Pay for Performance

Find Out How Much Does A Thoracic Surgeon Make6 min read

Mar 9, 2023 5 min

Find Out How Much Does A Thoracic Surgeon Make6 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

A thoracic surgeon is a medical specialist who performs surgery on the thorax, which is the middle section of the human chest. Thoracic surgery can involve a wide range of procedures, from removing a cancerous tumor to restoring the function of a collapsed lung. Because thoracic surgery is often complex and involves a high degree of precision, thoracic surgeons typically earn a high salary. In 2010, thoracic surgeons averaged an annual salary of $249,000.

How Much Does A Thoracic Surgeon Make

Thoracic surgeons, also referred to as cardiothoracic surgeons, specialize in the treatment of diseases and disorders of the chest and heart. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thoracic surgeons earn an average wage of $246,320 per year. The highest 10% of earners make an average of $417,000 per year, while the lowest 10% make an average of $126,000. Additionally, the median wage for thoracic surgeons is $339,440 per year. Thoracic surgeons generally work long hours, and may be required to be on call in the event of an emergency. The job of a thoracic surgeon is extremely demanding, and requires extensive knowledge in anatomy and physiology to ensure the best possible outcome for their patients.

Average Salary of a Thoracic Surgeon

The average salary of a thoracic surgeon is nothing to sneeze at. According to the American Medical Association, the median salary for a thoracic surgeon in the United States is an impressive $424,000 per year. That’s more than double the median salary for all physicians, which stands at $208,000.

Thoracic surgeons are medical professionals who specialize in treating diseases and injuries of the chest, including the lungs, esophagus, heart, and other organs. They may perform surgery to remove tumors, repair damaged tissues, or perform reconstructive surgery following an injury. Thoracic surgeons are highly trained and experienced, and as a result, they are well compensated.

In addition to their base salary, thoracic surgeons may receive bonus pay or other incentives, depending on their experience and their employer. For example, some hospitals may offer bonuses for completing specific procedures or reaching certain performance standards. Thoracic surgeons may also receive a percentage of the fees charged to their patients, which can significantly increase their earnings.

The median salary of a thoracic surgeon may vary depending on the region of the country, the size of the hospital or practice, and the specific specialty. For example, thoracic surgeons who specialize in cardiovascular surgery may earn more than those who focus primarily on thoracic surgery.

Find Out How Much Does A Thoracic Surgeon Make

Overall, thoracic surgeons are highly sought-after and well-paid professionals. With their experience and specialized training, they are able to provide a valuable service to the medical community and their patients. If you are interested in a career as a thoracic surgeon, you can expect to enjoy a high salary and a rewarding career.

Factors That Impact a Thoracic Surgeon’s Salary

Thoracic surgeons are some of the most highly paid medical professionals in the world. They are responsible for performing complex surgeries related to the thoracic organs, such as the heart, lungs, and esophagus. As such, they command a high salary due to the complexity and importance of their work. But exactly how much does a thoracic surgeon make?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including the location of the practice, the specialty of the surgeon, and the type of practice they are employed in. Generally speaking, thoracic surgeons in the United States make an average of $438,000 per year. However, those in the highest percentile can make over $800,000 annually.

Location is one of the most significant factors that impact a thoracic surgeon’s salary. Those practicing in metropolitan areas with a high concentration of medical institutions tend to have higher salaries than those in rural or suburban locations. This is because larger cities tend to have a higher demand for medical services, thus increasing the competition and resulting in higher salaries for thoracic surgeons.

The specialty of the surgeon also plays a role in their salary. Those specializing in complex procedures, such as heart or lung transplants, often make more than those specializing in less complicated procedures. Additionally, surgeons working in private practice can command a much higher salary than those employed in hospitals or other public institutions.

Finally, the type of practice the thoracic surgeon is employed in can influence their salary. Those working in private practice, such as in a clinic or solo practice, are likely to make more than those working in hospitals. This is because private practices tend to have much higher overhead costs, meaning they are able to charge more for services.

In conclusion, the salary of a thoracic surgeon is highly dependent on a variety of factors, including location, specialty, and the type of practice they are employed in. Those in the higher percentile can make upwards of $800,000 annually, while those in the lower percentile may make significantly less. Ultimately, the salary of a thoracic surgeon can vary greatly depending on their individual circumstances.

Find Out How Much Does A Thoracic Surgeon Make

Benefits of Becoming a Thoracic Surgeon

The medical field has long been considered one of the most demanding and rewarding professions. Thoracic surgery is no exception, as it is one of the most specialized and advanced branches of surgery. Becoming a thoracic surgeon requires extensive training and dedication, but the rewards are worth the effort. Here are some of the benefits of becoming a thoracic surgeon:

1. High Salary: Thoracic surgeons are among the highest paid medical professionals. On average, a thoracic surgeon will make between $400,000 and $600,000 annually. This is considerably higher than the median salary for all physicians.

2. Variety of Procedures: Thoracic surgery is a varied field, and a thoracic surgeon may perform a variety of procedures, from simple ones such as biopsies and chest tube placements, to more complex surgeries such as heart and lung transplantations.

3. Challenging Work: Thoracic surgeons are expected to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field. This means that thoracic surgeons need to be knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated to their profession.

4. Opportunity to Help Others: Thoracic surgeons have the unique opportunity to save lives and dramatically improve the quality of life of their patients. This is a rewarding experience that many thoracic surgeons cherish.

5. Prestige: Thoracic surgeons are one of the most respected and admired medical professionals. Their expertise and skill are highly sought after, and they are often seen as leaders in the medical field.

All in all, becoming a thoracic surgeon is a challenging but rewarding path. The high salary, variety of procedures, challenging work, opportunity to help others, and prestige that come with the job make it a desirable profession for many medical professionals.


A thoracic surgeon’s salary can vary depending on experience, geographic location, and other factors. However, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all surgeons was $208,000 in May 2019. Thoracic surgeons who are just starting out can expect to make less than this, while those with more experience may make more.

Why You Should Become a Cardiothoracic Surgeon