15 Highest Paid Surgeons in California | Best List

Want to know the highest paid surgeons in California?

The lovely city of California offers several benefits for surgeons. Statistics show that California has more than 5,412 surgeons. According to Doximity’s fourth annual Physician Compensation Report, between 2019 and 2020, U.S. doctors’ compensation increased by an average of 1.5 percent. 

 Nobody has ever said that becoming a doctor is simple. Medical school is costly and demanding. If you’re going to put in the time, money, and effort to get an M.D., you want your medical profession to be lucrative enough to justify your efforts monetarily and in other ways.

 Without question, surgeons rank among the medical industry’s highest-paid employees. In several nations, surgeons make up the whole list of the top 5 medical specialties in terms of pay. Are you interested in finding the Highest Paid surgeons in California? This article will review everything you need to know about California’s Highest Paid Surgeons.

 Also read: 15 Best Medical Schools for Orthopaedic Surgeons In 2022

Facts about being a surgeon in California

 California is a state with fantastic beaches, mountains, and deserts. The city is usually bustling with exciting things to see and do, and the weather is always beautiful. 

Even though it has a bad reputation for having earthquakes and forest fires, California offers many unique options. 

If you intend to practice surgery in California, there are numerous more important considerations in addition to these distinctive features.

 Cost of living

 Everyone is aware of how expensive California can be. People are willing to spend more to live in regions with better weather and more things to do. This explains the high cost of living in California. 

In California, one of the most expensive aspects of life is housing. But the high cost of living doesn’t just apply to homes; even necessities like groceries are more expensive than usual. Don’t undervalue these rising charges’ impact on your capacity to accumulate money.


 You may earn a little bit more in California, but only considering your gross income. Your net income will not change substantially due to two factors. The first is that there is a progressive income tax in our nation. 

The income tax rates don’t give you any credit for that; contrary to what you believe, paying a greater cost of living won’t be offset by earning more money. Your income alone determines your tax rates.

 529 Tax 

 The 529 plan in California is actually quite good, with wonderful low-cost investments and fair fees. However, there is no state tax credit or contribution deduction, unlike in numerous other states.

 Also read: Travel Awards for Surgeons in Developing Countries at ACS in US, 2021

What is the average salary for Surgeons in California?

Surgeons perform surgeries to treat illnesses, deformities, and injuries and enhance a patient’s function, appearance, and quality of life. The income range for surgeons in California normally ranges from $390,577 to $548,136, with an average of $461,846. 

Salary ranges might vary significantly based on the city and several other crucial aspects, such as schooling, certifications, supplementary talents, and the length of time you’ve worked in a given field. 

The median annual income for surgeons in California is 347,000 USD, which implies that 50% of those employed in the field make less than this amount while the other 50% make more. 

Also read: American College of Surgeons International Scholarships 2018

Highest Paid Surgeons in California

Although healthcare can be profitable, salaries can vary greatly from one specialty to the next even within the same business. 

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for all physicians is above $208,000. 

Below are some of the Highest Paid Surgeons in California.

 #1. Neurosurgeons 

The Highest Paid surgeons in California are neurosurgeons. Neurosurgeons must be knowledgeable about the brain, spine, spinal cord, and nervous system to treat patients with conditions or brain injuries. 

They might focus on treating adults, children, or both. A neurosurgeon makes a substantial contribution to medicine. Reports indicate that neurosurgeons get an average salary of $609,201 per year.

 #2. Thoracic Surgeons

Thoracic surgeons treat pathological illnesses and injuries affecting the coronary artery, lung, esophagus, chest wall, major arteries, heart valves, mediastinum, and airways. They may concentrate on cardiac, non-cardiac, or both issues. 

Patients with intrathoracic anomalies are diagnosed after a consultation with thoracic surgeons. They utilize an endoscope, cardiac assist devices, pleural drainage, respiratory support systems, and extracorporeal circulation to perform procedures.

The income range for a thoracic surgeon in California normally ranges from $454,082 to $707,358, with the average being $564,721 in 2022.

#3. Invasive Cardiology

The lucrative area of invasive cardiology may be the best choice for you to pursue if you don’t mind the strain of holding a patient’s heart in your hands. 

According to Forbes, invasive cardiology specialists make an average base pay of $525,000 annually.

 Cardiology in general is still a worthwhile career choice if you are interested in heart health but not necessarily the high-stress invasive part of the specialization. 

It ranks as the second-highest specialty by CBS News, with patient care costs coming to $376,000 yearly. Invasive Cardiologists are among California’s highest-paid surgeons.

#4. Orthopedic Surgeons

The musculoskeletal system is the primary area of interest for orthopedic surgeons. 

It includes the spine, extremities, and other tissues. Orthopedic surgeons care for people with congenital diseases, trauma injuries, and many other illnesses.

There are many subspecialties, even within the field of orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic surgeons may also concentrate on a specific ailment, such as sports injuries or oncology (cancer) (sports medicine). 

They are One of the Highest Paid surgeons in California. In California, orthopedic surgeons make $571,949 a year.

#5. Plastic Surgeons 

No doubt about it, plastic surgeons are one of the Highest Paid surgeons in California. They’re after all working in a state that places beauty in very high regard. 

A Plastic surgeon can Virtually work on every visible portion of the body. This includes the skin’s look, the form of the torso, the breasts, the limbs, and even the external reproductive organs. 

While improving the body’s aesthetic look is frequently the aim of cosmetic surgery, certain plastic surgery operations are reconstructive. They are to correct the harm caused by an accident, birth abnormalities, or diseases that impact function and appearance. 

The yearly income range for plastic surgeons in California normally ranges from $386,067 to $573,026, with an average of $461,796.

 Also read: European Society of Surgical Oncology Training fellowship for surgeons 2018

#6. Gastroenterologists

Gastroenterologists are among California’s Highest Paid surgeons. They earn an average yearly pay of $444,752 in California. Gastroenterologists treat conditions affecting every component of the digestive system, including the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and other organs in the abdominal cavity. These conditions can affect the esophagus, stomach, intestines, and more. 

Their usual salary ranges from $375,445 to $525,166.

#7. Vascular Surgeons 

According to the American College of Surgeons, vascular surgeons specialize in the circulatory system. Patients with conditions that affect the arteries and veins are frequently referred to vascular surgeons. 

Vascular surgeons counsel, diagnose, and treats patients with complicated blood or circulatory ailments or illnesses. They carry out both open, difficult operations and endovascular minimally invasive techniques. 

In California, vascular surgeons make $472,581, although the average salary is between $400,800 and $553,572.

#8. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specialists in treating injuries and diseases of the head, neck, mouth, jaw, and face. 

Maxillofacial surgeons can treat many head and neck-related disorders, such as misaligned jaws, oral reconstructive surgery, and head-and-neck cancers.

 Oral and maxillofacial surgeons in California make an average annual pay of $335,121.

#9. Pediatric surgeons 

With an average salary of $527,174, pediatric surgeons are one of California’s Highest Paid surgeons. After completing a fellowship in general surgery, pediatric surgeons specialize in diagnosing, treating, and post-operative care of children, from infancy through adolescence. 

To decide if surgery is the best action for a kid, the pediatric surgeon consults with other neonatologists, pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists, and family doctors.

#10. Urologists

The medical discipline of urology focuses on the well-being of both genders’ urinary tracts as well as male patients’ reproductive systems. 

Urologists specialize in the bladder, kidney, prostate, urethra, and male genitalia, among other organs and body parts. 

They detect and treat kidney stones, incontinence, urinary tract, and bladder infections, among other conditions! 

The average annual salary for a Urologist in California is $444,399.

 Also read: American College of Surgeons International Guest Scholarships 2018

#11. General Surgeons

A general surgeon has a broad basis of knowledge that enables them to perform procedures using specialized equipment to address a variety of medical ailments. 

The majority of general surgeons perform operations on the skin, neck, breasts, stomach, and arteries while directing patients with orthopedic, neurologic, cardiac, and other disorders to specialists who specialize in those fields. 

The average salary for General surgeons in California is $$310,807.

#12. Surgeon Oncologists

According to the ABS, surgical oncologists are medical professionals with fellowship training concentrating on identifying, treating, and rehabilitating cancer patients. 

They frequently treat people with uncommon malignancies and circumstances requiring many operations. They also carry out biopsies as necessary to aid in accurate diagnosis. 

Californian surgeon-oncologists earn an average pay of $402,299 per year.

#13. Otolaryngologist

Otolaryngologists are doctors who treat disorders affecting the ears, nose, throat and associated structures. They are sometimes referred to as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists. 

They conduct hearing tests, perform plastic and cosmetic surgeries, manage polyp removal treatments, treat cleft palates, and remove malignancies. 

The average income for an Otolaryngologist in California is $439,632, ranging from $373,006 to $511,475.

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#14. OB-GYN ( Obstetricians and Gynecologists) 

It is the specialty of an obstetrician and gynecologist (OB/GYN) to look after the female reproductive system. They technically work in two fields of specialization that are frequently combined. Obstetricians are medical professionals who treat pregnant patients, deliver newborns, and provide immediate postpartum care. Gynecologists largely treat the female reproductive system. OB/GYN surgeons are among California’s Highest Paid surgeons. 

In California, the average income for obstetricians and gynecologists is $335,764, while the range is normally between $291,299 and $404,043.

#15. Dermatologic surgeons

Dermatologic surgeons are one of California’s Highest Paid surgeons. They identify and manage various skin conditions, from acne to cancer. 

They could do routine skin exams to check for melanoma or other types of skin cancer while keeping an eye out for any changes in the shape or position of moles. 

In the case of unexpected skin problems or changes, dermatologic surgeons perform diagnostic procedures, including biopsies. They treat eczema, infections, allergies, and other skin disorders. 

Many dermatologists also conduct cosmetic operations, such as liposuction, chemical peels, and injections of dermal fillers like Botox, as well as laser surgery and the removal of undesirable skin diseases and marks. 

In California, dermatologic surgeons make an average of $406,100 annually.

 Also read: 17 Easiest Medical Schools to get into in 2022 | Full Guide

FAQs Highest Paid Surgeons in California| 2022

How much do surgeons make in California?

The average salary for a surgeon in California is $461,846.

Who are the Highest Paid Surgeons in California?

Neurosurgeons are California’s Highest Paid surgeons.

What is the highest paying city for surgeons in California?

San Mateo has the highest average annual salary for surgeons in California.

How many Surgeons are in California?

California has about 5412 active surgeons.

Is there a doctor shortage in California?

According to mid-range predictions, the state will require an extra 4,700 primary care doctors in 2025 and 4,100 more in 2030 to keep up with demand.


 Most Californian surgeons are more concerned with how they can positively impact their patients’ lives than how much money they make each year. It’s only normal to desire a decent salary to show for the difficulties of medical school. 

According to several sources, the specialties of cosmetic surgery, neurology, and orthopedic surgery pay their practitioners the highest salaries in California.


  •  salary.com                                                                           
  • fiercehealthcare.com – The list of the 20 highest paid specialties in 2020 as average physician pay dips: Doximity
  • work.chron.com – The Job Advantages of Being a Surgeon 
  • www.sgu.edu – 14 Types of Surgeons: Dissecting the Differences


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