Hair transplant surgeons are cosmetic or plastic surgeons specializing in this highly specialized form of surgery that is as much an art form as it is a science. The salaries of these surgeons rivals that of the highest paid surgeons in just about any field.
The average salary of transplant surgeons varies by location. According to Salary Expert's survey of transplant surgeons' salaries in 10 major U.S. cities, average salaries ranged from as low as $219,254 per year in Houston to as high as $468,144 per year in Dallas. Those working in other major cities such as New York and Los Angeles made salaries of $396,951 and $435,741, respectively. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average salary of all surgeons was considerably less at $225,390 per year.
Placing the salary of transplant surgeons within the larger context of cosmetic surgeon salaries nationwide can be helpful. According the 2009 Physician Compensation Survey conducted by the American Medical Group Association, the median salary for cosmetic and plastic surgeons was $388,929 per year. The median starting salary for those in the plastic and cosmetic surgery field was $300,000 annually.
Becoming a hair transplant surgeon requires that the surgeon complete much of the same training as is required by other plastic surgeons. After the completion of four years of medical school, the transplant surgeon typically completes about three years of general surgery training as a surgical resident. An additional three or more years is usually needed as a plastic surgeon resident, working under the direction of another qualified plastic surgeon. Those wanting to work as hair transplant surgeons should complete their residency with another surgeon who works in that specialty.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for physicians and surgeons should occur at a rate of about 22 percent during the decade from 2008 to 2018. Plastic and cosmetic surgeons should benefit from the demographic trends fueling this job growth. The bureau indicates that the average age of the overall population will continue to increase during this period. Conditions associated with aging such as male pattern baldness may provide hair transplant surgeons with plenty of work.