The average trauma surgeon's salary

Updated February 21, 2017

Trauma surgeons care for and perform surgical procedures on patients with life-threatening injuries and often perform surgery on individuals who have multiple injuries involving several organs in the body. They may consult with other physicians and surgeons to successfully stabilise patients in critical condition. The salary for this occupation varies based on a number of factors.


Like other physicians and surgeons, this profession requires an undergraduate degree and four years of medical school. Five years of residency in general surgery is required, followed by an exam to be certified in surgery from American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). This training and certification is followed by a one- to two-year fellowship in a critical care or trauma setting to be qualified for the Surgical Critical Care exam and certification administered by the American Board of Surgery.

National Average

Trauma surgeons receive a base salary and some employers offer a bonuses and profit sharing. In October 2010, Payscale reported trauma surgeons earned average base salaries ranging between £95,806 and £187,669 per year. Bonuses ranged between £3,380 and £26,263 per year, and profit sharing ranged between £2,080 and £9,750 per year. The average total compensation package ranged between £88,856 and £196,631 per year. Most of these professionals also report receiving health care benefits such as medical, dental and vision care.


Starting salaries for trauma surgeons are higher than many other occupations, even for those with less than one year of experience. Salaries often increase as professional experience is gained. Payscale reported 38 per cent of trauma surgeons had between one and for years of experience and earned average salaries ranging between £64,728 and £161,142 per year. For those with 10 to 19 years of experience, average salaries ranged between £130,386 and £204,402 per year.

Employer Types

Most trauma surgeons work for hospitals, acute care hospitals, general surgery services and medical service providers. Payscale reported the highest wages by acute care hospitals, where average salaries ranged between £91,005 and £183,150 per year. Those working for hospitals earned average salaries ranging between £82,082 and £177,191 per year and those working for general surgery services earned £83,611 and £180,751 per year.


Out of 172 trauma surgeons reporting their wages to Payscale, popular cities included New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Boston for this occupation. The highest wages were reported in Philadelphia, where trauma surgeons earned average salaries ranging between £130,000 and £190,125 per year. In New York, average salaries ranged between £79,838 and £178,547 and in Los Angeles, average salaries ranged between £105,460 and £162,500 per year.

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