What is a General Surgeon

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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a General Surgeon. For example, did you know that they make an average of $168.92 an hour? That's $351,357 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 7% and produce 55,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a General Surgeon. When we researched the most common majors for a General Surgeon, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Doctoral Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on General Surgeon resumes include Master's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a General Surgeon. In fact, many General Surgeon jobs require experience in a role such as Surgeon. Meanwhile, many General Surgeons also have previous career experience in roles such as Resident or Medical Assistant.

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Average Salary
$351,357
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
90,943
Job Openings
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General Surgeon Career Paths

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Average Salary for a General Surgeon

General Surgeons in America make an average salary of $351,357 per year or $169 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $501,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $246,000 per year.
Average Salary
$351,357
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General Surgeon Demographics

General Surgeon Gender Statistics

male

51.1 %

female

43.5 %

unknown

5.5 %

General Surgeon Ethnicity Statistics

White

81.7 %

Asian

9.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

4.3 %

General Surgeon Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

33.3 %

French

11.1 %

German

6.7 %
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General Surgeon Education

General Surgeon Majors

26.6 %
13.4 %
10.3 %

General Surgeon Degrees

Bachelors

30.4 %

Doctorate

24.5 %

Certificate

16.9 %

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High School / GED
Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
Doctorate

Top Colleges for General Surgeons

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567
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Online Courses For General Surgeon That You May Like

Transgender Medicine for General Medical Providers
coursera

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 Yor...

Trauma Emergencies and Care
coursera

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 ma...

So You Want To Be A Surgeon?
edX (Global)

The World Health Organization (WHO) projected urgent need of physicians and surgeons in the next decade and the Lancet Commissions 2015 report indicated the need for surgical services will continue to rise substantially from now until 2030, in particular in the low-income and middle-income regions. In light of the challenges of new diseases and increase in the aging population, medical and surgical care are ever more essential. The future needs more surgeons! What do surgeons do? What...

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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, 19.6% of General Surgeons listed Surgeons on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Compassion are important as well.

12 General Surgeon RESUME EXAMPLES

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 North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and South Dakota. General Surgeons make the most in North Dakota with an average salary of $233,084. Whereas in Minnesota and Wyoming, they would average $227,255 and $225,965, respectively. While General Surgeons would only make an average of $225,489 in South Dakota, 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:
$296,000
Location Quotient:
2.91
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. South Dakota

Total General Surgeon Jobs:
111
Highest 10% Earn:
$293,000
Location Quotient:
2.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nebraska

Total General Surgeon Jobs:
289
Highest 10% Earn:
$291,000
Location Quotient:
2.72
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For General Surgeons

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