What Is the Average Salary of an Oral Surgeon?

What Is the Average Salary of an Oral Surgeon?

Oral surgeons are vital members of the healthcare system, performing intricate surgeries on the mouth, jaws, and face that significantly improve patients’ quality of life. If you’re considering a career in oral surgery, knowing the average salary for this profession can be helpful for financial and career planning. This blog post will explore the responsibilities of oral surgeons, their typical earnings, factors affecting their pay, and even some tips for boosting your income in this rewarding field.

What Does an Oral Surgeon Do?

Dentists who specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery focus on procedures involving the mouth, jaws and face. Their tasks include wisdom tooth extraction, placing dental implants, performing jaw surgeries, repairing cleft lips and palates, and addressing injuries to the craniofacial complex. To become an oral surgeon, a dentist must complete additional years of residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Average Salary of Oral Surgeons in 2024

The salary of an oral surgeon can vary based on numerous factors, including location, experience, and type of employment. According to Salary.com, the average salary for an oral surgeon is $317,900, with the typical range falling between $297,100 and $347,300​. However, other sources may report different salary information due to differing approaches in data collection. For instance, ZipRecruiter reports an average annual salary of $339,174 for oral surgeons, and the 2023 Doximity Physician Compensation Report lists an average of $556,642 for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Factors Influencing Oral Surgeon Salaries

Though knowing the average salary for oral surgery gives you a guideline for what to expect, it’s important to remember that several factors impact earnings.

Experience & Education

The salary of any surgeon is greatly influenced by their level of experience, with newly qualified oral surgeons typically earning lower wages than those who have been practicing in the field for many years. Furthermore, obtaining additional certifications or subspecializing in areas like cosmetic facial surgery or cranio-maxillofacial trauma can further boost ones earning capacity.

Geographic Location

Geographic location is another critical factor influencing salaries. Oral surgeons in urban areas or states with a high cost of living tend to earn more. For example, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and New Jersey are some of the highest-paying states for oral surgeons due to the increased demand and cost of living in these areas​. Conversely, rural areas might offer lower salaries but with a potentially lower cost of living.

Type of Employment

The type of employment setting also affects an oral surgeon’s earnings:

  • Private Practice: Surgeons in private practice often have higher earning potential due to profit-sharing opportunities and lower administrative overhead costs.
  • Hospitals: Those employed by hospitals may have lower base salaries, but often receive comprehensive benefits packages.
  • Academic Institutions: Oral surgeons working in academic settings may earn less, but benefit from research opportunities and flexible schedules.

Additional Compensation

Besides the base salary, oral surgeons can earn additional compensation through bonuses, profit-sharing, and other financial incentives. These additional earnings can significantly enhance their total compensation. PayScale reports that bonuses for oral surgeons can range from $52,000 to $194,000 annually​.

Job Outlook & Demand for Oral Surgeons

The demand for oral surgeons is expected to remain strong due to several factors:

  • Aging Population: As the population ages, the need for oral surgical procedures increases.
  • Advancements in Dental Technology: New technologies and techniques enhance the scope of oral surgery, increasing the demand for skilled surgeons.
  • Health Awareness: Growing awareness of oral health’s impact on overall health drives demand for specialized dental care.

Strategies to Maximize Earnings as an Oral Surgeon

Oral surgeons can employ several strategies to increase their earnings:

  • Specialization: Pursuing further specializations can lead to higher salaries.
  • Continuing Education: Engaging in ongoing education and obtaining additional certifications can increase expertise and marketability.
  • Negotiation Skills: Developing strong negotiation skills can help secure competitive salaries and benefits packages.
  • Private Practice: Establishing or joining a private practice can provide higher income potential and opportunities for profit-sharing. Remember that this route comes with increased management responsibilities.
  • Geographic Mobility: Moving to high-demand areas can result in more competitive salaries.

The Bottom Line: Building a Rewarding Career in Oral Surgery

Oral surgery offers a compelling combination of intellectual challenge, the satisfaction of improving patients’ lives, and the potential for a rewarding financial career. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are at the forefront of advancements in dental technology, using their expertise to perform intricate procedures that enhance patients’ oral health and overall well-being. The growing demand for skilled oral surgeons creates a stable and rewarding career path for dentists seeking a specialized practice.

More Healthcare Salary Information

Explore the average salaries for other medical specialties by reading through the other articles in this series:

Published on Jul 3, 2024

Written by The Influent Staff

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