Plastic surgeons must have skills in hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, organization, communication, and teamwork. This career also requires a bachelor's degree in a premedical major and completion of a four-year M.D. and a surgical residency. Those who choose this career path perform reconstructive plastic surgery in order to restore form and function following illness or trauma and/or perform cosmetic surgery for simple alteration of appearance.

Plastic Surgeon Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real plastic surgeon resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the filing, maintenance of all patient records in accordance with HIPAA practices.
  • Clean and sterilize operational instruments on a daily basis after each surgery to ensure quality of sterile equipment.
  • Perform medical consultations - including patient charting and product sales, for aesthetic plastic surgery and non-surgical rejuvenation practice.
  • Use of medical terminology, charting patient notes, insurance verification, coding and billing using CPT/ICD-9 codes.
  • Conduct demonstrations and perform laparoscopic cholecystectomies.
Plastic Surgeon Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Dexterity describes being skilled in using your hands when it comes to physical activity.
Leadership skills directly correlate with a person's ability to lead others toward success or an accomplishment.

Plastic Surgeon Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a plastic surgeon does, you may be wondering, "should I become a plastic surgeon?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, plastic surgeons have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 7% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of plastic surgeon opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 55,400.

On average, the plastic surgeon annual salary is $350,400 per year, which translates to $168.46 an hour. Generally speaking, plastic surgeons earn anywhere from $254,000 to $482,000 a year, which means that the top-earning plastic surgeons make $228,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a plastic surgeon. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an eye physician, optical technician, surgeon's assistant, and foot and ankle surgeon.

Plastic Surgeon Jobs You Might Like

Plastic Surgeon Resume Examples

Plastic Surgeon Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 19% of Plastic Surgeons are proficient in Patient Care, Surgery, and Medical Records. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Dexterity, and Leadership skills.

We break down the percentage of Plastic Surgeons that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patient Care, 19%

    Performed patient care as a medical doctor

  • Surgery, 16%

    Assisted and scrubbed on all plastic surgery cases in the office and hospital operating rooms.

  • Medical Records, 12%

    Maintained accurate medical records and documented patient case history in detail.

  • Private Practice, 11%

    Front Desk Coordinator * Assisted Dr. with starting private practice.

  • RN, 7%

    Count and record medication with RN on duty.

  • Surgical Procedures, 7%

    Scheduled and coordinated surgical procedures with doctor, anesthesia group and nursing staff for both in-house and hospital-based surgeries.

"patient care," "surgery," and "medical records" aren't the only skills we found plastic surgeons list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of plastic surgeon responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a plastic surgeon to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a plastic surgeon resume, you'll understand why: "physicians and surgeons need to be excellent communicators" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a plastic surgeon in order to "assumed additional duties as director for internal communications, bureau of medicine and surgery, office of knowledge management. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many plastic surgeon duties rely on dexterity. This example from a plastic surgeon explains why: "physicians and surgeons may work with very precise and sometimes sharp tools, and mistakes can have serious consequences." This resume example is just one of many ways plastic surgeons are able to utilize dexterity: "gained invaluable knowledge of the medical industry and patient care; developed diagnostic and problem-solving skills through hands-on clinical experience. "
  • Plastic surgeons are also known for leadership skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a plastic surgeon resume: "physicians who work in their own practice must manage a staff of other professionals." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "delivered advice to surgeon general and executive leadership on public health policies, project implementation, and milestone establishment. "
  • A plastic surgeon responsibilities sometimes require "physical stamina." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "physicians and surgeons should be comfortable lifting or turning disabled patients, or performing other physical tasks" This resume example shows how this skill is used by plastic surgeons: "monitor all aspects of patient care, including diet and physical activity. "
  • Another common skill for a plastic surgeon to be able to utilize is "problem-solving skills." Physicians and surgeons need to evaluate patients’ symptoms and administer the appropriate treatments a plastic surgeon demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "assembled medical records and built medical files, staff, billing, dispute resolution, and general office management. "
  • While "compassion" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to plastic surgeon responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "patients who are sick or injured may be in extreme pain or distress" Here is an example of how this skill is used, "provided comprehensive medical treatment including surgery, prescriptions with compassionate instructions and counselling. "
  • See the full list of plastic surgeon skills.

    Before becoming a plastic surgeon, 33.5% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 9.0% plastic surgeons went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most plastic surgeons have a college degree. But about one out of every five plastic surgeons didn't attend college at all.

    The plastic surgeons who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied nursing and medicine, while a small population of plastic surgeons studied business and medical assisting services.

    Once you're ready to become a plastic surgeon, you should explore the companies that typically hire plastic surgeons. According to plastic surgeon resumes that we searched through, plastic surgeons are hired the most by Job Corps, Barton & Associates, and KPG Co. Currently, Job Corps has 4 plastic surgeon job openings, while there are 2 at Barton & Associates and 2 at KPG Co.

    Since salary is important to some plastic surgeons, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Allegheny Health Network, PeaceHealth, and MaineGeneral Health. If you were to take a closer look at Allegheny Health Network, you'd find that the average plastic surgeon salary is $381,711. Then at PeaceHealth, plastic surgeons receive an average salary of $372,016, while the salary at MaineGeneral Health is $361,490.

    View more details on plastic surgeon salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a plastic surgeon include United States Army, Kaiser Permanente, and United States Navy. These three companies were found to hire the most plastic surgeons from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious plastic surgeons are:

      What Eye Physicians Do

      We looked at the average plastic surgeon annual salary and compared it with the average of an eye physician. Generally speaking, eye physicians receive $121,750 lower pay than plastic surgeons per year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both plastic surgeons and eye physicians positions are skilled in patient care, medical records, and scheduling appointments.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A plastic surgeon responsibility is more likely to require skills like "surgery," "private practice," "rn," and "surgical procedures." Whereas a eye physician requires skills like "eye drops," "consent forms," "ehr," and "gathering information." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      On average, eye physicians reach similar levels of education than plastic surgeons. Eye physicians are 1.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Optical Technician?

      Optical lab technicians, also known as ophthalmic laboratory technicians, create prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. They work together with optometrists, opticians, and ophthalmologists. They received orders from optometrists and opticians to create prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses as per requirement. They also do the cutting, polishing, and grinding lenses as per prescription for products like microscopes, binoculars, or telescopes. They do their work by a computer program and automated tools to make the prescribed lenses before it is sent off to the customer.

      Now we're going to look at the optical technician profession. On average, optical technicians earn a $326,617 lower salary than plastic surgeons a year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both plastic surgeons and optical technicians are known to have skills such as "patient care," "medical records," and "scheduling appointments. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real plastic surgeon resumes. While plastic surgeon responsibilities can utilize skills like "surgery," "private practice," "rn," and "surgical procedures," some optical technicians use skills like "dexterity," "optical components," "cnc," and "customer service."

      Optical technicians may earn a lower salary than plastic surgeons, but optical technicians earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $41,132. On the other side of things, plastic surgeons receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $247,248.

      On the topic of education, optical technicians earn lower levels of education than plastic surgeons. In general, they're 9.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Surgeon's Assistant Compares

      Let's now take a look at the surgeon's assistant profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than plastic surgeons with a $41,080 difference per year.

      Using plastic surgeons and surgeon's assistants resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "patient care," "surgery," and "medical records," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from plastic surgeons resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "private practice," "cosmetic procedures," "scheduling appointments," and "pediatrics." But a surgeon's assistant might have skills like "trauma," "ortho," "emr," and "epic."

      Additionally, surgeon's assistants earn a higher salary in the hospitality industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $235,801. Additionally, plastic surgeons earn an average salary of $247,248 in the health care industry.

      When it comes to education, surgeon's assistants tend to earn lower education levels than plastic surgeons. In fact, they're 6.2% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 6.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Foot And Ankle Surgeon

      Now, we'll look at foot and ankle surgeons, who generally average a lower pay when compared to plastic surgeons annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $73,599 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, plastic surgeons and foot and ankle surgeons both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "patient care," "surgery," and "medical records. "

      Each job requires different skills like "rn," "cosmetic procedures," "scheduling appointments," and "pediatrics," which might show up on a plastic surgeon resume. Whereas foot and ankle surgeon might include skills like "cme," "physical therapy services," "emr," and "clinical setting."

      Foot and ankle surgeons reach lower levels of education when compared to plastic surgeons. The difference is that they're 5.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 32.9% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.