Anesthesiologist Salary: How Much Should You Be Making?

There are a variety of factors that affect an anesthesiologist’s salary.

This article will help you determine your deserved income range based on your situation. We’ll then discuss how best to protect this income and plan for the future.


What’s the Average Anesthesiologist Salary?

According to Medscape, the average anesthesiologist salary in 2023 was $448,000.

Yet, when you compare that with the data from the most recent information on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, there is a significant gap.

According to, anesthesiologists’ mean annual wage is only $302,970.

Does this jump in salary for an anesthesiologist cause you some skepticism about the Medscape survey’s accuracy?

Hopefully, you’ll feel more confident when you look at the numbers from other sources.

According to, anesthesiologists can make anywhere between $369,800 to $483,900, with the median salary being $426,800. Many other career trend websites have similar numbers.

The Medscape survey reported that 58% of anesthesiologists feel fairly compensated. 75% would stick with their choice of specialty if they could choose again.

This is good news for those who want to become an anesthesiologist. All in all, they are physicians that are reasonably content in their career. (Though, that doesn’t mean that an anesthesiologist can’t improve their situation.)

Related: How Much Do Pain Management Specialists Make?

Factors That Affect an Anesthesiologist Salary

An anesthesiologist may be able to review their current situation and make some adjustments that could significantly influence their base salary.

Below are the factors that can affect how much an anesthesiologist makes.

Years of Experience

In early anesthesiology, a resident will earn $61,300 in their first year, according to Medscape’s 2023 Resident Salary and Debt Report. 

With each completed year of residency, the salary will increase slightly.

According to compensation data from, anesthesiologists steadily earn more as they gain experience in the field.

The national average salary of an entry-level anesthesiologist is $303,000. After gaining five years of experience, the average salary of an anesthesiologist jumps to $309,000.

An anesthesiologist with over ten years of experience can expect to earn $347,000. An anesthesiologist with more than two decades of experience can earn $365,000 or more.

The average pay of anesthesiologists increases with experience. However, the final numbers are also heavily dependent on location and practice type.


As with all medical positions, the cost of living and demand comes into play when determining an anesthesiologist’s expected earnings. However, specific locations pay a higher wage.

According to the ZipRecruiter, some of the top-paying states for anesthesiologist jobs are:

  1. New Jersey, averaging $418,014
  2. Wyoming, averaging $414,979
  3. Wisconsin, averaging $409,510
  4. Washington, averaging, $408,484
  5. Massachusetts, averaging $406,656

These statistics also show that the lowest-paying states for anesthesiologist jobs are:

  • Florida, averaging $318,846
  • Arkansas, averaging $305,852
  • West Virginia, averaging $274,148

In terms of cities, ZipRecruiter says the top-paying locations are all in California (San Jose, Oakland, Hayward, and Antioch). Seattle and Norwood, MA follow close behind).

Type of Practice

The type of practice that employs an anesthesiologist will also play a big part in salary ranges.

Here’s how the Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down anesthesiologist salaries by type of practice:

  1. Outpatient Care Centers: $373,720
  2. Offices of Other Health Practitioners: $361,350
  3. Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals: $346,020
  4. Offices of Physicians: $311,030
  5. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $287,880


Another factor that can help increase an anesthesiologist’s total compensation is how many incentives they earn.

According to Medscape, anesthesiologists receive an average $68,000 in bonuses during the past year.

Anesthesiologists and Their Student Loan Debt

Medscape data for 2023 states that more than 73% of all doctors have some student loan debt, and about half of all doctors have over $200,000 in medical school debt.

According to’s 2023 Report on Student Loan Debt, this starts with undergraduate debt, with an average of $14,296 in debt for those aged 24 and younger. If not tackled early, student loan debt can linger into old age, with those aged 62 and over still facing an average of $45,636 in student loan debt.

This large sum of debt can weigh very heavily on a physician’s financial future.

To aid the process of becoming financially stable, look for the best and fastest way to pay off your medical student loans.

Many physicians coming out of medical school aren’t aware of all the possibilities available to help them save thousands in debt.

Ready to ditch that debt for good? Read our Full Breakdown to Medical School Student Loans.

Subspecialties for Anesthesiologists & Their Salary

Anesthesiologist supplies
As specialized as anesthesiology is, there are still sub-specialties in this field of medicine. Below are four of the most common and how these rank in terms of compensation.

Obstetrical Anesthesias

An obstetrical anesthesiologist’s job title includes the use of anesthetics to aid in delivering a baby or reducing the pain of birthing.

This sub-specialty is one of the highest-earning in anesthesiology, according to Payscale. An entry-level obstetrical anesthesiologist can expect to earn an average salary of $327,500 per year.

Recovery and Post Anesthesia Care

After a patient has been under anesthesia, they still need monitoring as they are recovering to ensure there are no complications. There is a sub-specialty in anesthesia that cares for these patients.

The job description of an anesthesiologist in recovery and post-anesthesia care includes being responsible for these patients.

Entry-level anesthesiologists with this sub-specialty can start out making $271,564 per year, according to Payscale.

Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

ZipRecruiter has the average income of an entry-level cardiothoracic anesthesiologist as $355,235 per year. However, the earners in the top 90th percentile can earn $400,000 in a year.

These numbers show a wide range of earning potential for a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist depending on varying factors.

Pain Medicine

Moreover, anesthesiologists who specialize in pain medicine earn on the low end of the spectrum for an annual salary.

According to Payscale, anesthesiologists in pain management can begin their career earning $271,515 annually.

Pediatric Anesthesiology

Although ZipRecruiter has the national average annual salary of a pediatric anesthesiologist listed as $393,215.

Yet again, many factors can significantly affect the income of this sub-specializing anesthesiologist.

Learn how anesthesiologist salaries compare to those of other specialties in our Salary and Compensation Library.

How to Negotiate Your Anesthesiology Employment Contract

Now that you know your value as an anesthesiologist, the next step is to learn how to negotiate your income effectively. Despite a physician’s confidence in the operating room, negotiating with an employer can be intimidating.

To simplify the process, consider professional assistance for a contract review before finalization. This is crucial whether you’re entering a new position, renewing a contract, renegotiating, or exiting.

Ensure your employment contract covers these key areas clearly:

  • Compensation and benefits
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Partnership and ownership agreements
  • Begin and end dates
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Termination details
  • Insurance requirements

Disability Insurance to Protect Your Anesthesiologist Salary

Although it isn’t something that we want to imagine, disability can happen to us all.

What would happen to your finances if you become unable to work due to injury or illness?

Disability insurance comes to the rescue in a situation such as this. It’s a smart investment that will help you protect your income in case of emergencies.

Not all disability insurance policies are created equal. We can help you find the right plan for you. Contact us today.

Building a Retirement From Your Anesthesiologist Salary

The earlier that a physician begins to plan their finances toward retirement, the earlier they will be able to retire. Therefore, it is critical that a physician does not put off retirement planning until they are ready to retire.

Nonetheless, as an anesthesiologist with a high salary, you have a few options to consider as a retirement fund. Those available to them are dependent on the form of employment they choose.

For anesthesiologists employed full-time by a healthcare organization, they will gain a 401k plan if they work for a company that makes a profit.

For anesthesiologists that are self-employed or partners in private practice, they can still have a 401k plan. But, they also have additional options to contribute to their retirement fund and qualify for tax deductions.

These include money purchase plans, profit-sharing plans, and defined benefit plans. Both self- and direct-employed anesthesiologists can benefit from making contributions to a Roth IRA fund.

Related: The Complete Guide to Physician Retirement Planning.

Effective Tax Planning

Sign reading "taxes" laying on a pile of paper money
Moreover, taxes are never simple, especially when you work at such a high-paying job. An anesthesiologist should always consider enlisting the help of a professional when filling out their taxes.

This one step can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Professionals know where to look for tax deductions, exemptions, credits, and other ways  to save you money that you might be missing.

Most people would consider doing their own taxes as a great way to save money.

When you make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, a professional could help you find ways to lower your tax obligation by thousands.

Therefore, anesthesiologists are an essential part of a hospital’s critical care, obstetric, and surgical teams and deserve recognition as such.

Depending on your chosen path in anesthetics and your preferred location to practice, your professional day can vary. Your education and experience qualify you to care for your patients, but you might not feel as capable when it comes to the business of finances.

Physicians Thrive is dedicated to helping anesthesiologists like you earn the highest salary for your specialty. Our team of compensation specialists can set you up financially now and for the future. Click here to contact us now.

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