The basic anesthesiologist salary in the United States averages $258,100 and $195,697 in Canada. In the United Kingdom, earnings range between £76,000 and £102,000 for consultants and £37,500 and £75,000 for anesthetists. Australian anesthesiologists earn on average AU$153,506. Compensation depends on factors such as location, education, type of employer, performance and working hours.
If you want to become an anesthesiologist, learn how the country in which you choose to practice, your skills and experience, and other factors affect your earnings.
Anesthesiologist Salary Influencers
Salary averages and figures differ among countries. What determines the salary of a particular anesthesiologist typically involves similar influences. These factors include not only experience and certifications, but also the practice setting.
Great Britain, Canada, Norway, Australia and Switzerland have universal or national healthcare systems. In these countries, government agencies set guidelines for anesthesiologists’ compensation. For example, the National Health Service establishes ranges based on experience and supervisory responsibilities. Canada offers bonuses for meeting certain standards. Even where the government runs the health care system, anesthesiologists can obtain more pay by working in private hospitals or clinics.
In the United States, an anesthesiologist’s pay and other compensation are generally set by the practice or hospital instead of by government. Experience and location can also affect what an anesthesiologist makes. Anesthesiologists in the private sector typically can expect higher salaries than those in the public or government sector.
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Anesthesiologist Salary in the US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, anesthesiologists earned on average $258,100. The majority of anesthesiologists are paid at least $187,200, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Anesthesiologist Salary in Canada
According to the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, the salaries ranged between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. Residents earn between $30,000 and $40,000. Those who are certified can make at least $150,000 a year. A senior staff anesthesiologist typically makes at least $200,000 per year. The Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society says experienced specialists in this field can earn at least $230,000 per year. PayScale reports an annual salary of C$195,697 and that bonuses range from C$0.65 to C$147,949.
Anesthesiologist Salary in the UK
In the United Kingdom, anesthetists earn between £37,500 and £75,000 annually. Base salaries of consultants range between £76,000 and £102,000. Consultants with more experience fall in the upper end of the range. Private hospitals typically pay higher salaries and fees to consultants than their public counterparts.
Anesthesiologist Salary in Australia
The Career Workforce reports an annual salary range of $140,000 to $180,000, depending on experience. According to PayScale, anesthesiologists in Australia usually make from AU$51,583 to AU$296,958. The average salary is AU$153,506 and the median is AU$153,507. Accounting for an average bonus of AU$12,000 and profit sharing of AU$2,055, the pay range is AU$51,965 to AU$300,000.
Anesthesiologist Salary in Switzerland
The yearly pay range for Swiss resident anesthesiologists is the equivalent of $61,000 to $84,000 in U.S. dollars. A chief resident can make between $110,000 USD and $160,000 USD. Earnings in private practice run between $210,000 USD and $350,000 USD per year. The salary at the anesthesiologist assistant level ranges from $38,000 USD to $61,000 USD per year.
Anesthesiologist Salary in Norway
As reported by Statistics Norway, physicians (which include anesthesiologists) in the private hospital and social services sector earned a monthly average base salary of NOK 74,300 as of 2014. Bonuses run typically at NOK 200 per month. On average, overtime pay is NOK 2,100 per month. These physicians had total monthly earnings of NOK 76,600 as of 2014.
Within the “Health Enterprises” sector, physicians earned an average base salary of NOK 56,600, bonuses of NOK 12,600, overtime of NOK 3,000, and monthly earnings of NOK 69,200.
Generally, anesthesiologists obtain experience through required training. In the United States, an anesthesiologist serves four years in an anesthesiologist residency program after graduation from medical school. In Canada, anesthesiologists complete a five-year residency program approved by the Royal College. The training includes one year in a basic clinical setting and four additional years in areas such as anesthesiology, internal medicine and pharmacy.
Training of anesthetists in the United Kingdom typically takes seven to eight years after medical school. For those in Australia, the minimum experience is usually two years in a public hospital as an intern and resident and an additional five years in the anesthesiology specialty. In Switzerland, anesthesiologists spend six years as an assistant in a hospital and five years in residency.
Anesthesiologists often take late-night, predawn, weekend and other irregular shifts. The possibility of emergency surgeries requires these physicians to be on-call. Thus, work hours can sometimes prove unpredictable. Anesthesiologists generally work on rotations than can last at least 12 hours at a time. With a complicated medical procedure, an anesthesiologist could spend up to 8 hours at a time standing.
The work is full-time, often exceeding 40 hours per week, sometimes up to 60 hours. For example, the average work week for Canadian anesthesiologists is almost 52 hours and for Australian ones was approximately 47 hours as of 2015. However, European laws limit anesthesiologists in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Norway to 48 hours per week.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
In the United States, resident and staff anesthesiologists generally receive pension and insurance benefits. Depending on the hospital or clinic, hiring or performance bonuses may be offered. Anesthesiologists in Canada can obtain bonuses based on factors, such as rural areas or willingness to work particular sessions. Salaried professionals, of which three percent are primarily salaried, can receive life, health and disability insurance benefits. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service provides pension and other benefits to anesthetists. The minimum age to draw a pension 55 years old.
Most Australian physicians employed by a hospital receive a pension, called superannuation. The annual payments typically are at least 9.5 percent of the salary. Hospital employees can receive up to 30 percent of their salary tax free to meet expenses such as mortgage, rent, meals, holiday travel and utilities. Other perks include five paid weeks of leave and 10 paid sick days annually.
Similarly, physicians in Switzerland are entitled to an occupational pension. This “second pillar” of retirement insurance is mandatory for those who work for a hospital or practice and, with the “first pillar,” provides up to 60 percent of the annual salary each year of retirement. Self-employed physicians need not participate. Certain providers may sometimes afford a “third pillar” of retirement benefits. Norway law mandates that employees have occupational pension, insurance, benefits for occupational sickness, and leave of absence. Employers must provide holiday pay.
Due to shortages, many countries experience a high demand for anesthesiologists. For example, in the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an additional 7,100 anesthesiologist positions, or 21 percent growth. Similarly, within the next 10 to 15 years, the United Kingdom could experience a significant rise in demand for anesthetists. The Guardian reports that in fact, by 2033, each hospital trust could be 10 to 20 consultant anesthetists lower than needed to meet staffing needed for surgeries and other procedures.
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, Australia had 4,000 anesthesiologists as of November 2015. This translates to limited job opportunities in especially rural areas of Australia. Job openings should number no more than 5,000 through 2019, but future employment through November 2020 could grow significantly.
On the other hand, Switzerland faces a shortage of anesthesiologists. According to BMC Health Services, eight to 12 are retiring each year (). The retirement, combined with restrictive quotas on foreign graduates, could result in a 38 percent reduction in intermediary anesthetists by 2024. Canada and Norway are also experiencing a significant shortage of anesthesiologists. In fact, general practitioners in Norway are in extremely high demand.
To conclude, anesthesiologists are in high demand, especially in countries such as Canada and Switzerland facing significant shortages. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland, national health care systems determine salary ranges. Anesthesiologists can earn higher pay with more experience, certifications and working in private facilities.