing specialized doctors) and secondary care (hospitals and clinics) (hospitals and outpatient units). According to Medicolink Denmark, an Orthopedic surgeon earning 64,500 DKK per month works 37 hours each week (744,000 DKK).


How Much Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Make in Usa?

In the United States, the average orthopedic surgeon’s salary is $100,000 per year or $51.28 per hour. Starting salaries for entry-level positions start at $50,000 per year, with the highest-paid workers earning up to $337,378 per year.

State Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
Massachusetts $442,773 $36,898 $8,515 $212.87
Alaska $418,018 $34,835 $8,039 $200.97
Nevada $414,715 $34,560 $7,975 $199.38
Washington $407,956 $33,996 $7,845 $196.13
New York $396,771 $33,064 $7,630 $190.76
Maryland $395,958 $32,996 $7,615 $190.36
Nebraska $388,376 $32,365 $7,469 $186.72
New Hampshire $383,413 $31,951 $7,373 $184.33
Virginia $383,282 $31,940 $7,371 $184.27
Colorado $374,989 $31,249 $7,211 $180.28
South Carolina $374,629 $31,219 $7,204 $180.11
Delaware $370,452 $30,871 $7,124 $178.10
California $367,207 $30,601 $7,062 $176.54
Hawaii $362,911 $30,243 $6,979 $174.48
Kentucky $362,401 $30,200 $6,969 $174.23
Vermont $361,074 $30,089 $6,944 $173.59
Oklahoma $360,964 $30,080 $6,942 $173.54
Wyoming $355,366 $29,614 $6,834 $170.85
Arkansas $353,634 $29,469 $6,801 $170.02
Connecticut $351,951 $29,329 $6,768 $169.21
Illinois $351,725 $29,310 $6,764 $169.10
Michigan $351,518 $29,293 $6,760 $169.00
Rhode Island $347,643 $28,970 $6,685 $167.14
West Virginia $344,858 $28,738 $6,632 $165.80
Idaho $344,576 $28,715 $6,626 $165.66
North Dakota $342,900 $28,575 $6,594 $164.86
Missouri $342,279 $28,523 $6,582 $164.56
Maine $341,374 $28,448 $6,565 $164.12
New Jersey $339,744 $28,312 $6,534 $163.34
Pennsylvania $339,022 $28,252 $6,520 $162.99
Montana $337,615 $28,135 $6,493 $162.32
Arizona $334,142 $27,845 $6,426 $160.65
Texas $333,309 $27,776 $6,410 $160.24
South Dakota $332,887 $27,741 $6,402 $160.04
Minnesota $332,518 $27,710 $6,395 $159.86
Indiana $331,999 $27,667 $6,385 $159.62
Tennessee $331,945 $27,662 $6,384 $159.59
Wisconsin $329,924 $27,494 $6,345 $158.62
Ohio $329,543 $27,462 $6,337 $158.43
Oregon $327,607 $27,301 $6,300 $157.50
Utah $325,698 $27,141 $6,263 $156.59
Kansas $322,504 $26,875 $6,202 $155.05
Louisiana $322,479 $26,873 $6,202 $155.04
Georgia $322,340 $26,862 $6,199 $154.97
North Carolina $319,241 $26,603 $6,139 $153.48
Iowa $318,061 $26,505 $6,117 $152.91
Alabama $314,802 $26,233 $6,054 $151.35
New Mexico $313,405 $26,117 $6,027 $150.68
Florida $303,808 $25,317 $5,842 $146.06
Mississippi $302,104 $25,175 $5,810 $145.24
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Highest Paying States for Orthopedic Surgeon Jobs in the U.S.

We found seven states where the average Orthopedic Surgeon salary is higher than the national average. Massachusetts is at the top of the list, followed by Alaska and Nevada in second and third place. Nevada outperforms the national average by 7.3 percent, and Massachusetts continues the trend with a $56,440 (14.6 percent) increase over the national average of $386,333. Significantly, the job market for Orthopedic Surgeons in Massachusetts is very active, with several companies currently hiring for this position. With only a few states paying more than the national average, moving to a new location as an Orthopedic Surgeon should be approached with caution. Cost of living expenses should also be taken into account.



Orthopedic surgery is the highest-paying medical specialty in most countries and the United States. In Germany, for example, the average gross compensation for an orthopedic surgeon is €291.164 or an hourly rate of €140. Orthopedic surgeons in the United States and Canada performed even more procedures. However, I hope that this article has helped you learn more about Orthopedic surgeon salaries because we have provided you with a comprehensive overview of practically everything you need to know about Orthopedic surgeons and Orthopedic surgeon salaries throughout the world.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do orthopedists make?

Orthopedic doctors in the United States earned an average yearly compensation of $412,000 in 2020. The expected annual range is between $100,000 and $1 million.

Why are doctors’ salaries so high?

Doctors work long hours, frequently more than 80 per week, so high pay motivates them. They must also complete years of education and training before practicing medicine.

How does it feel to work as an orthopedist?

Only around 1% of medical school graduates go on to specialize in orthopedics, making it a highly competitive field for aspiring doctors. On the other hand, those that do find it satisfying can assist others in recovering from crippling injuries and diseases. Plus, there’s a lot of money to be made in this field. The compensation of an orthopedic surgeon is among the highest in the medical field. It is one of the top 10 highest-paying jobs in the United States. However, the compensation of an orthopedic surgeon varies a lot depending on where you work and who you work for. We’ve prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Orthopedics to help you in your job search.

What is the annual salary of an orthopedic surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons are clinicians who specialize in the musculoskeletal system’s bones, muscles, and joints. Their job entails identifying and treating injuries, diseases, and other ailments that impact the human body. Orthopedic surgeons labor long hours in hospitals or practices, where they consult with patients and perform surgery.

What is the starting salary for an Orthopedic surgeon?

After completing their undergraduate degree, orthopedists still have years of schooling. Before they may practice medicine, students must complete four years of medical school and five years of residency training. To become an orthopedist, they must complete specialized training through a fellowship program. After all of that,

How much does an Orthopedic Surgeon make on an annual basis in each state?

The highest paying state for Orthopedic Surgeon employment is New York. North Carolina is the state with the lowest compensation for orthopedic surgeons.

How much does an Orthopedic surgeon make?

These salaries will vary depending on several factors, including the type of practice (academic or private), the location; board certification; and experience. In general, those working in academic medical centers will earn less than those in private practice. On average, however, surgeons spend 10 to 15 years after medical school training before becoming fully independent.

What is an Orthopedic Surgeon’s Average Salary?

The average annual income for an orthopedic surgeon is $455,000. The highest 10% of earners earn more than $660,000 per year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $310,000.

What are the best cities for doctors to work in?

Doctors in New York and California make the greatest money. Workers in Los Angeles and San Francisco may expect to earn over $300 per hour, which is among the highest in the country.

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Martin Uwakwe

As an SEO Strategist, Web Analytics Expert, and Content Developer with over 7 years of experience, I'm passionate about leveraging data-driven insights to optimize online visibility, drive organic traffic, and boost search rankings. My track record includes successfully optimizing and analyzing hundreds of e-commerce websites, managing multi-million-dollar marketing budgets for maximum ROI, and crafting engaging content that resonates with audiences. With proficiency in SEO, data analysis, web optimization tools, and content creation, I'm dedicated to helping businesses thrive in the digital landscape.