Plastic surgeons are surgeons who specialise in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Many plastic surgeons have their own practice, which focuses on cosmetic plastic surgery. Many of these private practice plastic surgeons perform popular surgeries such as facelifts, brow lifts, liposuction, breast implants, breast reductions and other sought after procedures that help individuals feel better about themselves. For their specialised work, plastic surgeons are rewarded handsomely.
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Average Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for plastic surgeons as of May 2008 was £64.6. The average annual wage was £134,400. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding surgeons, roughly half of all surgeons earn the median hourly and annual wage employed in this position (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, 2009). Private practice plastic surgeons tend to earn at the higher end of the wage scale, at or above the median wage, while plastic surgeons who work in hospitals or clinics tend to earn at the low end of the wage scale.
The low hourly wage for a plastic surgeon is £36.5 or approximately £76,089 annually. The high hourly wage for an individual in this position is equal to or greater that £52.00 per hour or £108,160 annually. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 90% of all employed private plastic surgeons earn the higher averages hourly and annually (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, 2009).
Salary by Industry
Surgeons are employed in many various industries that span the medical field in both the public and private sectors. The five industries with the most employed surgeons are: Physician Offices, General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Outpatient Care Centers, Colleges/Universities/Professional Schools, and Other Health Practitioner Offices. The average hourly wage in these industries ranges from £66.8 in Physician Offices to £49.5 in Colleges/Universities/Professional Schools. The average annual wage for these industries ranges from £138,950 for Physician Offices to £102,973 for Colleges/Universities/Professional Schools (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, 2009). Therefore, private practice plastic surgeons earn the highest average wage among the industries, which employ the majority of plastic surgeons.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also lists the top five industries that employ surgeons with the highest wages. The top five industries that pay the highest wages for this occupation are: Dentist Offices, Physician Offices, State Government (OES designation), Other Health Practitioner Offices, and Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals. In May 2008, the average hourly wage for these industries ranged from £66.8 for Physician Offices to approximately £63.3 for Psychiatric/Substance Abuse Hospitals. The average annual wage for these industries ranged from £138,950 for Physician Offices to £131,690 for Psychiatric/Substance Abuse Hospitals (U.S. Bureau of Labor Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, 2009). Therefore, plastic surgeons who work in dental offices tend to make more than those private practice physicians who work in doctor's officers.
Salary by State
The top five states with the highest concentration of surgeons in general as of May 2008 are: Vermont, Delaware, South Dakota, Maine, and Massachusetts. Average annual wage by state ranges from £139,002 in Massachusetts to £123,532 in Vermont (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, 2009). Again, private practice plastic surgeons can expect to earn at the high end of the scale.
The states that offer the most competitive wages are: Wyoming, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Montana. No hard data are represented for these states. However, both hourly and annual wage is greater than or equal to £52.00 hourly or £108,160 per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Division of Occupational Employment Statistics, 2009).
Employment is expected to grow at a rate of 14% from 2006 to 2016 for all plastic surgeons. A number of openings will become available as slots open in facilities due to expansion and retirement. However, it may take time to fill available positions due to the lengthy process to become a surgeon. To fill in gaps for the time being, surgeons are often required to work long hours (U.S. Bureau of Labor Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2009). Becoming a private practice plastic surgeon can take longer than simply becoming a plastic surgeon, since it will take time to become established and build your client base.
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