As of 2014, the average salary of a general surgeon, a surgeon who does not specialize in any branch of surgery, is $265,000 per year, or $5,096 per week, according to Chron. This figure varies according to region and practice setting.
As with other doctors, aspiring surgeons must pass through four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school and several years of residency before becoming licensed to practice medicine. Once licensed, general surgeons perform a variety of surgeries on various areas of the body. General surgeons practicing in clinical settings typically earn the most money, while surgeons working independently or for general hospitals earn less. General surgeons employed by outpatient clinics earn the least of any setting but still see earnings of well over $100,000 per year, as of 2014.
Surgeons who choose to specialize in a particular branch of medicine must spend additional years in training before becoming licensed. Common specialities include orthopedics, radiology and cardiology. Despite the longer preparation, becoming licensed in a specific branch of medicine generally results in higher pay. For example, as of 2014, the average annual income of a cardiac surgeon is $525,944 per year. This higher pay reflects both the extensive preparation required and the difficulty of the work.