According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, there are 40 million surgeries annually, which makes the job of an Anesthesiologist highly in demand. Medical News Today estimates that anesthesiologists are involved in around 90% of those surgeries.
That makes the job outlook pretty great for jobs in anesthesiology--in fact, the job outlook has been positive since 2004, and is expected to grow by 4% from 2018 through 2028. In addition to the great job outlook, anesthesiology jobs also pay really well, especially if you are in some of the key high-paying states for anesthesiology jobs--but more on that later.
First, let’s take a look at what an anesthesiologist actually is, what their job entails, and the types of jobs available in anesthesiology.
What is an anesthesiologist?
An anesthesiologist is a highly-trained doctor. Like every doctor in training must do at some point in their education, Anesthesiologists have chosen to specialize in the field of anesthesiology. We think the American Society of Anesthesiologists put it best, stating that an anesthesiologist “makes anesthesia-related medical decisions and is responsible for the safety and well being of the patient. This includes maintaining the patient in a state of controlled unconsciousness, providing pain relief and monitoring the patient's critical life functions as they are affected throughout surgical, obstetrical or other medical procedures.”
But anesthesiologists don’t just work in operating rooms putting patients to sleep and waking them up after a surgery. No, the anesthesiologist's role is more expansive than just the OR. They are “responsible for the preoperative assessment of the patient, making medical judgments about the best anesthesia plan for that individual based on his or her current health, what medications they are taking, the type of surgery, etc. The anesthesiologist is also responsible for the well being of the patient postoperatively while the person emerges from the effects of the anesthesia. Additionally anesthesiologists help stabilize critically ill or injured patients, in intensive care units. They are often involved in the management of acute postoperative pain, chronic and cancer pain; in cardiac and respiratory resuscitation; in blood transfusion therapies; and in respiratory therapy.” (American Society of Anesthesiologists)
Where do anesthesiologists work?
Anesthesiologists are employed at a variety of facilities throughout the medical world. You can generally expect to find anesthesiologists at any medica/dental facility that performs surgical procedures. After all, this is their specialty! Anesthesiologists are most often employed at doctors offices, outpatient care centers, general hospitals, specialty hospitals, dentists and by other health practitioners. According to BLS data, in 2019 California, Texas and New York employ the greatest number of anesthesiologists among all 50 states, but it’s not a huge surprise considering the size of their populations. Even so, there’s always room for new talent in the field!
How much does an anesthesiologist make?
Anesthesiology checks several boxes for job happiness factors. Not only is it a fulfilling job for those who are medically inclined, detail oriented, and interested in helping others, but the pay can be really great (Not to mention if you get a job with a company that appreciates you, you’ll have higher job satisfaction!).
There’s a wide range in how much an anesthesiologist can make. Fledglings in the field might make $58,958, but as experience (and education) increases, anesthesiologists could make up to $333,329 per year! Not too shabby.
That said, there are 10 states in particular where you can expect to earn some of the highest anesthesiologist salaries. But don’t worry; we’ve already dug through the BLS data to pull it all together for you.
So without further adieu, here are the top 10 states that pay the highest anesthesiologist salaries.
- Wyoming average anesthesiologist salary: $281,070
- Arizona average anesthesiologist salary: $280,030
- Oklahoma average anesthesiologist salary: $278,540
- New Mexico average anesthesiologist salary: $277,140
- Kansas average anesthesiologist salary: $276,800
- North Carolina average anesthesiologist salary: $274,610
- Alabama average anesthesiologist salary: $274,260
- Indiana average anesthesiologist salary: $272,630
- Louisiana average anesthesiologist salary: $269,520
- Florida average anesthesiologist salary: $268,470
While anesthesiology jobs still pay higher than many types of jobs, there are some states where you can expect a “lower” salary (even though you can probably still earn well over $200,000! The average salaries for the 10 lowest paying states are:
- Utah average anesthesiologist salary: $180,630
- New York average anesthesiologist salary: $212,730
- Massachusetts average anesthesiologist salary: $214,830
- Georgia average anesthesiologist salary: $221,380
- Michigan average anesthesiologist salary: $234,970
- Texas average anesthesiologist salary: $241,090
- Arkansas average anesthesiologist salary: $241,710
- Wisconsin average anesthesiologist salary: $242,770
- Pennsylvania average anesthesiologist salary: $248,250
- Nevada average anesthesiologist salary: $252,250
Educational requirements for becoming an anesthesiologist
So what do you need to consider if you want to join the exciting and growing field of anesthesiology? One thing you should know is that these professionals are extremely well educated. Because Anesthesiologists are doctors who have chosen anesthesiology as their field of specialization, like every other MD and DO they must undergo 4 years of undergrad study in a field that can prepare them for the next 4 years of a traditional medical school education.
This is traditionally followed by 4 years of residency and an additional year to complete a fellowship (or 2 years in a private practice if they choose that route). All in all, like any other medical doctor, Anesthesiologists can expect to dedicate about 12-14 years to achieve the very important dream to become a licensed anesthesiologist.
If you know you want to go to school for anesthesiology, then your undergrad years are a critical time to start getting a firm footing, and streamline the process as much as possible. That means choosing a major and course of study that incorporates pre-med courses into your first four years. This will help ensure that you stay on track to complete your years of schooling as efficiently as possible.
So what kinds of jobs can you get as an anesthesiologist? There are 4 main jobs, each with progressively more education and responsibilities.
Types of anesthesiologist jobs
- Anesthesiologist Assistant
- Anesthesia Technician
- Certified Anesthesia Technician
- Certified Anesthesia Technologist
Top schools for anesthesiologists
According to study.com, the schools below offer some of the best anesthesiology programs for anyong eyeing the profession. Check out the below taken from their website.
1.Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, OR)
“Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a teaching hospital and a public research and educational institution. In 2019, U.S. News and World Report named OHSU the sixth (tie) best medical school for primary care in the nation. Residents gain experience in multiple settings, including a children's hospital, Veteran's Affairs hospital, pain center and surgery center.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved the Oregon Health & Science University to be the first program in the country to implement integrated training of research and anesthesiology and critical care medicine and anesthesiology. It therefore houses one of the oldest anesthesiology departments in the western U.S.”
2.University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
“The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a public research university that was tied for #14 for best medical schools for primary care and tied for #13 for best medical schools in the nation for research by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.
The School of Medicine's anesthesiology department offers third and fourth year rotations in seven affiliated hospitals, where all types of surgery are performed. The school also offers research programs in molecular genetics of pain, anesthesia and pain mechanisms, neuronal injury, and patient safety.”
3.John Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
“In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Johns Hopkins University as the 2nd best medical school in the field of research. Johns Hopkins offers a residency in anesthesiology for trained doctors who want to specialize in the field.
The program includes extensive clinical experience, and students also have the chance to pursue research and take electives in particular areas of interest. Johns Hopkins also offers fellowship programs in a variety of sub-fields of anesthesiology, including cardiac anesthesia, neurosurgical anesthesia, obstetric anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, regional anesthesia, and pain medicine.”
4.New York University
“NYU's Department of Anesthesiology offers fellowships in eight major sub-specialties, including critical care anesthesia and pediatric anesthesia”
5.Ohio State University
“The school offers ACGME-accredited fellowships in specialties such as neuroanesthesia, regional anesthesiology and pain medicine.”
6.University of Southern California - Los Angeles
“U.S. News & World Report ranked UCLA 1st among all top public schools in 2020.”
7.University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
“Students have access to the University of Michigan Health System, which has 66 operating rooms, and its facilities perform 61,000 surgeries per year.”
8.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“UNC-Chapel Hill ranked 1st on U.S. News & World Report's 2019 listing of the best medical schools offering primary care.”
9.University of Pennsylvania
“Residents have access to training in three medical centers.”
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Are you excited yet about the possibilities? Now that you know how much anesthesiologists can earn (or maybe you’re a new anesthesiologist looking for a job); either way, you’ll definitely want to check out our thousands of job listings on the CareerBliss job board.
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