Neurosurgeon Salary

According to data collated by a number of HR resources across the country the median salary for a neurosurgeon in the United States is $540,000. Those at the lower end of the salary scale, generally in entry level positions are earning in the region of $275,500 per year, whilst those at the top of their profession with many years of training and experience behind them are commanding a salary of around $800,000 per year.

It was discovered that in many cases neurosurgeons were able to claim a bonus payment of between $100.00 and $100,2000 per year, the payment being proportional to the salary of the individual neurosurgeon.

It was also shown that where an employer’s profit share scheme was in place dividends could be claimed of between $1,000 and $550,000 per year. Commission was also found to be payable across the board and payments ranged from $2,000 – $100,000 per year on average.

All of these financial incentive schemes take the basic pay of a neurosurgeon in the United States to between $100,000 and $780,00 per year.

Hourly Payment Rates

On average a neurosurgeon in America is earning $175.00 per hour. This may be the national average for the job but there are many neurosurgeons that make much less, for example those at the lower end of the salary scale are only earning at the rate of $50.00 per hour.

However, at the other end of the scale, those in the top 10% of earners are working for a rate of $350.00 per hour. There are several factors which can affect the hourly rate of pay for a neurosurgeon such as the total number of hours worked each week, and how many surgical procedures they perform as well as rates of billing for procedures.

Job Outlook

Of all of the medical specialties neurosurgery is possibly the one which is most sought after by hospitals.

Due to the nature of the role the outlook for neurosurgeons is very promising, and along with almost every other medical profession employment levels are set to rise over the coming years in order to meet the needs of an ever growing population which means that for those individuals looking to pursue a neurosurgical career the prospects have never been so good.

Factors that Influence Salary

There are several factors which can influence salary levels such as years of experience, level of education and area of neurosurgical specialisation.

Education is incredibly important when it comes to salary; it takes around fifteen years of education and training in which to become a neurosurgeon which is why the pay rate is so substantial. The further that education is taken, for example by specialising in more than one area, and becoming certified by a number of accredited national boards can boost the amount of salary that a neurosurgeon can command.

Top Paying Industries

You may think that all neurosurgeons work in the same kind of industry and environment but you would be wrong.

The type of industry a neurosurgeon works in can greatly influence the amount of salary which can be attained. For example the top paying industry in which to work as a neurosurgeon is for a speciality hospital where the average pay is $240,000 per year, followed by the offices of physicians where the salary stands at $238,000 per year.

The next best payers are outpatient care centres who offer an average annual salary of $235,000; grant making and giving services are next who pay on average $228,000 per year and then finally state government (OEM Designation) who pay in excess of $185,000 per year.


The size and scope of the benefits packages on offer to neurosurgeons are just as impressive as the salary packages.

Some of the most popular benefits include malpractice and liability insurance, paid holidays, 401(k) plans and paid vacations. Those earning the highest neurosurgical salaries (up to $690,000) get all of these popular benefits as well as life and disability insurance, paid sick leave and private medical insurance.

Pros & Cons of Being a Neurosurgeon

All jobs, no matter how well paid have their positives and negatives and neurosurgery is no exception.

On the positive side the people that perform this job generally enjoy what they do, they have the potential to change someone’s life for the better by performing a successful surgery; it could be surgery of the brain to restore physical movement or remove a deadly brain tumour but that patient’s life will change forever for the better.

The job is also incredibly well paid and neurosurgeons are greatly respected across the medical profession. It is also the neurosurgeon who gets to use the very latest cutting edge medical technology before other surgical specialties.

On the negative side through there is also the chance that a slip of the scalpel can change someone’s life for the worse, or even result in death. It is an incredibly demanding surgical specialisation which requires long hours spent in a high stress environment. The neurological residency period can also be incredibly gruelling with working weeks in excess of eighty hours as well as having to cover call out and other neurological emergencies. For those who love a challenge though and thrive on stress and adrenalin it is an enjoyable career.