How Much Does An Orthopedic Doctor Make?

A career as an orthopedic doctor could be ideal for you if you have a strong desire to help others, learn about the human body, and work with your hands. orthopedic doctors are well compensated for their time and sophisticated medical expertise due to the many years of school and training necessary. Despite the fact that the job can be challenging and time-consuming, many orthopedic doctors find it satisfying.

In this article, we go through their job responsibilities, educational requirements, and abilities needed to be a successful orthopedic doctor, as well as how much orthopedic physicians earn.

Who Is An Orthopedic Doctor?

Orthopedic physicians work to improve their patients’ lives through treatments and therapies. In order to build a therapy plan and restore quality of life, they address the fundamental causes of pain or figure out why a patient lacks mobility. An orthopedic doctor may perform surgery to fix bone deformities, prescribe medications and therapies, or recommend non-surgical treatments such as medication or rehabilitative physical therapy during the course of their day.

The disorders and injuries that impact the musculoskeletal system are studied in depth by orthopedic doctors. Muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves are all included in this system. Scoliosis, fractured hips, and degenerative diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis are all conditions that orthopedic doctors treat.

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What Does An Orthopedic Doctor Do?

Orthopedic doctors perform procedures and treatments to enhance a patient’s condition, reduce pain, and slow the progression of degeneration. A hip replacement, for example, can relieve arthritis pain, restore mobility, and stop bone loss.

The musculoskeletal system is a complicated network of bone and muscle, and orthopedic doctors are skilled in the mechanical aspects of surgery in order to treat the overall structural system of the body.

Despite spending a large portion of their day in surgery, orthopedic doctors also:

  • Consult patients.
  • Educate patients about their situation.
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests such as MRIs and X-rays.
  • Use surgical procedures such as arthroscopy to identify joint problems and to set shattered bones.
  • Medication or post-surgery rehabilitation should be prescribed.
  • Take into account any bacterial or viral illnesses.
  • Take care of genetic conditions
  • Complete and accurate patient record charting
  • Be available to respond to emergencies such as vehicle accidents or trauma.

How Much Does An Orthopedic Physician Make?

According to, the average Orthopedic physician’s salary is $257,245, but the salary range typically falls between $210,455 and $323,778. Salary ranges can differ widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Additionally, the income of an orthopedic doctor varies depending on the place where they practice. The majority of orthopedic doctors see patients in private offices and operate in hospitals. As a result, they may need to move from a workplace to a hospital on a regular basis. Some of their more complicated surgeries can take several hours to complete, resulting in work hours that are longer than the average.

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Orthopedic doctors can earn more money than most other doctors and surgeons. The amount of money an orthopedic doctor makes is determined by their level of expertise. An orthopedic physician’s salary may rise over time as they continue to work and get more experience performing surgery.

Average Orthopedic Physician Salary By State

The compensation of an orthopedic doctor varies depending on the state in which they operate. According to Indeed and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the average orthopedic wages by state:

  • Alabama: $256,320 per year
  • Alaska: $227,730 per year
  • Arizona: $225,464 per year
  • Arkansas: $244,291 per year
  • California: $226,660 per year
  • Colorado: $244,940 per year
  • Connecticut: $224,570 per year
  • Delaware: $277,280 per year
  • Florida: $231,978 per year
  • Georgia: $230,683 per year
  • Hawaii: $116,992 per year
  • Idaho: $241,030 per year
  • Illinois: $230,137 per year
  • Indiana: $270,780 per year
  • Iowa: $263,270 per year
  • Kansas: $184,746 per year
  • Kentucky: $188,750 per year
  • Louisiana: $253,630 per year
  • Maine: $286,810 per year
  • Maryland: $185,455 per year
  • Massachusetts: $249,254 per year
  • Michigan: $244,356 per year
  • Minnesota: $259,416 per year
  • Mississippi: $280,350 per year
  • Missouri: $238,677 per year
  • Montana: $266,470 per year
  • Nebraska: $269,352 per year
  • Nevada: $151,544 per year
  • New Hampshire: $275,840 per year
  • New Jersey: $191,686 per year
  • New Mexico: $280,430 per year
  • New York: $198,094 per year
  • North Carolina: $254,900 per year
  • North Dakota: $219,390 per year
  • Ohio: $256,248 per year
  • Oklahoma: $167,969 per year
  • Oregon: $252,388 per year
  • Pennsylvania: $225,660 per year
  • Rhode Island: $257,000 per year
  • South Carolina: $256,650 per year
  • South Dakota: $227,710
  • Tennessee: $210,464 per year
  • Texas: $268,907 per year
  • Utah: $218,210 per year
  • Vermont: $272, 550 per year
  • Virginia: $248,549 per year
  • Washington: $220,222 per year
  • West Virginia: $267,629 per year
  • Wisconsin: $256,953 per year
  • Wyoming: $194,994 per year

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Job Outlook For Orthopedic Doctors

The need for orthopedic doctors is expected to grow by 3% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Researchers are continually discovering new diseases, preventions, and cures, thus demand is expected to rise. To treat and cure any diseases or ailments, more surgeons would be required.

As the demand for healthcare grows, especially among elderly and aging people, orthopedic doctors will be in more demand to treat more painful muscles and joints. More orthopedic doctors will be required as the population grows in order to care for infants and children who have issues with their growing bones and muscles.

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Why Should You Consider Becoming An Orthopedic Doctor?

Orthopedic doctors use surgery or rehabilitation to help patients return to their normal lives. This can produce instant improvements, allowing patients to feel better sooner rather than later, resulting in increased job satisfaction and fulfillment. These professionals assist their patients in regaining their health and making positive changes in people’s lives.

They work with innovative technologies like robotics and implants on a regular basis. As an orthopedic doctor, you may decide to specialize in a particular field, such as treating sports injuries or working with professional sports teams. To remove cancers from the musculoskeletal system, you may choose to conduct orthopedic oncology, potentially saving lives.

Orthopedic doctors typically work:

  • In solo practice
  • For a private practice group
  • In academia (teaching hospitals)
  • For government agencies
  • In the military

How To Become An Orthopedic Doctor

Orthopedic doctors devote a significant amount of time and effort to intensive education and training. Orthopedists study the huge and complex musculoskeletal system for many years before advancing to a specialization or specializing in specific body parts such as the spine, ankle, or hand.

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The seven steps to becoming an orthopedic doctor are as follows:

1. Earn a degree

You must first obtain a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution. General chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and English are among the subjects covered in the coursework. Students can enroll in pre-med coursework, apply for internships, and select science electives. A bachelor’s degree takes an average of four years to obtain.

2. Pass the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

After that, you’ll take a seven-hour test to show your medical school readiness. Individually scored portions make up the test, with a total score ranging from 472 to 528. Candidates for orthopedic surgery should achieve the highest possible score.

MCAT section focuses on:

  • Physical Sciences
  • CARS
  • Biological Sciences
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

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3. Attend Medical School

You’ll apply to medical school after passing the MCAT. orthopedic doctors have either a doctor of medicine (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree (DO). During your four years of medical school, you will learn about:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Genetics

You’ll also take part in clinical rotations in common medical disciplines like:

  • Surgery
  • Medicine
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Radiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Neurology

4. Complete residency

After that, you’ll spend five years in a residency learning on the job. Students complete the first two or more years of their training in general surgery before moving on to orthopedic surgery in their final years. Students work alongside attending physicians during this period and grow confidence in their abilities while learning to build patient rapport.

5. Complete a fellowship

Most orthopedic doctors go on to complete a fellowship or enter a specialization after completing their residency. A fellowship is a one- to two-year program in which orthopedic doctors study the following topics:

  • Hand, foot, ankle, spine surgery
  • Pediatric orthopedics
  • Orthopedic oncology
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Surgical sports medicine

6. Earn your license

To practice medicine, orthopedic doctors must first complete and pass the national US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensure Examination (COMLEX). Licensing requirements differ from state to state, so check to see if your area has any additional licensing needs.

7. Become board certified

Orthopedic doctors do not need to pass a board test to practice; rather, the designation instills confidence in patients and verifies the surgeon’s commitment to their field. Board certification assures that orthopedic doctors have passed a peer review and are competent and knowledgeable.

The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS) administers board exams that consist of 320 multiple-choice, computer-based questions. Following the written component, surgeons must take and pass an oral question-and-answer exam that assesses their surgical technique knowledge and expertise.

Orthopedic doctors must participate in continuing education and have their certification renewed every seven to 10 years through board evaluation and tests. These standards ensure that surgeons are up to date on the latest research and developments.

Tips To Become A Board-Certified Orthopedic Doctor

The road to becoming an orthopedic doctor is difficult, and residency applicants face stiff competition. We have a few pointers to help you stand out and start your road to medical school or residency.

Here is a list of tips to stand apart from the competition:

1. Study science while in high school

If you’re still in high school, now is the time to enroll in science or medicine courses. Speak with a counselor or advisor who can assist you in selecting the right courses to help you prepare for college and meet prerequisites.

Medical residencies come after your medical school. Check out the 15 Shortest Residency Programs in the World | 2022

2. Earn high scores on MCAT and licensing exams

Future orthopedic doctors not only pass but exceed their exam scores. Consider enlisting the support of study partners or tutors to help you grasp difficult concepts, build study habits, or take practice exams.

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The MCAT assesses students’ scientific knowledge as well as critical thinking, analytic, problem-solving, and writing abilities. See how To Effectively Study For The MCAT And Pass

3. Maintain stellar medical school grades

Choose a medical school that has a history of placing students in residencies. Consult with consultants to ensure you’re meeting the orthopedic doctor’s criteria. Seek assistance or help from mentors or study partners on how to maintain your grades.

4. Collect strong letters of recommendation

Build a network of mentors, professors, and other experts who can provide letters of recommendation that speak to your character, devotion, and commitment. When reputable professionals authenticate your work, medical schools and residencies are more likely to accept you.

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5. Perform well in clinical rotations

Surgical skills are learned during your schooling and training, and they are further developed throughout clinical rotations. Successful clinical rotations may result in letters of recommendation or the discovery of a specialization that matches your talents and abilities.

Skills Required To Be A Successful Orthopedic Doctor

Having a knowledge of an orthopedic physician’s salary is not the hack to job success, to be a thriving orthopedic doctor, you’ll need the master the following skills listed below.

  • Communication skills – As they engage with patients, their families, and other medical professionals on a frequent basis, they need to be able to communicate effectively.
  • Decision-making skill – When deciding what types of procedures to perform on patients, decision-making abilities are important.
  • Motor skills – When performing long and arduous procedures, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination are essential.
  • Ability to remain cool in the face of adversity
  • Leadership skill – To direct other medical experts throughout a complex surgery, you’ll need leadership abilities.
  • Problem-solving skills – As they diagnose and treat patients with rare illnesses, orthopedic doctors encounter problems that demand high-level problem-solving skills.


Orthopedic doctors, like all doctors, have some of the highest salaries of any profession. Self-employed doctors who run their own practice generally earn more than doctors who work for a hospital on a wage. Doctors who work for a hospital, on the other hand, will automatically receive health insurance and vacation time from their employer, whereas most self-employed doctors will be responsible for providing and paying for these benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become an orthopedic doctor?

Following a four-year bachelor’s degree in biology, pre-medicine, or a similar discipline, prospective orthopedic doctors must attend medical school for four years, followed by a four- to five-year orthopedic surgery residency in a hospital.

Can I become an orthopedic doctor online?

No, you can’t. To become an Orthopedic doctor, you need to perform a lot of hands-on sessions and your actual presence will be required in these workshops, this is not practical.

What does an orthopedic doctor do?

Orthopedic doctors treat musculoskeletal conditions. They see people with a variety of conditions that affect the muscles, nerves, bones, joints, and connective tissues. Conditions, such as arthritis, bursitis, and osteoporosis can cause pain and dysfunction that can be truly debilitating.

Do orthopedic doctors perform surgery?

They can perform surgery, but they’re also qualified to diagnose and treat issues using other techniques.


  • indeed.comHow Much Do Orthopedic Surgeons Make?
  • – How To Become an orthopedic surgeon in Seven Steps
  • – Orthopedic Doctor Salary
  • Physicians and Surgeons


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