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The Highest Paid Anesthesiologists in America: Where These Doctors Make The Best Salaries

Updated on November 21, 2011

Anesthesiologists are an essential part of the surgical team since they ensure that patients remain pain-free during operations. They also handle pain management before and after surgical procedures. They monitor the patient’s life functions such as heart rate, temperature, respiration and blood pressure during surgery. And meet with surgeons and other members of the surgical team to plan out appropriate procedures. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the 34,820 working in the U.S. earn a mean 4105.82 per hour or $220,100 per year.


Most anesthesiologists, numbering about 28,010, work for themselves in their own offices, where they make the highest averages of $109.63 an hour or $228,040 per year. Outpatient care centers rank second for salaries and third for employment. The 900 doctors here get $108.69 an hour or $226,070 per year. The offices of other health practitioners rank third for salaries at $92.63 per hour or $192,670 per year, but with only 490 jobs, they rank fifth for employment. General medical and surgical hospitals are fourth for pay and second for jobs. The 4,550 professionals here make a mean $90.14 an hour or $187,500 per year.


The highest paying states for the profession are Wyoming, Tennessee, Oregon and New Jersey. (The Department of Labor did not release the actual salaries in these areas.) The states with the highest employment are California, with mean wages at $110.75 per hour or $230,360 per year; Texas at a mean $101.01 per hour or $210,110 per year; and New York at $103.95 per hour or $216,210 per year. Note that these are also the most populous states.


For cities, the highest pay is in Worcester, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; and Burlington, Vermont. The best employment is also in high-population locales such as New York City at a mean $101.93 per hour or $212,010 per year; Houston, Texas, at a mean $106.31 per hour or $221,120 per year; and Chicago, Illinois, at a mean $105.12 per hour or $218,640 per year.

Rural Areas

For anesthesiologists who want to escape the hustle of the city, the best paying non-metropolitan areas are in North Carolina; the Lower Peninsula of Michigan; and Eastern Kentucky. The best employment is in South Central Tennessee; Northeastern North Carolina, where mean pay is at $76.52 per hour or $159,170 per year; and Central Nebraska at a mean $93.85 per hour or $195,210 per year.


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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for the clarification, Johnsrud.

    • profile image

      Johnsrud 5 years ago

      Good information and statistics. But, it is hard to apply "hourly wage" to private practices. And these averages certainly seem low. I know an anesthesiologist in Oregon who only brings in a low $190,000 a year, but this is the lowest of the spectrum that I know of, and most anesthesiologists wouldn't work for that pay. In a private practice, we split the work evenly between all the anesthesiologists that work for the business, and the partners that have worked in our business (the private business I started 26 years ago with a partner) for 1 year split the total earnings of the business evenly. A partner working full time generates over 600,000 per year, and a partner with 20 weeks off a year makes $500,000. Hourly wage is far higher in the area I work because we are paid for a much higher percentage of the work we do, because many can cover their medical bills.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      My Aunt's Second Marriage at the age of 68, was to a "Retired" Anesthesiologist...they literally climbed Mountains together...or travel the World. They are both no longer with us, but they shared some Great Memories.

      Once again Alocsin, you've share a very Interesting and Informative Hub...Well researched and written. Thank You!