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Pediatric surgeons are medical doctors who provide surgical treatments for conditions affecting patients from pre-birth to adolescence. Although income is typically reported on an annual basis, it is possible to estimate the hourly and monthly earnings. The median pediatric surgeon salary is $430,324, roughly $207 per hour or $35,860 per month.
Pediatric surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions and diseases in children. Their patients may include premature and full-term infants with birth defects, children and adolescents who have suffered traumatic injuries and young patients with cancer. A few highly trained specialists perform surgery during the fetal stage of a child's development in cases where life-threatening abnormalities are detected in pregnancy.
Pediatric surgery is a sub-specialty of pediatrics, the branch of medicine dedicated to children and adolescents. Preprofessional education begins with a bachelor's degree, usually in life sciences, chemistry or mathematics. Prospective applicants to medical school should expect the admissions process to be highly competitive. Medical schools typically seek candidates with a strong background in science, grade point average of at least 3.6 and a score of 510 or higher on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
Medical school requires four years of study. The first two years include lecture and laboratory courses in advanced life sciences and medical topics. During the final two years, students complete supervised clinical rotations in a variety of specialty areas to gain knowledge and experience, and to help them choose a future career path. Students must pass competency exams midway and at the end of medical school to secure licensure.
After medical school, newly graduated physicians undertake residency training to prepare them for practice in their chosen specialties. The length of a residency can vary according to the requirements for specialty practice. Prospective pediatric surgeons must first complete five years of residency in a general surgery program and become board certified. Only then are they eligible for a two-year fellowship in the sub-specialty of pediatric surgery. Upon successful completion of the fellowship, pediatric surgeons receive further certification. This must be renewed every 10 years to demonstrate competency and knowledge of the most up-to-date information regarding pediatric surgical care. Pediatric surgeons may choose to further specialize in pediatric orthopedic surgery or pediatric oncology.
Pediatric surgeons work in large community hospitals, children's hospitals and university-based medical centers. Patients and their families are referred to pediatric surgeons by other doctors, including primary care physicians and pediatricians. Pediatric surgeons are part of a team of health-care professionals trained to serve the needs of pediatric patients.
Salary and Job Outlook
Surgeons rarely work an eight-hour day or a 40-hour week, so it is difficult to calculate hourly and monthly wages accurately. You can estimate hourly and weekly earnings by taking the annual salary and dividing it by numbers typically used in wage calculations. The median salary for a pediatric surgeon is $430,324, meaning half in the profession earn more while half earn less. For the average worker, there are 2,080 work hours in a year. Divide the annual salary by the number of work hours to get the hourly wage:
Annual Salary/Number of Work Hours in a Year = Hourly Wage
$430,324/2080 = $206.87
To get the monthly wage, divide by the annual salary by 12:
Annual Salary/Number of Months in a Year = Monthly Wage
$430,324/12 = $35,860.33
Remember that the calculations for monthly and hourly wages are only rough estimates. They are based on the median salary and do not account for various factors, including geographical location, employer, type of practice and number of hours actually worked. Annual salaries for pediatric surgeons can range from $347,676 to $539,011. For comparison purposes, a trauma surgeon salary is in the range of $337,866 to $461,383. A radiation oncologist salary is in the range of $340,047 to $453,189.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not make projections for pediatric surgeons specifically, but predicts the outlook for physicians and surgeons in all specialties will remain strong, with an expected job growth rate of 13 percent. This is higher than average compared to all other jobs. Population increases, including increases in the number of children in the U.S., will contribute to the demand for pediatric specialists, including pediatric surgeons.
Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for eHow.com, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.