Neurosurgeon Salary Guide and Career Outlook

Neurosurgeons undergo extensive training and education to be able to practice medicine and operate on our central nervous system. Because of this and the high amount of responsibility they have in their job, the average salary is very high regardless of country. The neurosurgeon salary in the United States is $380,234. In Canada and New Zealand, they see a salary of they earn an average of C$316,813 and NZ$300,000.

This article will cover various aspects that impact the neurosurgeon salary. Areas to be covered are they country they work in and the type industry to the impact of experience.

man making a neurosurgeon salary

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make per Year by Country?

The table below shows the median salaries in seven countries. There are annual and hourly rates.

Neurosurgeon SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$97.00C$95.00 ($72.84)E37.00 ($39.63)$124.86* ($94.44)NZ$144.23* ($104.02)Rs 1,177 ($17.34)R391.69 ($29.10)
Annual Pay$380,234C$316,813 ($242,926)E99,133 ($105,186)AU$259,720 ($196,452)NZ$300,000 ($216,359)Rs 2,450,153 ($36,088)R814,723 ($60,525)

* These amounts are estimated from the annual pay. An hourly rate was not listed.

Neurosurgeon Salary Influencing Factors

While different resources that cover salaries will show a range of incomes depending on the sample they are drawing from, a general sense of the money earned in respective countries is taken from Payscale. The only country that did not have data was New Zealand. In New Zealand, there are disputes over the high reported wages of surgeons.

1. Location

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in the US?

The neurosurgeon salary in the United States is US$101,529 to US$758,431. A bonus up to $116,484 and profit sharing of $365,841 is earned annually by these professionals. Their commission averages $93,060. An hourly rate is reported to be $25.83 to $311.13 with an overtime rate of $29.09 to $519. The total pay is $101,213 to $784,892 dollars.

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in Canada?

The salary range for neurosurgeons in Canada is C$101,125 to C$548,842. They see a bonus of C$19,653 dollars. The hourly rate is C$95.00 with an overtime rate of C$42.50. The total salary is C$102,825 to C$539,913.

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in the UK?

The comprehensive salary for neurosurgeons in the United Kingdom is anywhere from E38,337 to E355,233. A bonus of E90,000 and a profit share of E7,500 is reported. The estimated hourly rate is E37.50 with an overtime rate of E7.83 to E302.01. The base salary is E38,337 to E355,233.

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in Australia?

The 10th percentile of earners in Australia make AU$97,663 annually, and the 90th percentile make AU$558,722 annually. There are no reported profit shares or commissions for neurosurgeons. The bonus is AU$45,333. The total pay is AU$97,105 to AU$588,160.

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in New Zealand?

Neurosurgeons in New Zealand are considered specialist consultants. Their base salary is anywhere from NZ$151,000 to NZ$600,000. When they are training the salary is NZ$70,000 to NZ$75,000. There is some contention in New Zealand about how much more they make than general practitioners. In some instances, it can be four times as much.

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in India?

Annually, neurologists in India earn a salary band from Rs 744,481 to Rs 7,046,741. This is a large range, and the median salary is closer to the 10th percentile of earners than the 90th percentile. A small bonus of Rs 50,868 and profit share of Rs 50,000 can be earned. The total salary is Rs 745,303 to Rs 7,633,970.

How Much Does a Neurosurgeon Make in South Africa?

Neurosurgeons in South Africa see a salary of R392,616 to R5,985,733. A small bonus is R20,000 is earned. There is no reported bonus, profit share, commission, or hourly rate. The total pay is the same as the base salary.

2. Experience

Having a neurosurgeon career means that an individual has had to go through many years of schooling and spend a significant amount of money on their education. Therefore, they all are compensated nicely. However, the increases with experience vary depending on the country.

The United States has consistent but modest salary increases. In the United States, they are 18% below the median while later career neurosurgeons are 15% above the median. In all of the other countries, there is a large pay difference between entry-level and later-career neurosurgeons. The difference in India is 159% while in Australia it is 113%.

3. Industry

All neurosurgeons work in some domain of health care. They can work in solo practice, as part of a health care team, in a hospital, or at a university. Approximately 10% of them are self-employed. That means that the neurosurgeon salary may differe in their case. These professionals who work in a group setting can rotate care and schedule designated time-off.

The highest paying industries are specialty hospitals, medical laboratories, local government, and physician offices. The states with the highest number of surgeons are California, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The states with the highest mean salary are Wyoming, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Oregon, and North Dakota.

Naturally, neurosurgeons who can perform more complex procedures will be more in-demand and compensated for their skill level.

Schedule & Working Hours

Neurosurgeons who work in hospital settings may have to work long hours including evening, overnight, weekend, and holiday shifts. However, those who are self-employed or work in private practice can set their own hours. These are likely to be typical office hours. The vast majority of neurosurgeons work full-time.

It is likely that these professionals have to be on-call just in case there is an emergency or a patient needs a consultation. They have a specialty that other people do not have and thus are the only experts who can address neurosurgery medical situations.

Bonuses & Benefits

Neurosurgeons experience a high degree of job stability. Those who work in medical practices or hospitals will have access to a suite of benefits. These include paid time off, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, and programs like child care and flexible savings accounts and an employee assistance program.

Those who are self-employed or work in private practice do not receive employer benefits. However, they have flexibility over when and how often they work and receive a higher salary.

The table below shows the health care benefits that these professionals earn in respective countries.

CountryAustraliaCanadaIndiaSouth AfricaUnited StatesUnited KingdomNew Zealand

Career Outlook

Due to the aging United States population, neurosurgeons will see a place in working with patients who have traumatic brain injuries. In general, physicians are expected to see a 14% growth in positions by the year 2024. There is uncertainty in that number based on new technologies and health insurance. When more people have health insurance, the use of doctors is likely to increase whereas when there is less comprehensive health insurance, people may be hesitant to get medical care due to increases in out-of-pocket costs.

Neurosurgeons, like all physicians, who want to work in rural or low socioeconomic areas, will have ample job opportunities. It will be interesting to see if the increased awareness on the impact of concussions raises the profile of neurosurgeons. Concussions can increase the likelihood of chronic traumatic encephalopathy which is a degenerative disease of the brain.


The neurosurgeon salary is excellent, but they are expected to work full-time and long hours. They may have to work evenings, weekends, or holidays. They experience job stability and opportunities to work on a variety of medical cases. Neurosurgeons also experience high-stress situations and have a large amount of responsibility. The latter is shared within the operating room, and you can check out the anesthesiologist salary to see which might be a more suitable job for you.

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