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Working as an Orthopaedic Surgeon

An Orthopaedic Surgeon is a medical professional specializing in musculoskeletal diseases and issues, treating patients whose bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments are somehow affected by an injury, infection, or disorder.

Of course, due to the very nature of their job, they must consult and examine patients to understand their issues and decide on a treatment method. They may need to collaborate with other specialists and administer anesthetics. Obviously, the surgeries they perform include plating broken bones, fixing tendons and broken ligaments, and replacing hips or joints.

A person hoping to begin work as an Orthopedic Surgeon should have a Bachelor's degree in Biology or Physical Sciences, or a similar subject, as well as a Doctor of Medicine degree. Several years of internships and residency training are also necessary, as well as a valid medical license and certification. It is also necessary that the Surgeon stay updated on all new research and advancements in their field of medicine.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an orthopaedic surgeon. For example, did you know that they make an average of $161.76 an hour? That's $336,455 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 an Orthopaedic Surgeon Do

There are certain skills that many orthopaedic 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an orthopaedic surgeon, we found that a lot of resumes listed 37.3% of orthopaedic surgeons included trauma, while 20.9% of resumes included surgeons, and 12.6% of resumes included patient care. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the orthopaedic surgeon job title. But what industry to start with? Most orthopaedic surgeons actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become an Orthopaedic Surgeon

If you're interested in becoming an orthopaedic surgeon, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 28.0% of orthopaedic surgeons have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.0% of orthopaedic surgeons have master's degrees. Even though most orthopaedic 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 an orthopaedic surgeon. When we researched the most common majors for an orthopaedic surgeon, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on orthopaedic surgeon resumes include doctoral degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an orthopaedic surgeon. In fact, many orthopaedic surgeon jobs require experience in a role such as resident. Meanwhile, many orthopaedic surgeons also have previous career experience in roles such as medical officer or fellow.

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Average Salary$336,455
Job Growth Rate7%

Average Salary for an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Orthopaedic Surgeons in America make an average salary of $336,455 per year or $162 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $510,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $221,000 per year.
Average Salary
$336,455

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Seattle, WA
Salary Range298k - 533k$399k$398,924
Bangor, ME
Salary Range290k - 521k$389k$388,965
Aberdeen, SD
Salary Range285k - 502k$379k$378,832
Rochester, NY
Salary Range278k - 501k$374k$374,081
Cincinnati, OH
Salary Range267k - 485k$361k$360,510
Urbana, IL
Salary Range264k - 477k$356k$355,534
$184k
$533k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Florida Orthopaedic Institute
Florida Orthopaedic Institute
09/05/2019
09/05/2019
$338,59709/05/2019
$338,597
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Geisinger Clinic
Geisinger Clinic
08/23/2019
08/23/2019
$700,00008/23/2019
$700,000
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Las Cruces Medical Center/Mountainview Regional Medical Center
Las Cruces Medical Center/Mountainview Regional Medical Center
08/15/2019
08/15/2019
$485,00008/15/2019
$485,000
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Geisinger Clinic
Geisinger Clinic
07/19/2019
07/19/2019
$550,00007/19/2019
$550,000
Physician-Orthopaedic Surgeon
Physician-Orthopaedic Surgeon
University of Pittsburgh Physicians
University of Pittsburgh Physicians
06/14/2019
06/14/2019
$400,00006/14/2019
$400,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Orthopaedic Surgeon Demographics

Gender

male

49.1 %

female

47.3 %

unknown

3.6 %

Ethnicity

White

80.4 %

Asian

9.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

5.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

50.0 %

Spanish

50.0 %
See More Demographics

Orthopaedic Surgeon Education

Majors

Medicine
16.3 %
Business
12.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

28.0 %

Associate

18.0 %

Certificate

16.0 %

Top Colleges for Orthopaedic Surgeons

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Public

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

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Orthopaedic 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, 37.3% of orthopaedic surgeons listed trauma on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Best States For an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an orthopaedic surgeon. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Minnesota, Idaho, and Wisconsin. Orthopaedic surgeons make the most in Washington with an average salary of $233,516. Whereas in Minnesota and Idaho, they would average $232,988 and $232,969, respectively. While orthopaedic surgeons would only make an average of $231,665 in Wisconsin, 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. South Dakota

Total Orthopaedic Surgeon Jobs:
7
Highest 10% Earn:
$295,000
Location Quotient:
2.31
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. Maine

Total Orthopaedic Surgeon Jobs:
24
Highest 10% Earn:
$296,000
Location Quotient:
4.77
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. Idaho

Total Orthopaedic Surgeon Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$296,000
Location Quotient:
1.61
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
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Top Orthopaedic Surgeon Employers

1. UPMC
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$304,621
Orthopaedic Surgeons Hired: 
17+
2. Medical Center of Trinity
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$336,155
Orthopaedic Surgeons Hired: 
16+
3. Eastern Maine Medical Center
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$357,589
Orthopaedic Surgeons Hired: 
4+
4. University of Pittsburgh
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$220,219
Orthopaedic Surgeons Hired: 
4+
5. Grady Memorial Hospital
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$232,430
Orthopaedic Surgeons Hired: 
3+
6. Massachusetts General Hospital
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$343,110
Orthopaedic Surgeons Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020