Orthopedist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

Orthopedists treat disorders and injuries involving joints, bones, ligaments and other parts of the skeletal system. These professionals have as patients those injured in sporting events, work, automobile crashes and other incidents, as well as those who suffer degenerative conditions.

In the United States, orthopedists earn $364,000 on a mean basis, while the figure stands at C$424,659 ($332,585 USD) in Canada. Orthopedists fetch 96,927 ($128,484 USD) in the United Kingdom, AU$250,000 ($189,250 USD) in Australia, and NZD$203,473 ($138,993 USD) in New Zealand. For orthopedists in India, the mean salary comes to INR25,78,659 (INR2,578,659 in western format) ($39,785 USD), while the mean pay is R879,693 ($62,897 USD) for South African orthopedists.

orthopedist salary

How Much Does an Orthopedist Make per Year by State?

Orthopedist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $175 C$204 £46.60 AU$120.19 NZD$97.82 INR1,239.74 R422.93
Annual Pay $364,000 C$424,659 £96,927 AU$250,000 NZD$203,473 INR25,78,659 R879,693

Orthopedist Salary Influencing Factors

As specialists, orthopedists typically rise above general medical practitioners and other professionals in pay. Salary shapers also include the type and location of practice and experience as an orthopedist. Work in private settings, such as solo or group offices, and privately-run hospitals can yield higher pay than work for government health agencies.

1. Location

Within countries, pay varies by cities and communities.

According to PayScale, orthopedic surgeons in Los Angeles earn 10 percent above average. Fellow California cities San Jose and San Francisco have orthopedic surgeons being paid 11 percent and eight percent north of the mean. Midwest cities experience lower than mean pay. In Indianapolis, the median rests at 32 percent below mean. Orthopedic surgeons in Chicago earn 32 percent below the median.

Pay for orthopedic surgeons in Australia’s capital of Sydney runs 80 percent above the national average of AU$250,000, while in Brisbane and Melbourne the earnings fall 14 percent and 17 percent below the mean respectively.

Practitioners in Pretoria, South Africa, earn 1.5 times the national mean of R879,693, while pay stands at 17 percent above the mean for those in Johannesburg. By contrast, the salary level falls to 66 percent below the mean for orthopedic surgeons in Durban, South Africa.

How Much Does an Orthopedist Make in the US?

Orthopedist Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum $119,230 $57.32
Maximum $553,743 $266.22
Bonus $1,750 to $100,000 $0.84 to $48.08
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay $119,230 to $565,581

How Much Does a Orthopedist Make in Canada?

Orthopedist Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum C$271,305 C$130.44
Maximum C$606,548 C$291.61
Bonus C$53,380 C$25.66
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay C$271,305 to C$660,428

How Much Does a Orthopedist Make in the UK?

Orthopedist Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum £52,537 £25.26
Maximum £153,135 £73.62
Bonus £9,000 £4.33
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay £56,321 to £157,812

How Much Does a Orthopedist Make in Australia?

Orthopedist Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum AU$122,775 AU$59.03
Maximum AU$526,618 AU$253.18
Bonus AU$10,000 AU$4.81
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay AU$144,142 to AU$525,079

How Much Does a Orthopedist Make in New Zealand?

Orthopedist Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum NZD$144,759 NZD$69.69
Maximum NZD$496,647 NZD$238.77
Bonus N/A N/A
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay NZD$144,759 to NZD$496,647

How Much Does a Orthopedist Make in India?

Orthopedist Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum INR16,72,862 INR804.26
Maximum INR37,39,966 INR1,798.06
Bonus INR3,24,137 INR154.49
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay INR16,72,862 to INR40,64,103

How Much Does a Orthopedist Make in South Africa?

Orthopedist Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum R103,042 R49.54
Maximum R936,142 R450.07
Bonus R32,500 R15.63
Overtime N/A N/A
Total Pay R103,042 to R936,142 R49.54

2. Experience

According to PayScale, entry-level orthopedic surgeons in the United States earn $343,000 per year on a median basis. The median goes to $371,000 at the five-year experience stage, and gradually climbs to $408,000 after 20 years of experience.

SalaryExpert reports an entry-level pay for Canadian orthopedists at C$271,305, while those who work for eight years or more in the profession make C$606,548.

PayScale reports that new orthopedists earn on a median basis 95,000 in the United Kingdom. Those who achieve five years of experience make 102,000. At the ten-year stage, the median dips to 92,000, then rises to 102,000 for orthopedists who have more than 20 years of experience.

In Australia, new orthopedists see a median salary of AU$199,000. As experience increases, so does the salary in a sharp fashion. With ten years of experience, an orthopedist in that country makes AU$344,000. Twenty years in practice results in a median pay of AU$491,000. In fact, the pay for these late-career specialists is nearly double the national average.

According to Salary Expert, orthopedic surgeons in India make INR16,72,862 with one to three years of experience. With eight or more years of practice, the salary reaches 37,39,966.

In South Africa, “mid-career” orthopedic surgeons earn approximately 33 percent above the mean, while pay sits at 15 percent under average for new orthopedic surgeons.

3. Industry

Orthopedists rank among the highest paid professionals in the medical practice and even labor force overall. Medscape reports that, in 2017, orthopedists occupied the top spot among medical practitioners, at a mean pay of $489,000.

In Australia, the salary of AU$439,629 placed orthopedic surgery seventh among professions for males. Female orthopedic surgeons earned on average AU$159,479.

c In 2014-2015, orthopedic surgeons being paid on a “fee-for-service” basis grossed a mean pay C$399,593 in Canada

Private practice orthopedists generally garner higher pay than those who work in a public or government-run sector. In New Zealand, orthopedic surgeons working for one of the country’s District Boards of Health make between NZD$151,000 and NZD$212,000. Surgeons can earn up to NZD$600,000 per year, according to the New Zealand Government’s career database.

The top pay for consultant orthopedic surgeons in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service generally sits at 103,476. Self-employed practitioners usually earn above this level.

The orthopedist practice encompasses a number of settings. In Canada, one in four engaged in private practice as the main practice setting. The largest segment, 35 percent, worked in community hospitals.
Nearly 52 percent held a hospital-based practice in Canada and three out of ten were solo practitioners.

Schedule & Working Hours

Normally, orthopedists register full-time hours, often exceeding 40 hours per week. The average work week for Canadian orthopedists runs about 51 hours per week in 2014. In Australia, orthopedic and other surgeons log on average 44 hours per week, above the mean of 40 hours per week among all jobs.

The nature of the practice affects work schedules. Orthopedic surgeons keep daytime and weekday shifts in their offices to examine and consult with patients. Surgeries can occur in the early mornings or late evenings, especially to handle emergencies. Orthopedic surgeons who work in hospitals may have weekends or late evening hours.

Bonuses & Benefits

Orthopedists in hospitals, group practices or university settings enjoy bonuses and perks in their compensation packages. Bonuses may turn on willingness to locate in high-demand or rural areas as well as performance.

PayScale reports that 88 percent of orthopedic surgeons in the United States carry medical benefits. Dental coverage rates stand at 63 percent, while 55 percent of these surgeons enjoy vision coverage. Only one in ten go without any health benefits.

In the United Kingdom, medical benefits go to 59 percent of orthopedists. Nearly a third are covered by dental and vision coverage. For Australian orthopedic surgeons, medical coverage is afforded to seven out of ten, while 29 percent have dental benefits and 21 percent get vision coverage.

Orthopedic surgeons in New Zealand have medical coverage at the tune of 60 percent. One in five gets dental and vision care. For orthopedic surgeons in South Africa, nearly 83 percent have medical coverage, but only 8 percent have vision and none reported enjoying dental benefits.

Career Outlook

Shortages or low numbers of orthopedists, and physicians in general, appears as a common thread in many countries. The United States could see a nationwide deficit of 5,050 orthopedic surgeons by 2025. The projected shortage numbers 2,080 in the South and 1,450 in the Midwest.

The Guardian chronicled in 2015 that the United Kingdom’s National Health Service had employed 3,000 foreign-trained physicians to meet shortages.

India has 20,000 orthopedic surgeons, which results in a ratio of one for every 62,500 residents in India. The lack of access is amplified in rural areas, where 72 percent of citizens of India reside.

In 2016, Canada had a reported 1,605 orthopedic surgeons, or 4.5 for every 100,000 people in the country.


Orthopedists can find a quite lucrative career, especially in certain regions and among private practitioners. Many areas also endure significant shortages in the supply of qualified orthopedists, suggesting that prospects for employment are strong for qualified professionals.

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