Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary Guide and Career Outlook

Cardiothoracic surgeons earn a mean pay of $36,864 in the United States, C$256,000 ($206,228 USD) in Canada, and £86,000 ($117,629 USD) in the United Kingdom. The average sits at AU$212,500 ($167,204 USD) for cardiothoracic surgeons in Australia and NZD$443,504 ($317,969 USD) in New Zealand. In India, cardiothoracic surgeons make INR24,04,000 (INR2,404,000 in Western form) ($37,947 USD). For those in South Africa, the mean is R601,730 ($48,972 USD).

cardiothoracic surgeon salary

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make per Year by State?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$177.34C$123.08£41.35AU$102.16NZD$213INR1,155.77R289.29
Annual Pay$368,864C$256,000£86,000AU$212,500NZD$443,504INR24,04,000R601,730

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary Influencing Factors

Experience factors significantly into earnings for cardiothoracic surgeries, with pay rising as years of practice accumulate. Within particular countries, certain cities afford higher pay. Cardiothoracic surgeons generally earn more as private practitioners or with private sector providers. Those who operate within government-funded systems normally get less pay.

1. Location

According to PayScale, cardiothoracic surgeons in New York City earn 14 percent above the national average of $368,864.  In Sydney, the mean pay for cardiothoracic surgeons is more than double the national average (111 percent above) in Australia.

SalaryExpert reports the mean for cardiothoracic surgeons in Wellington, New Zealand reaches NZD$444,710, slightly above the national mean of NZD$443,504. Earnings in Auckland, New Zealand creep slightly above average, at NZD$443,725. Cardiothoracic surgeons in Christchurch average NZD$438,287, less than the national mean in New Zealand.

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in the US?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary USPer YearPer Hour
Bonus$760 to $101,488$0.37 to $48.79
Total Pay$128,895 to $612,680

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in Canada?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary CanadaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayC$147,395 to C$594,952

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in the UK?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary UKPer YearPer Hour
Total Pay£43,000 to £174,524

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in Australia?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary AustraliaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayAU$96,095 to AU$567,230

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in New Zealand?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary New ZealandPer YearPer Hour
Total PayNZD$287,644 to NZD$662,492

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in India?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary IndiaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayINR865,553 to INR5,794,547

How Much Does a Cardiothoracic Surgeon Make in South Africa?

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Salary South AfricaPer YearPer Hour
Total PayR243,282 to R1,972,651

2. Experience

PayScale reports entry-level salaries for cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States at $298,000. At the five to ten-year experience level, pay rises to $346,000, while earnings peak at $464,000 for those with ten to 20 years of practice. Beyond 20 years of experience, a cardiothoracic surgeon can expect a mean of $422,000.

According to SalaryExpert, cardiothoracic surgeons in New Zealand earn NZD$287,644 at entry-level. Upon accumulating at least eight years, these surgeons can expect to make NZD$618,186 on a mean basis.

In India, the pay for cardiothoracic surgeons with five to ten years of experience runs 87 percent above the national mean of INR24,04,000. Entry-level practitioners in India make two percent above the national mean.

3. Industry

The field includes a number of settings, both public and private sector. Hospitals and private practices employ the majority of cardiothoracic surgeons. As of 2014, nearly two-thirds of Canada’s cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons worked in an “Academic Health Sciences Center.” Community hospitals accounted for 12 percent, while another 11 percent worked in non-academic hospitals.

Surgeons in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, including cardiothoracic surgeons, earn between £37,500 and £70,000 as specialty doctors. Consultant surgeons fetch from £76,000 to £102,500. According to PayScale, the pay range runs from £37,095 to £174,524.

In New Zealand, many surgeons, including cardiothoracic surgeons, come under the employ of a district health board. The salary range for DHB surgeons starts at NZD$151,000 and reaches NZD$212,000. According to the New Zealand government’s career information portal, cardiothoracic surgeons in private practice can fetch as much as NZD$600,000.

Schedule & Working Hours

Full-time work, well exceeding 40 hours per week, is common among the cardiothoracic surgery field. According to the Canadian Medical Association, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons in the country worked almost 70 hours per week. In 2014, the average time spent on direct on-call care of patients amounted to 49 hours per month.

Shifts involve pre-surgical diagnosis and discussions with patients, the surgeries and follow-up examinations. Surgeries can occur at most times. With the number of steps involved in these procedures, cardiothoracic surgeons may spend several hours with a patient in the operating room. AS a result, some surgeries may begin in the early mornings. Emergency surgeries necessitate weekends, holidays and other irregular times.

Bonuses & Benefits

Approximately 95 percent of cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States enjoyed medical coverage. Nearly seven out of ten had dental care, while vision constitute part of the benefits for 63 percent of these practitioners.

According to PayScale, medical benefits go to 92 percent of cardiothoracic surgeons in Canada. The rates for dental and vision benefits stand at 54 percent and 38 percent respectively. In the United Kingdom, 88 percent have medical coverage provided through work, while 38 percent enjoy vision.

For cardiothoracic surgeons in Australia, the medical benefits rate is 88 percent. One out of four have dental coverage, while 38 percent get vision. For cardiothoracic surgeons in India, the employer-furnished medical coverage rate stands at 78 percent. Roughly 11 percent have dental benefits and 11 percent receive vision care.

PayScale reports that 83 percent of cardiothoracic surgeons in South Africa receive medical coverage as a job benefit. One in six have vision benefits and 17 percent get dental care.

Other benefits may include help with student loan payments, moving, signing bonuses and participation in profit sharing plans. Cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States get $50,000 in profit-sharing on average.

Career Outlook

Qualified cardiothoracic surgeons will experience considerable demand for their services. As populations age, they will potentially face heart diseases and other disorders involving the lungs and chest that require cardiothoracic surgery. Increased access to healthcare will generate a greater demand for surgeries and diagnostic tests that may result in thoracic procedures.

An April 30, 2015, analysis posted by the American College of Cardiology states that the United States could run 1,500 short of needed cardiothoracic surgeons by 2020.

In Canada, the ratio in 2015 of cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons stood at one for every 100,000 residents. This translates to 363 practicing surgeons in the country.

New graduates in particular may encounter difficulties in finding work in Canada. As reported in the University of Toronto Medical Journal, survey participants rated job prospects for cardiac surgeons in Ontario as “Difficult/very difficult.”

The National Health Service reports 363 consultants in cardiothoracic surgery in England. It also suggests that entry into the field is fairly competitive. In 2016, the United Kingdom had at least ten applicants for every available position of first-year training in the cardiothoracic specialty. For the third level of cardiothoracic surgery, the competition ratio stood at 6.75 applicants per available space.

Projections by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon state that Australia will need 182 cardiothoracic surgeons by 2026 to maintain the 2010 ratio of one for every 146,000 people. In 2010, the country had 153 cardiothoracic surgeons. To keep the ratio of surgeons to individuals age 65 and over at the 2010 ratio will require 212 in the field. Australia saw 153 cardiothoracic surgeons in 2010.

India has seen a drop of around 24 percent in professionals applying for cardiothoracic surgical residency programs. According to a May 8, 2015 article on, surgeons performed annually 140,000 cardiothoracic surgeries, equating to a ratio of 130 for every one million India residents.


Pay prospects for cardiothoracic surgeons should prove solid. With shortages of cardiothoracic surgeons in many areas comes a high demand for their services. Those seeking jobs should find them where facilities and support for surgical services abound.

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