Retinal surgery traits a variety of eye problems involving the retina. These may include macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and eye cancers. These specialists often handle very delicate and intricate areas of the eye. Few salary reporting services specifically state pay for retinal surgeons. Where salary information specific to retina specialists are not available, the pay of ophthalmologists can offer a useful guide. This is because ophthalmologists include those who perform retinal surgery. Retinal surgeons in the United States earn on a mean basis $290,558. In Canada, the mean for retinal surgeons and other ophthalmologist stands at C$250,000 ($194,616 USD). For those in the United Kingdom, the mean retinal surgeon salary is £68,929 ($93,226 USD). Retinal surgeons and other ophthalmologists fetch on a mean basis AU$410,026 ($309,116 USD) in Australia and NZD$344,078 ($241,543 USD) in New Zealand.
How Much Does a Retinal Surgeon Salary Make?
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Retinal Surgeon Salary Determinant Factors
Retinal surgeons and other ophthalmologist perform fairly delicate surgeries which require Advanced knowledge, training and skill. This reality is reflected in the high pay for many of these professionals. In Australia, in 2016, ophthalmologists ranked second only to neurosurgeon’s among Australia’s highest paid male workers, at AU$552,947. Female ophthalmologists where the tenth highest paid as a group among the female workforce in Australia, averaging AU$217,242.
Experience also accounts for differences in pay, as more time in the specialty leads to higher earnings. Retinal surgeons also can land substantial bonuses and other compensation in private practices and within health systems that award bonuses to practitioners.
1. How Much Does a Retinal Surgeon Salary Make by Country?
Retinal Surgeon Salary in US
According to payscale, the mean pay for retinal surgeons in the United States stands at $290,558. The pay range runs from $79,644 to $504,665.
Retinal Surgeon Salary in Canada
Payscale places the mean salary for ophthalmologists in Canada at C$250,000 per year, with the median pay reported at C$197,008. Total salary runs from C$90,677 to C$506,837.
Retinal Surgeon Salary in UK
In the United Kingdom, the mean pay for an ophthalmologist is £68,929, with a median reported at £70,468. Salaries run from £38,000 to £220,000.
Retinal Surgeon Salary in Australia
According to SalaryExpert, the mean salary stands at AU$410,026 for Australian ophthalmologists. The pay range starts at AU$272,827 and can reach its pinnacle at AU$546,490.
Retinal Surgeon Salary in New Zealand
For ophthalmologists in New Zealand, the mean salary sits at NZD$344,078. These professionals can make on average between NZD$228,765 and NZD$458,230.
2. How Much Does a Retinal Surgeon Salary Make According to Experience?
In Australia, entry-level ophthalmologists enjoy a mean salary of AU$272,827. With eight or more years of practice in the specialty, the salary on average rests at AU$546,490. For those in New Zealand, salaries for the respective experience levels are NZD$228,765 and NZD$458,230. As explained below, salaries for those in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service range from £76,761 for newly-practicing consultants to £103,490 for those at the highest levels of seniority and experience.
3. How Much Does a Retinal Surgeon Salary Make According to Work Environment?
In the United Kingdom, many surgeons who perform retinal surgery practice under the National Health Service. As consultants, the surgeons earn between £76,761 and £103,490. Those who work as private practitioners can earn more or supplement the compensation afforded by the National Health Service.
Ophthalmologists in New Zealand may work for one of the country’s district boards of health. In the settings, qualified surgeons earn between NZD$151,000 and NZD$212,000. As reported by Careers New Zealand, those working in a private practice can fetch as much as NZD$600,000.
According to the Canadian Medical Association, nearly 86 percent of ophthalmologists in Canada received 90 percent of their compensation by fees for their services, a method of payment prescribed by the Canadian health system. This corresponds to the nearly three-fourths of ophthalmologists in the country who organized themselves either as solo or group practitioners. About one in every five ophthalmologists in Canada worked for a hospital.
According to Medscape, ophthalmologists in the United States who practiced on a self-employed basis earned a mean pay of $401,000, contrasted with salaried ones, who made on average $280,000.
Salaries for ophthalmologist and retinal surgeons can also differ by city or region of practice. For instance, SalaryExpert reports that those in Melbourne Australia earn on a mean basis AU$417,260, which is above the national mean of $410,026. In Perth, the figure stands at AU$395,498, considerably below the Australian mean.
According to Medscape’s 2017 compensation report, ophthalmologists in the United States were highest paid in the Northeastern states — New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine — with a mean pay of $452,000. The lowest salaries by region resided in the Southwest region, which includes Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, at $296,000. In the Southeastern states, the mean pay for ophthalmologist stood at $363,000.
Retinal surgeons generally practice full-time. As reported by “Medscape’s Ophthalmology Compensation Report” for 2017, approximately 85 percent of male ophthalmologists work full-time, while roughly three out of every four women ophthalmologist fulfilled full-time practitioner roles in the United States. According to a 2014 survey by the Canadian Medical Association, ophthalmologists in Canada logged 50.2 hours per week.
Evenings, weekends and even holidays can form part of a retina surgeons work schedule. These irregular hours often arise when patients require emergency procedures. In particular, patients who present with symptoms of retinal detachment could very well experienced a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery or other treatment. Retinal surgeries which can be scheduled on a non-emergency basis more likely can occur during the weekdays and traditional daytime hours.
Retinal surgeons and other ophthalmologists also spend their work time, especially during traditional office hours, consulting with patients, preparing medical records and follow up treatments and visits.
Bonuses and Benefits
Retinal surgeons in the United States average bonuses of $20,000, according to PayScale. Nearly nine out of every ten have medical benefits through their employer or practice. The coverage rates stand at 68 percent for dental care and 63 percent for vision benefits. Six out of every ten ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom reported to PayScale having medical coverage.
As reported by SalaryExpert, ophthalmologist in Australia have a mean bonus of AU$26,488. That figure registers at NZD$22,227 for those who practice in New Zealand..
As populations generally increase in number and in age, retinal surgeons and other ophthalmologists will be needed to treat conditions such as macular degeneration and retinal detachment. The prevalence of diabetes also results in the need for treatments for complications to vision and the eyes in general.
A shortage of retinal surgeons often accompanies the demand for their services. In 2015, Canada had 1,221 ophthalmologists, representing 3.4 such specialists for every 100,000 residents in the country.
As suggested by statistics reported by the National Health Service, competition to become an ophthalmologist in the United Kingdom may prove stiff. In 2016, nine aspiring ophthalmologists were applying for every one seat in the National Health Service’s specialty training for Ophthalmology. England had 1192 consultants in Ophthalmology in 2016.
The retinal surgeon field can prove very lucrative. The high end of salary ranges extends well into the six figures. Factors such as experience and working in a private practice enhance the chances for the specialists to earn high pay. While demand generally remains strong four retinal surgeons, training programs often are competitive as numerous applicants vie for limited spaces.