Thursday, July 29, 2010

How Much Do Anesthesiologists Make?

Here is the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The numbers come from May 2009, the last reporting period available.  According to the BLS there were 37,450 anesthesiologists employed in the U.S. as of May 2009.  Their mean hourly wage was $101.80.  Their mean annual wage was $211,750.  Anesthesiologists who are in group practice made the most, with a mean annual salary of $221,010.  Academic anesthesiologists made the least money with a salary of $139,490.

The top five states that paid the most money were Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Missouri.  The top five states that are the most crowded with anesthesiologists are Hawaii, Kentucky, Tennessee, Delaware, and Arizona.

You can also create a custom chart on the BLS website.  For instance, you can compare the salaries of California, New York, and Texas anesthesiologists.  Interestingly all three states employ similar numbers of anesthesiologists: 3450, 3220, 3620, respectively.  The mean annual salaries of all three states are likewise similar: $219,000; $220,000; $196,000, respectively.  However the bottom tenth percentile wage earners are significantly different.  The lowest tenth percentile of CA anesthesiologists made $50.53 per hour.  The lowest NY anesthesiologists made only $29.26 per hour.  Then comes poor Texas.  Their lowest rung anesthesiologists made $12.88.  Seriously?  An anesthesiologist that makes only $12/hr?  The mean annual salaries of the three states' anesthesiologists also show a similar discrepancy.  The bottom tenth percentile salaries of the three states are $105,090; $60,850; and $26,790, respectively.  Again, really Texas?  I can't imagine an anesthesiologist that makes poverty level wages.  But then again they may be a leading indicator of where medicine  and doctors' salaries are headed in this country.


  1. Are you being intentionally dishonest? You know the numbers you cite are way too low. These might be mean _starting_ salaries, but even then they're low. I work in Texas and I'm going to make $375k this year. I don't know anyone working full-time for less than $275k (new grads).

    Have a look at the latest RAND group survey of the job market for anesthesiology:

    Have a look at table 3.7, where the _lowest_ average salary for MD anesthesiologists across the four regions is 316,614, and the national mean is 337,551, with an average national hourly rate of 127.98. This jibes with my understanding of the market.

    You may hate Obama's changes to the healthcare industry, but please don't mislead your readers.

  2. I'm only citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. I didn't make those numbers up--go to their website which I linked if you don't believe me. If you disagree with their methodology write them a letter.

  3. What the Dept. of Labor did was take the average hourly wage and multiple it by a "normal" work week (40 hrs) and the normal weeks worked per year (around 50). This is why their numbers are so low. If you use their same method but instead multiple by the actual "normal" work week (62 hrs) then you are looking at a salary that is much closer to what was reported in the Rand doc. Math, it was created so we could mislead with conviction.