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A transplant surgeon is a surgeon that specializes in organ transplants. Transplant surgeons are superheroes that are able to conduct life-saving operations that are often hours and hours long. However, they do not spend all of their time in the operating room.

Before an operation, transplant surgeons meet extensively with patients and their loved ones to go over their medical history and explain the procedures. They examine the compatibility of donors and recipients extensively in order to prevent a transplant failure. Some transplant surgeons specialize in particular organs, such as heart transplants; others are multi-organ transplant surgeons. Whatever their specialty, transplant surgeons need steady hands and a cool head.

Transplant surgeons are extremely well-paid, earning an average salary of $261,733 a year. However, the lucrative paycheck only comes after over a decade of preparations.

First, transplant surgeons need to get a bachelor's degree and a diploma from medical school. They complete a general residency just like any other prospective doctor, but then they need to complete an additional three years of a transplant surgery fellowship. Only then can they become certified transplant surgeons.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a transplant surgeon. For example, did you know that they make an average of $133.97 an hour? That's $278,668 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 Transplant Surgeon Do

There are certain skills that many transplant 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 Transplant Surgeon does

How To Become a Transplant Surgeon

If you're interested in becoming a transplant surgeon, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 12.5% of transplant surgeons have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.0% of transplant surgeons have master's degrees. Even though most transplant 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 transplant surgeon. When we researched the most common majors for a transplant surgeon, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on transplant surgeon resumes include high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a transplant surgeon. In fact, many transplant surgeon jobs require experience in a role such as reviewer. Meanwhile, many transplant surgeons also have previous career experience in roles such as resident or associate professor of surgery.

Average Salary for a Transplant Surgeon

Transplant Surgeons in America make an average salary of $278,668 per year or $134 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $478,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $162,000 per year.
Average Transplant Surgeon Salary
$278,668 Yearly
$133.97 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Transplant Surgeon Education

Transplant Surgeon Majors

42.9 %

Transplant Surgeon Degrees


37.5 %


25.0 %

High School Diploma

12.5 %

Top Colleges for Transplant Surgeons

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition

Transplant Surgeon Demographics

Transplant Surgeon Gender Distribution


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

  • Among transplant surgeons, 18.2% of them are women, while 81.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among transplant surgeons is White, which makes up 81.7% of all transplant surgeons.

Online Courses For Transplant Surgeon That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Clinical Kidney, Pancreas and Islet Transplantation

Kidney transplantation is a major advance of modern medicine which provides high-quality of life for patients with end-stage renal disease. What used to be an experimental, risky, and very limited treatment option more than 50 years ago is now routinely performed in many countries worldwide. The number of renal transplants is expected to rise sharply in the next decade since the proportion of patients with end stage renal disease is increasing. Are you interested in clinical kidney, pancreas and...

Organ Transplantation: Ethical and Legal Challenges
edX (Global)

The first successful organ transplantation was performed in 1954. Since then, the technique has evolved tremendously, giving hope and increased quality of life to many patients around the world. While the technology and drugs advance, several controversies persist regarding the way in which organs may be obtained. Some of these dilemmas arose on the very first day in which organs’ transplantation originated; others have emerged as a result of new phenomena such as transplantation tourism,...

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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Best States For a Transplant Surgeon

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a transplant surgeon. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Maine. Transplant surgeons make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $254,633. Whereas in South Dakota and Minnesota, they would average $225,228 and $223,726, respectively. While transplant surgeons would only make an average of $223,306 in Maine, 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. Alaska

Total Transplant Surgeon Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
2.78 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 Transplant Surgeon Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
1.34 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. North Dakota

Total Transplant Surgeon Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
2.5 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 Transplant Surgeons

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Top Transplant Surgeon Employers

Most Common Employers For Transplant Surgeon

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Aurora Health Care$311,919$149.963
2INTEGRIS Health$306,257$147.241
3Tampa General Hospital$291,207$140.001
5Allegheny Health Network$290,030$139.445
6St. John's Riverside Hospital$287,290$138.121
7University Hospitals$285,879$137.441
8Sanford Health$285,287$137.161
9Cleveland Clinic$279,824$134.539
10The Iowa Clinic$278,668$133.9711