How Much Do Anesthesiologists Make?

anesthesiologist job descriptionIn general, an anesthesiologist is a medical professional responsible for patient care before, during, and after they receive surgical procedures. They administer anesthesia and monitor the patient’s vitals to ensure they are as comfortable as possible.

An anesthesiologist meets with patients to review their medical history before any procedures are carried out. They talk through the process and their involvement with the patient, and answer any questions they may have.

There is a great deal of responsibility involved in administering the correct amount of anesthesia, and continually checking for any adjustments during a surgical procedure. Working as part of a surgical team along with doctors and nurses is mandatory, so having good communication skills is essential.

Anesthesiologist Salary

So, how much do anesthesiologists make? According to figures published by the US Department of Labor, the median annual salary is $267,020.

anesthesiologist salaryPutting anesthesiologists among the highest paid US professionals, somewhat reflecting the importance and responsibility carried by the role.

An anesthesiologist starting salary is around the $160,000 per year as reflected by the lowest 10%. The starting wage varies for a number of reasons, like; geographic location, experience, area of specialty, and level of qualifications.

Anesthesiologists working in metropolitan areas generally earn considerably more than those working in rural locations. This is due to the cost of medical care in these areas, and the amount of work. Geographically Pennsylvania is among the highest salary areas, while Mississippi is near the lowest.

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Offices of Physicians 1.03$123.19$256,230
Outpatient Care Centers 0.08$116.42$242,150
Offices of Health Practitioners 0.02$103.81$215,930
Medical and Surgical Hospitals 0.06$92.29$191,970
Specialty Hospitals 0.09$91.62$190,570

Anesthesiologists Job Description

what do anesthesiologists doBecoming an anesthesiologist takes many years of study and qualifications, so what do anesthesiologists do? Anesthesiologists are health care physicians who have a core responsibility for a patient’s pain relief.

Anesthesiologists administer anesthetics to patients, before, during, and after surgical procedures. Anesthetics are medicines used to prevent patients feeling pain and discomfort while being operated on. The patient’s vitals need to be monitored closely while administering the medicine to ensure there are no complications, while if there are the anesthesiologist is required to take action.

Anesthesiologists also tend to patients with conditions causing them chronic pain, either due to surgery or independent of any surgery. Covering conditions such as neurological illness, or respiratory issues. Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering more than 90% of all anesthetics used in healthcare.

The anesthesiologist plays a key role in monitoring the patient’s vital signs during surgery. They monitor the patient’s heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, kidney function and breathing. There are a number of high-tech machinery used in modern medical practice, but overseeing the machines is necessary for the safety of the patient.

Post-surgery there are a number of responsibilities that carry on. There are drugs administered to reverse the effects of the aesthetic used during surgery, and the patient care carries on for some time after surgery. It’s the anesthesiologist who typically signs off the patient as clear to leave the recovery ward when they have fully recovered.

There are three main types of anesthesia, these are as follows:

• General – A strong aesthetic that renders a patient unconscious, freeing them of any pain or sensation.
• Regional – An aesthetic numbing the area of the patient being operated on.
• Local – The mildest form of aesthetic used to numb a specific area of the patient’s body being operated on.

An anesthesiologist career path can be seen as fairly static in terms of job progression. The duration of operations and levels of responsibility will escalate over time, but often an entire career can be seen out in the same hospital.

The profession of an anesthesiologist is often carried out in outpatient facilities and hospitals, as these are the facilities where operations are performed. Typically working as part of a team, and liaising with other medical staff throughout a patient’s care.

Carrying out the job to a high standard requires intelligence, diligence, and years of training and studying. Technical skills need to be learned, and good communication is a key asset. Being a compassionate person with good bedside manner is always a huge advantage in healthcare, and certainly an advantage to the role.

Anesthesiologist Job Outlook

Employment for anesthesiologists are expected to trend upwards between 2016 and 2026 by 15%, resulting in an expected increase of 5,100 new jobs. This is faster growth than the average US profession, giving the job a positive outlook.

This positive increase is largely due to the rate that the healthcare industry is expanding. In the US there is an ever increasing aging population, and healthcare is becoming more widely and easily available to more people. Having a direct impact on the amount of healthcare professionals needed to service the demand.

Most of the growth is expected to be in the low-income sector as medical insurance becomes more readily available. However, the medical professions are always under threat from new technologies being introduced. Some facilities save costs by using physician and nursing professionals in place of anesthesiologists where the work allows, while sudden changes in the healthcare service can have an unexpected impact on growth too.

Anesthesiologist Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama0.382$124.40$258,760
Alaska FlagAlaska
Arizona FlagArizona0.267$121.15$251,990
Arkansas FlagArkansas0.125$122.57$254,940
California FlagCalifornia0.143$119.90$249,400
Colorado flagColorado$105.03$218,460
Connecticut FlagConnecticut0.22$121.50$252,730
Delaware flagDelaware
Florida FlagFlorida0.271$119.92$249,440
Georgia FlagGeorgia0.115$114.07$237,260
Hawaii FlagHawaii
Idaho FlagIdaho0.227$109.17$227,070
Illinois FlagIllinois0.224$96.76$201,270
Indiana FlagIndiana0.179
Iowa FlagIowa0.258$124.05$258,010
Kansas FlagKansas
Kentucky FlagKentucky0.35
Louisiana FlagLouisiana0.196$121.58$252,880
Maine FlagMaine
Maryland FlagMaryland0.15
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts0.279$119.32$248,180
Michigan FlagMichigan0.16$126.60$263,320
Minnesota FlagMinnesota0.38$112.69$234,400
Mississippi FlagMississippi0.066
Missouri FlagMissouri0.366$109.88$228,550
Montana FlagMontana
Nebraska FlagNebraska0.152
Nevada FlagNevada$123.70$257,300
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire0.137
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey0.347
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico0.14
New York FlagNew York0.33$112.56$234,130
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina0.217
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota
Ohio FlagOhio0.206$118.12$245,690
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma0.159
Oregon FlagOregon0.291
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania0.271$119.93$249,460
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina0.175$109.40$227,540
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota
Tennessee FlagTennessee0.196
Texas FlagTexas0.228$117.95$245,330
Utah FlagUtah0.318$99.38$206,710
Vermont FlagVermont0.225$77.84$161,910
Virginia FlagVirginia0.142$101.13$210,360
Washington FlagWashington0.28$124.13$258,190
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia0.333$118.82$247,150
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin0.183
Wyomin FlagWyoming0.238

Anesthesiologist Career Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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