How Much Can You Really Earn as a Neurosurgeon?

neurosurgeons salary

Neurosurgeons are more than brain surgeons. These medical expert specialists treat the nervous system’s conditions, which include the spinal cord, brain, peripheral nerves of the arms, face, legs, hands, and feet. Neurosurgeons are the most highly trained physicians, studying for a minimum of fifteen years before they’re permitted to perform unsupervised surgeries on patients. They are among the most-paid surgeons due to the challenging nature of the occupation.

Job Description

Neurosurgeons operate in the sphere of the human nervous system, offering surgical care to patients with brain aneurysms, head injuries, spine and brain tumors, herniated discs, and disorders with the peripheral nerves. Typically, surgeons perform more spine than brain surgeries, although emergency operations for head trauma remain a regular necessity. Neurosurgeons may also work as part of a larger team providing non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s.

Education Requirements

After 4 years of medical college and a general surgery internship, a prospective neurosurgeon will enter a neurosurgical residency program with an average duration of 7 years. Here, surgeons are trained in all facets of neurosurgery, including tumor, trauma, pediatrics, and vascular surgery. Once the surgeon is practicing, he/she must keep abreast of the latest surgeries and treatment practices that are evolving at a brisk pace. After several years of practice, an established neurosurgeon may take the optional ABNSE (American Board of Neurological Surgery examination) and receive board certification.

How Much Do Neurosurgeons Make

Careers in the U. S:

Neurosurgery is one of the most critical areas of surgery, and neurosurgeons earn some of the highest salaries in the medical profession. The median income for neurosurgeons is $395,235 annually in 2019, which compares favorably with the $209,000 median for all surgeons. Showing a salary as a median means that half of the neurosurgeons make more than that sum.

A neurosurgeon in the U. S makes $180 per hour on average. This rate is just the national average. However, some earn double that amount, and others earn much lesser. At the base end of the income range, we have neurosurgeons making at a rate of $60 per hour while at the top of the field; we have the finest earning up to $360 an hour.


Neurosurgeons work in the surgical department of medical centers performing spine and brain operations. Some neurosurgeons specialize in specific kinds of spinal problems such as spinal cord injury, neck disorders, or pediatric neurosurgery on children and infants. Since the position is so specialized, a neurosurgeon may be called on to perform outpatient (OP) procedures such as pain-management therapies in a physician’s practice or for emergency procedures.

[ Read:How to become a Neurosurgeon ]

Years of Experience

Neurosurgeons earn excellent wages from the very beginning of their careers, which is not surprising when you consider they have trained for fifteen years to reach this stage. After qualification, a general neurosurgeon salary will rise with experience and time as follows:

  • 5 years’ experience: $302,000
  • 10 years: $398,000
  • Twenty-plus years: $415,000.

By some estimations, the top ten percent of neurosurgeons can earn from $874,000 per year and more.

Careers in Europe: An early career Neurosurgeon with 1-5 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay) of €100,000. A mid-career Neurosurgeon with 5-10 years of experience makes an average total compensation of €90,000.

Careers in Asia: An early career Neurosurgeon with 1-5 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay) of S$200,000. A mid-career Neurosurgeon with 5-10 years of experience makes an average total compensation of S$244,000. An experienced Neurosurgeon with 10-20 years of experience earns an average total salary of S$390,460.

Job Growth Trend

There should be additional 91,500 jobs for surgeons by 2026, which represents a thirteen percent growth rate. This much higher-than-average growth rate is mostly the result of an aging population since the prevalence of neurological disorders increases as people grow old. These disorders include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain tumors, and neurological infections. According to estimates, between 2012 and 2022, there should be an eighteen percent increase in the employment of neurosurgeons.(1)

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