Plastic Surgeon Job Description & Salary

Written by amber d. walker
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Plastic Surgeon Job Description & Salary
Plastic surgery is often an elective procedure. (Image by, courtesy of Jurek Durczak)

Plastic surgery can be a lucrative specialty in medicine. Extra training is required to become a plastic surgeon, but the salaries for plastic surgeons are high. Plastic surgeons tend to deal mainly with either cosmetic surgery or reconstructive surgery, although some surgeons perform both.

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Job Description

Plastic surgeons are doctors who deal with replacing, repairing or reconstructing various parts of the body. These are often facial features but can also be other parts of the body, such as the torso or the hand.

Education & Training

Plastic surgeons must complete medical school training and then embark on a plastic surgery residency period. Residencies for plastic surgeons tend to be longer than those for less specialized medical doctors, lasting five to seven years instead of three to seven, with an additional year of residency for any subspecialties.

Annual Salary

Plastic surgeons command high annual salaries. The range of salary for plastic surgeons is from $300,000 per year to $791,510 annually, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.


According to the US Department of Labor, job prospects for all surgeons are expected to grow 14 percent in the years from 2006 to 2016.


Plastic surgeons must master a multitude of procedures, from relatively simple or cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, rhinoplasty and collagen injections, to more complicated and serious procedures such as sexual reassignment surgery and contracture surgery.

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