Ever imagined how it feels working inside the brain? Well, considering that the brain is enclosed by the skull cutting into it is not one of the easiest jobs. This means that the brains steering the process have to be smart with several years of studies and practicing.

From the average brain surgeon salary, it’s clear that the profession is quite lucrative and among the most respected occupations. However, not all neurosurgeons get the same reward. Depending on where they are located and other factors, the pay could be high or low.

Do you need to know more about their salaries and other important information about this profession?

Read on to discover more.

What Are The Qualifications Requirements?

In order to become a brain surgeon, there are fundamental requirements that you must meet. First, a bachelor’s degree with another 4 years in graduate school to get a D.O. OR M.D degree is required. Upon successful completion of your medical degree, you need to gain acceptance into a residency training program for brain surgeons. The U.S has more than 100 recognized residence, and the program usually last for an average of 7 years. However, some programs take a short period of 6 years while most of the programs last for 8 years.

Even after a brain surgeon becomes a practitioner, he/she is required to maintain skills acquired by learning throughout and mastering the latest techniques in the medical field. In short, learning never ends in this career as new technologies emerge each day.

Brain Surgeon Income

Perhaps this is the most asked question when it comes to neurosurgery, how much does brain surgeons make? You can hardly guess this wrong; they make a lot of money. As a matter of fact, they are among the top paid physicians.

With such high salaries, the standard definitely have to be strict. This makes brain surgery a career that not everyone can take. It is quite demanding with several cases to handle. If you are not dedicated and willing to sacrifice some things in life, then you might not fare well in this profession. As a result, there are only few brain surgeons existing today.

When compared to other countries, the average brain surgeon salary in America is high with a figure of around $383,000 per year. Canadian brain surgeons follow with an average salary of C$308,000 (US$242,765). Austral pays them approximately AU$252,000 (US$198,657) per year. The pay in countries such as New Zealand and the UK is lower at NZ$200,000 (US$146,396) and ₤100,000 (US$130,212) per year. Brain surgeons with the lowest earnings are those in South Africa and India with a figure of R800,000 (US$59,585) and Rs2, 757,000 (US$43,236).

Find out more information about earnings in different countries here: https://healthcaresalariesguide.com/brain-surgeon-salary/

Hourly Payment Rates

According to Payscale, the average brain surgeon salary of employees working in America is $383,000 per year which translates to approximately $184 per hour. The source also states that 78% of brain surgeons employed in the US are male. However, entry level neurosurgeons have slightly lower earnings as compared to the national average of experienced, mid-career and late career neurosurgeons.

A beginner is paid $101,858 per year while those with experience have higher earnings gaining up to $813,581 yearly. The salary comprises of around $1,028 to $116,968 bonuses, approximately $347,319 profit sharing income and $347,319 commission yearly.

However, the hourly earning rate is influenced by several factors such as the number of surgical procedures performed, total weekly working hours and the charges for each procedure.

The employment rates and salaries also vary from one state to another in the US, check out the statistics here https://healthcaresalariesguide.com/brain-surgeon-salary/.

Why is The Average Income Different?

You might be wondering what makes some neurosurgeon earn more than others. The disparity in income levels is influenced by man factors which includes the level of training, experience, sub-specialty and the environmental setting. Even though there are other factors that impact their salaries, these are the key influential factors.

So, let’s look at them.

1. Level of experience; like other fields, experience counts a lot to what a neurosurgeon earns. A starting brain surgeon normally earns a salary of $350,000. After 6 years in the practice, the pay could rise up to $600,000. According to a report by the Neurosurgery Market Watch publication, brain surgeons having between 6 and 15 years experience earn an average salary of $914,796.

2. Level of training; while there are standard qualifications required, brain surgeons can also be certified by boards. This implies gaining recognition by an institution that is acknowledged by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Even though the qualifications are different, most of them include written or oral exams, continuing education, competence assessments, unrestricted license, full-time practices and acquisition of certificates at different levels.

3. Sub-specialties; this implies to the kind of practice the brain surgeon is involved in. Does he/she treat patients, teach or conduct research? Neurosurgeons could decide to focus on a certain subs-specialty of neurosurgery mostly depending on the compensation to be gained. Some of the well-known sub-specialties include spine and nerves, stereotactic, cerebrovascular, emergency trauma, pediatrics, pain management and tumors.

4. Environmental Setting; if you think that brain surgeons practice under similar environments then you are wrong. The different environmental setting they work in has great impact on the salary they earn. For instance, a neurosurgeon working on a specialty hospital will earn a higher amount that his counterpart working at an outpatient care centers.

Job Outlook

Brain surgery is the most reputable medical specialty in hospitals. With a positive job outlook, the employment level of brain surgeons is set to increase to march with the rising population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this employment rate is expected to rise by 14% in 2024. So, if you are interested in joining this profession, the future is bright.

The projected rise in the number of brain surgeons required in the US hospitals can be linked to the increase in cardiovascular cases and brain diseases in the past few years. Additionally, the continuous increase in elderly population is another contributing factor.


The average brain surgeon salary is incomparable with other specialties in the healthcare sector. However, the pay is influenced by various factors such as the level of experience and the geographical location of the practitioner. These factors are responsible for the disparity in neurosurgeon’s earnings. The high income is also attributed to the lengthy learning period required, the stressful working environment and long working hours demanded by the profession.

Author's Bio: 

Hey there, I’m Nancy and I’m absolutely in love with food and health blogs. I’m on a mission to share my insider cooking, food and health tips with all of you…