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General surgeons perform different procedures throughout their careers. Unlike specialists, they are available for procedures involving most systems and organs, from the kidneys to the colon. A surgeon's job is demanding, and they may have to spend long hours in the operating room. While on call, surgeons also have to be available at any time - day or night.

General surgeons can work in government hospitals, public hospitals, or private centers. They lead the operating team and ensure that procedures are successful. General surgeons are responsible for assessing patients, diagnosing conditions, and recommending the best course of action. During their career, general surgeons can branch out to specialties like pediatric and plastic surgery.

To become a general surgeon, you'll need four years of college, four years of medical school, and a minimum of five years of residency. You'll also require a license to practice in your state.

What Does a General Surgeon Do

There are certain skills that many general surgeons have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, compassion and detail oriented.

Learn more about what a General Surgeon does

How To Become a General Surgeon

If you're interested in becoming a general surgeon, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.4% of general surgeons have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.0% of general surgeons have master's degrees. Even though most general surgeons have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a General Surgeon

Career Path For a General Surgeon

In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of physician you might progress to a role such as practice manager eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title practice manager.

General Surgeon

Average Salary for a General Surgeon

General Surgeons in America make an average salary of $223,321 per year or $107 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $411,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $121,000 per year.
Average General Surgeon Salary
$223,321 Yearly
$107.37 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of General Surgeon

The role of a general surgeon includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general general surgeon responsibilities:

  • Candidates must be board-certified/board-eligible in general surgery. Surgeons must have training/experience
  • Understand, support, and implement the mission of the facility to deliver health care to those in need in the performance of all job responsibilities. Ensure that patient care meets or exceeds the facility quality standards. Ensure that patient satisfaction meets or exceeds standards set by the facility. Educate patients on both clinical
  • All health care providers (hcps) will document care delivered

There are several types of general surgeon, including:



Doctors are medical professionals responsible for helping patients get better. They assess patients' conditions using diagnostic tests to identify their problems. They determine the treatment plans available to resolve patients' conditions. They also help healthy patients maintain their health status. The doctor is responsible for keeping patient's information, including their medical history, test results, and reports.

Doctors work in clinics, hospitals, health centers, surgical centers, or offices. They are required to hold a degree in Medicine and undergo five years of residency training (essential). To practice, you need a license from the federal level and state of work. In the United States, you must have completed the Medical Licensing Examination. Doctors need counseling, analytical, organization, time management, communication, leadership, interpersonal, and decision-making skills to excel. Doctors earn as high as $280,705 yearly. It can vary from $112,982 to $448,428 depending on specialization, state of work, employers, etc.

  • Average Salary: $208,582
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



A surgeon is a medical expert tasked with performing surgeries on human patients for the purpose of curing or alleviating some or other symptom or disease.

Surgeons, amongst other things, are responsible for examining patients and diagnosing them, reviewing their medical history so as to better craft a healing plan for them, advise patients and explain medical procedures to them and their families, prescribe medication before the surgery and for post op care, and follow through with patients, in order to monitor and maintain their recovery. They may also conduct research in order to advance the medical science and various surgical procedures and they may choose to specialise in a certain type of surgeries through further education and work.

A surgeon should have a medical degree, certification, and a license to practice medicine. They also need to have years of residency training and have to pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. They must be able to keep calm under pressure and have great hand-eye coordination. Interpersonal skills are important, too. A surgeon, on average, makes $314,000 a year.

  • Average Salary: $155,553
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Orthopedic Surgeon


Probably you know somebody who stops while tracking or jogging due to joint, bone, or muscle pain. People of any age and at any time can suffer from musculoskeletal pain and severe conditions that keep them away from enjoying life or working daily. Fortunately, everyone can take advantage of the services of an experienced orthopedic surgeon.

Orthopedic surgeons help people lead more productive and happier lives with their treatment options. They are specialized in performing various surgeries to cure different diseases and issues related to a person's musculoskeletal system.

Orthopedic surgeons conduct in-depth examinations on their patients to understand their condition, review their medical history, and ensure accuracy of treatment along with keeping an information record.

This medical specialty is one of the best paying professions in the USA as they earn $167.53 per hour. An associate's or bachelor's degree in biology or nursing and two years' experience is the qualification requirement for this job.

  • Average Salary: $137,571
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most General Surgeon Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active general surgeon jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where general surgeons earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of General Surgeon Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
2New York1,789$177,149
4New Jersey927$168,180
12New Hampshire206$168,511
17Rhode Island157$165,442
18North Dakota129$166,789
20North Carolina115$150,468
21South Dakota111$154,183
38New Mexico22$145,270
40South Carolina19$159,517
47West Virginia12$160,749

General Surgeon Education

General Surgeon Majors

26.6 %
13.4 %
10.3 %

General Surgeon Degrees


30.4 %


24.5 %


16.9 %

Top Colleges for General Surgeons

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a General Surgeon

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 34.2% of general surgeons listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable General Surgeon Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use General Surgeon templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your General Surgeon resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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General Surgeon diversity

General Surgeon Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among general surgeons, 46.1% of them are women, while 53.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among general surgeons is White, which makes up 76.6% of all general surgeons.

  • The most common foreign language among general surgeons is Spanish at 33.3%.

Online Courses For General Surgeon That You May Like

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The course is a comprehensive set of didactic lectures surveying fundamentals of transgender medical and surgical treatment. The material is meant to provide the student with core knowledge that is essential for current primary care providers caring for transgender patients. There are 10 modules led by the expert clinical faculty from the pioneering Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, located within the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New...

2. Trauma Emergencies and Care


Welcome to Trauma Emergencies and Care. In this course, you will learn about some of the mechanics and physics of trauma on the human body, and how this can cause injury. You will continue to expand your new vocabulary with medical terminology, and learn how to describe the different injuries you may see. You will also learn about the trauma system itself- and when it is important to transport patients to a trauma center. Then we will dive into specific injuries based on what part of the body...

3. Providing Trauma-Informed Care


Exploring psychological trauma and how to provide care and compassion to trauma survivors...

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Best States For a General Surgeon

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a general surgeon. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, New York, Delaware, and New Hampshire. General surgeons make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $179,694. Whereas in New York and Delaware, they would average $177,149 and $169,219, respectively. While general surgeons would only make an average of $168,511 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total General Surgeon Jobs: 129
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maine

Total General Surgeon Jobs: 221
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New Hampshire

Total General Surgeon Jobs: 206
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For General Surgeons

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Top General Surgeon Employers

Most Common Employers For General Surgeon

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Allina Health$380,645$183.007
2Three Rivers Health$350,613$168.567
3Samaritan Medical Center$315,422$151.659
4Owensboro Health$309,630$148.865
5Alice Hyde Medical Center$309,321$148.716
6Millinocket Regional Hospital$308,675$148.406
7Appalachian Regional Healthcare System$308,425$148.2826
8US Air Conditioning Distributors$301,354$144.886
9Sanford Health$299,766$144.1211
10The Medicus Firm$296,451$142.5213