The transfer of an organ from one human to another is the basic definition of transplant surgery. Patients undergoing these procedures often face life-threatening or otherwise serious diseases as a result of the failing organs that need replacement. Transplant surgeons perform these services and, with the skills and knowledge involved, rank high among medical specialists. In some areas, transplant surgery acts as a subspecialty within the broader category of general surgery. Transplant surgeons enjoy a mean pay of $252,001 in the United States and C$481,815 ($377,586 USD) in Canada. The mean transplant surgeon salary stands at §254,989 ($359,159 USD) in the United Kingdom, AU$666,164 ($513,662 USD) in Australia, and NZD$559,110 ($408,909 USD) in New Zealand.
How Much Does a Transplant Surgeon Salary Make?
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Transplant Surgeon Salary Determinant Factors
Transplant surgeons occupy positions in hospitals run by universities, nonprofits and for-profit healthcare providers. In the United Kingdom and New Zealand, many work under the auspices of government agencies. Private practices also serve as settings for transplant surgeons and generally afford the highest earnings with profit-sharing plans and other bonuses. On the whole, transplant surgeons make more in the private sector than in government.
Salaries for transplant surgeons can differ fairly broadly by experience level, pay running well above national averages for senior-level transplant surgeons.
1. How Much Does a Transplant Surgeon Salary Make by Country?
Transplant Surgeon Salary in US
For transplant surgeons in the United States, the mean pay as reported by PayScale stands at $252,001. Earnings range from $57,909 to $507,802.
Transplant Surgeon Salary in Canada
According to SalaryExpert, transplant surgeons in Canada earn on a mean basis C$481,815. Salaries start around C$301,448 and approach C$711,713 on the higher end.
Transplant Surgeon Salary in UK
The mean salary stands at §254,989 for transplant surgeons in the United Kingdom, says SalaryExpert. Overall, salaries go from §159,934 to §376,657. As shown by the section below on salaries by work environment, this range exceeds that for consultant surgeons working in the National Health Service.
Transplant Surgeon Salary in Australia
SalaryExpert declares a mean pay of AU$666,164 for transplant surgeons in Australia. Earnings span from AU$417,464 to AU$985,623.
Transplant Surgeon Salary in New Zealand
As reported by SalaryExpert, transplant surgeons in New Zealand earn on a mean basis NZD$559,110. On the lower end of the scale, pay sits at NZD$350,099. Transplant surgeons at the higher levels make NZD$826,576.
2. How Much Does a Transplant Surgeon Salary Make According to Experience?
Transplant surgeons with up to three years of experience fetch C$301,448 on a mean basis. With eight or more years in the practice of this speciality, average pay climbs to C$711,713.
In Australia, the entry-level transplant surgeon salary is AU$417,464. Average pay climbs to AU$985,623 for these surgeons reaching eight or more years in the speciality. SalaryExpert places the mean for entry-level transplant surgeons in New Zealand at NZD$350,099, while those who have eight or more years in practice achieve mean earnings of NZD$826,576.
3. How Much Does a Transplant Surgeon Salary Make According to Work Environment
Pay for transplant surgeons can vary by employer. According to Glassdoor, a transplant surgeon at Virginia Commonwealth University makes between $62,000 and $66,000. At the State University of New York (Buffalo), the salary for a transplant surgeon ranges from $222,000 to $242,000.
Surgeons who perform transplants receive the classification of “General Surgeons” by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. As consultant doctors in the National Health Service, these surgeons garner between §76,761 and §103,490. As suggested by SalaryExpert, transplant surgeons outside of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom can earn much higher pay.
Transplant and other general surgeons in a district board of health in New Zealand collect pay from NZD$151,000 to NZD$212,000. According to the New Zealand Government, transplant and other surgeons in private practice can enjoy pay in the neighborhood of NZD$600,000.
A career as a transplant surgeon involves long shifts, often lasting up to 12 hours at a time. The nature of surgeries that involve replacement of organs contributes to the length of the shifts. WebMd lists a five to eight-hour period for liver transplants. Those involving kidneys can last four to five hours, while a pancreatic transplant takes two to four hours. Transplants may start early in the morning or last into the evening.
In addition to the procedures, transplant surgeons use their preoperative time counseling, postoperative time in follow-ups and dictating notes of the surgery and progress.
Bonuses and Benefits
Transplant surgeons in the United States collect bonuses from $225 to $104,900. Those who participate in profit-sharing have additional compensation from $201 to $267,909.
According to SalaryExpert, bonuses average C$77,187 in Canada, §40,849 in the United Kingdom, and AU$106,719 in Australia for transplant surgeons. For New Zealand’s transplant surgeons, mean bonuses reach NZD$89,569.
As for health benefits, nearly 87 percent of transplant surgeons in the United States have medical coverage through work. PayScale reports a 68 percent coverage rate for dental care and 58 percent for vision. Career Prospects
Transplant surgery constantly stays in high demand, as shown by reports of long organ-transplant waiting lists and shortgages of organs.
Yet, the number of transplant surgeons generally is small compared with other applications. According to the Royal College of Surgeons, the United Kingdom had 1.7 applicants for each surgical trainee post (level 3), with 217 posts as of 2016. The National Health Service reports 2,237 consultant general surgeons in England in 2016.
The Canadian Urological Association Journal states Canada has 59 transplant surgeons.
The low numbers in the pool of transplant surgeons may result in part from the years of residency and specialty training required to become a transplant surgeon. Also, the small number of transplant surgeons corresponds to the overall size of the surgeon occupation. Job Bank Canada reports that Canada had 37,900 specialist physicians, which include surgeons in various specialities, cardiologists and other specialists outside of the surgery arena.
According to Job Outlook Australia, the surgeon field numbered 7,300 in 2017. The employment service projects 8,700 positions by 2022, which should include transplant surgeons. The Australian government estimates an overall population of approximately 24,703,000 as of September 2017.
Transplant surgeons stand to earn significant salaries as a general rule across most settings. Pay runs highest in private practices or in well-funded hospitals, especially those run by larger university. Demand for their services is strong, yet the occupation has relatively small numbers especially in comparison with the total population.