Spine surgeon vs. neurosurgeon salary – Does location matter in 2024?


Spine surgeons and neurosurgeons sometimes have overlap in the type of care they offer. However their training paths are unique, along with having varying compensation.

Here’s what you need to know about the competing salaries.

1. Orthopedic spine surgeon positions offer salaries from $649,900 to $1.2 million, according to AMN Healthcare. The average salary is $975,820.

2. Physicians Thrive noted some orthopedic spine surgeons make even more. Surgeons on the 90th percentile make $1.4 million while those on the other end of the spectrum, the 10th percentile, make $468,787, according to MGMA.

3. Metropolitan areas with fewer than 250,000 people netted higher compensations for spine surgeons with a median salary of $882,502. Meanwhile more densely populated cities saw average salaries between $589,540 and $831,366.

4. Spine surgeons also earned around 7% more in multispecialty practices than single-specialty practices, according to MGMA. Those in physician-owned facilities earned about 5% more than spine surgeons in hospitals.

5. On average, neurosurgery pay is $788,313, according to Doximity's "2023 Physician Compensation Report."

6. Anchorage, Alaska; Saint Paul, Minn., and Minneapolis are the best cities for neurosurgeons, according to Zippia. Zippia ranked those cities based on average salary and job availability. 

The average pay for neurosurgeons in those cities is $581,950 in Anchorage; $403,144 in Saint Paul, and $403,760 in Minneapolis.

7. The top 10 cities for neurosurgeons also include Cleveland; Omaha, Neb.; Milwaukee; Detroit; Louisville, Ky.; Columbus, Ohio, and Lubbock, Texas, according to Zippia. 

8. A survey from Neurosurgery Executives' Resource Value and Education Society found the average pay for private practice neurosurgeons was $889,000. Neurosurgeons working in hospitals earned an average $786,000.

9. Academic neurosurgeons had the lowest average pay with $647,000.

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