Perfusionists help maintain patients’ circulatory and respiratory systems, particularly during medical procedures. They operate and monitor machines that infuse blood, medicine, and other substances during surgeries, including cardiovascular or heart procedures, transfusions and other treatment. In this article, we look at what determines the average perfusionist salary around the world.
In the United States, perfusionists make between $80,950 and $150,267, while those in Canada earn from C$34,560 to C$120,669. The salary range for perfusionists in the United Kingdom is £26,830 to £42,205 per year. Perfusionists in Australia earn a minimum salary of between AU$135,265 and AU$243,478. For those in New Zealand, salaries likely run from NZ$113,455 to NZ$204,219.
How Much Does a Perfusionist Make?
The table below outlines the median salaries for perfusionists in some English-speaking countries:
|Perfusionist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
Perfusionist Salary Determinant Factors
In the United Kingdom and New Zealand, government bodies deliver a significant portion of healthcare and set the pay of perfusionists in their employ. Australia’s Fair Work Commission sets minimum salaries for employees. Thus, in these countries, government action heavily influences pay. Non-government entities in the United States and Canada set salaries for perfusionists on their payroll.
Generally, those with private-sector hospitals and providers can earn more than those in government or nonprofit agencies. The level of experience and skill also factor into salaries.
1. How Much Does a Perfusionist Make by Country?
Perfusionist Salary in the US
According to PayScale, the average salary for perfusionists in the United States stands at $111,000. Earnings run between $80,950 and $150,267 per year.
Perfusionist Salary in Canada
In Canada, perfusionists earn an average of C$82,000 per year based on reports from PayScale. Service Canada reports that pay runs between C$23 per hour to C$46 per hour, which translates to C$47,840 to C$95,680 per year.
Perfusionist Salary in the UK
Clinical perfusionists who have completed their training and are employed in the National Health Service are paid on Band 7, which results in a pay range of £32,013 to £42,205 per year.
Perfusionist Salary in Australia
Perfusionists in Australia have a median salary of $195,000 per year. The total salary range for perfusionists working in Australia is set between AU$135,265 and AU$243,478 per year.
Perfusionist Salary in New Zealand
Perfusionists who work for District Boards of Health in New Zealand are generally paid based on collective agreements. While pay differs among districts, salaries can usually range between NZ$113,000 and NZ$204,000. The median perfusionist salary in New Zealand is NZ$163,869 per year.
2. How Much Does a Perfusionist Make According to Experience?
Entry-level perfusionists in the United States start off with about $80,000 per year, reports PayScale. After five years, salaries average $108,598, with a figure of $120,000 achieved at ten years and $150,000 at 20 years of experience. In the UK, perfusionists still in training fit within Band 6 and earn between £26,830 and £35,933 per year.
Those working in Canada start off with about C$34,560 per year. With experience, the perfusionist salary can go as high as C$120,669 per year.
In Australia and New Zealand, perfusionists advance in pay based upon the years of service. For example, the Wakito District Health Board bases a perfusionist’s position in the pay scale on the years of experience through step 6. Subsequently, performance determines increases in pay. Chief perfusionists are paid at “Steps 10-12,” which results in scheduled salaries of NZ$117,507, NZ$121,855 and NZ$125,100 for Steps 10, 11 and 12 respectively. However, other sources report the perfusionist salary could go as high as $204,219 per year.
How Much Does a Perfusionist Make According to Work Environment?
In the United States, perfusionists can earn above the general average in certain settings. For example, cardiopulmonary perfusionists make on average $115,469, according to PayScale. This represents almost $8,000 more than the average for perfusionists in general.
Perfusionists in the United Kingdom work under the National Health Service, while those in New Zealand usually are employed by District Health Boards.
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As a general rule, perfusionists work full time. In the United Kingdom, the average work week is 37.5 hours long. Due to the role as part of a surgical team, perfusionists often have irregular shifts consisting of nights, weekends and holidays.
The employment awards or agreements in Australia and New Zealand typically provide for additional pay or allowances for those working these types of shifts. On-call allowances may also be available. For example, perfusionists working for the Auckland District Health Board receive an on-call allowance of NZD$4.04 per hour and $6.06 per hour on holidays.
Bonuses and Benefits
PayScale reports that bonuses for perfusionists in the United States span from $1,488 to $35,000. In Canada, perfusionists may earn relocation or signing bonuses depending on the employer or location of practice. Criteria for bonuses include whether the geographic area has a shortage or a significant need for perfusionists.
In the United States and Canada, benefits such as pension and paid leave are determined by the employer. Perfusionists in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service obtain pension benefits through the NHS’s plan.
Australia and New Zealand entitle employees to draw benefits funded by superannuation. Under this program, employers contribute a portion of a perfusionist’s salary to set aside for retirement. Additionally, perfusionists in Australia and New Zealand obtain four to five weeks paid leave per year, depending on the employer.
Perfusionists, especially in the cardiovascular field, should enjoy strong job prospects. For example, the Mayo Clinic cites the increasing number of people age 65 and over who need heart or other cardiovascular surgeries. Advancements in cardiac-related surgical procedures also contribute to the demand for perfusionists.
Aging populations should sustain job opportunities in Canada. According to a Global News Canada report, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada projects 40,304 “protected job openings” for 41,321 “protected job seekers” through 2020 among “Medical technologists and technicians (except dental health).”
Certain areas are experiencing a shortage of perfusionists. There is also a lack of attention toward developing perfusionists. For instance, the Newfoundland and Labrador Government in Canada, as of September 2015, classified perfusionists in the eastern areas of that province as “difficult-to-fill“. Under the province’s health program, newly-hired perfusionists could qualify for a signing bonus.
According to the New Zealand Government’s Health of the Health Workforce 2015 report, the country had only 22 perfusionists. With such a small figure, the report expressed concerns that District Health Board plans might not factor these professionals in health service programs.
For perfusionists, earnings depend to a substantial extent on the type of healthcare system in which they work. Countries with government-run healthcare systems typically set the pay of perfusionists. Generally, more experience and supervisory duties lead to higher pay.
Those who seek a career as a perfusionist should find job opportunities as populations age and increasingly need medical treatment, including cardiac surgeries.
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