What is the salary of an anesthesiologist?

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July 11, 2012 2:02PM

about 350,000 dollars a year but depends on many factors

Like in any other profession, an anesthesiologist salary is quite variable.There are a few factors which greatly influence the anesthesiologist salary rates. First of all, it's the state and industry you're practicing in, then work settings, and finally the specialty and experience. So let's look at the big picture here. The present report on an anesthesiologist salary is based on data taken from the PayScale and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

National Averages

According to, an anesthesiologist salary ranges from $169,952 to $295,320 a year, as of May 2011. The medium hourly rate is estimated to be $80.00. This profession is one of the highly paid in the USA. And according to the survey conducted by this profession is on the list of the top 100 jobs in the U.S. in terms of growth. Currently the job title of an anesthesiologist occupies the 68th position on the list. As provided by the above mentioned source, the demand for anesthesiologists is anticipated to increase by 22% through 2008-2018.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report of May, 2010 the most popular industries for anesthesiologists are offices of physicians, hospitals, and outpatient care centers. The highest annual anesthesiologist salary in the range of $159,595 to $291,775 was registered in medical offices. Other top paying industries in anesthesiology according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are:

  • Offices of Physicians $228,040
  • Outpatient Care Centers $226,070
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners $192,670
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $187,500
  • Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals $181,600

Work Experience

As you can see, an anesthesiologist salary is really considerable. But you can be generously rewarded only if you know how to do your work, and do it good. That's said, an anesthesiologist salary is highly dependent on work experience. If you are just starting out, be ready to get around $115,470. But as you go further in your practice and gain more experience, your earnings will double or triple. All depends on your perseverance, dedication and your patience.


Specialization is another crucial factor that influences an anesthesiologist salary. A great number of anesthesiologists choose to pursue sub-specialty training. Having a specialty enables anesthesiologists to provide a wider spectrum of treatments and gain more recognition, which ultimately increases their earning potential. For instance, the average anesthesiologist salary in critical care can reach the amount of $200,000 per year, whereas those working in pain management get around $250,000. The highest anesthesiologist salary is in the field of pediatrics and cardiology, where the annual pay is somewhere between $275,000-$400,000.

Some of the top professionals in cardiac anesthesiology can make even $450,000 per year!

Work Settings

An employment setting is the next factor affecting an anesthesiologist salary. Traditionally, most of anesthesiologists find jobs in hospitals. This work setting is considered to be one of the best in terms of career development. However, hospitals are not the best work setting when it comes to salary. The highest income rates in anesthesiology are observed in a private sector, where self-employed anesthesiologists are on the top of the scale ($300,000 and more). A very small number of anesthesiologists work on a contract basis. Anesthesiologists rather find a permanent job where they can expect a steady income. The pay for temporary professionals is around $1,200 a day. Yet those who specialize in cardiology and pediatrics can get as much as $1,300 per day.


Anesthesiologist salary rates also depend on the geographical location of the practice. The highest paying states, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) are:

  • Wyoming
  • Tennessee
  • Oregon
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire