2022 Anesthesiology Salary Report: Anesthesiologist compensation up 7%

March 27th, 2023 7 Min read Blog
Anesthesiology salary report - salaries are increasing

Medscape’s 2022 Anesthesiologist Compensation Report indicates anesthesiologist salaries continue to rise, while administrative burden remains relatively low compared to other specialties. The annual Medscape survey evaluates physician salary trends and provides insights into job satisfaction, supplemental income opportunities, administrative burden, and the aspects of the job found to be most rewarding and most challenging. Here’s how anesthesiologists responded relative to their peers in other specialties.

Anesthesiologist compensation and bonuses in 2022

Anesthesiologists reported an average salary of $405,000 in 2022, up 7% over prior year earnings ($378,000). These figures place anesthesiologists toward the middle of the specialties surveyed, both in terms of average salary and income gains over 2021 earnings.

Chart - How much anesthesiologists earned in 2021`

Fifty-seven percent of physicians surveyed received an incentive bonus. The average incentive bonus for anesthesiologists was $68,000, an increase from the prior year average of $55,000.

Chart - how much was the average anesthesiologist bonus in 2021

How anesthesiologists feel about their jobs

Approximately half (53%) of anesthesiologists say they feel fairly compensated for their work, a figure which places them in the middle among physician specialties surveyed.

The pandemic also introduced and/or intensified challenging workplace factors for many physicians. When asked whether they would pursue a career in medicine again, just 69% of anesthesiologists surveyed answered affirmatively (down from 75% last year), ranking them in the lowest quintile among specialties represented in the report. However, 86% of anesthesiologists surveyed reported they would choose their specialty again.

Chart - how many anesthesiologists would choose their specialty again

Competition in anesthesiology

When asked how competition affects their income, more than half of anesthesiologists surveyed (60%) said their income isn’t affected by competition. However, among the respondents who said their income is affected by competition, most (34%) cited nonphysician practitioners (which includes CNRAs).

Chart - what competition affects anesthesiologists' income

Administrative responsibilities for anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists reported spending an average of 10 hours per week on administrative responsibilities. Notably, this figure is the lowest reported among specialties surveyed and one-third less than the average administrative time reported by physicians overall (15.5 hours per week).

Anesthesiology salary report admin work stats

Employed vs. self-employed anesthesiologists

Medscape found that anesthesiologists employed by hospitals, health systems, or other organizations earned an average of 11% more than their self-employed counterparts. This is counter to the trend for physicians overall — where self-employed physicians reported average compensation 20% higher than employed physicians.

Approximately one-third of anesthesiologists surveyed take on supplemental work, including medical moonlighting or locum tenens, medical-related work, or even non-medical-related work. This figure is on par with physicians in general, 36% of whom report supplemental income.

Common reasons for pursuing supplemental work include early retirement, greater financial independence, and outstanding student debt.

Chart - what percentage of anesthesiologists work extra

Most rewarding / challenging aspects of anesthesiology

When asked about the most rewarding aspects of their job, 27% of anesthesiologists say finding answers and diagnoses is the most gratifying part of their job. Other anesthesiologists (21%) say they enjoy making money at a job they like, and others (21%) feel satisfaction from the feeling of helping others and making the world a better place.

Chart - The most rewarding parts of an anesthesiologist's job

Among the aspects of their work they find most challenging, many cited long hours (25%), rules and regulations (20%), and difficulties associated with being fairly reimbursed by or dealing with Medicare and other insurers (19%) as the most difficult aspects of their job. 

Chart - The most challenging parts of an anesthesiologist's job

For anesthesiologist Dr. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, locum tenens provided the opportunity to lean into the benefits of practicing medicine, while alleviating some of the challenges most commonly cited in the report.

Anesthesiology salary report Rahman quote

Positive outlook for anesthesiology income

High demand and a shortage of practitioners bodes well for anesthesiologist compensation growth. Overall, anesthesiologists are among the happiest of physician specialties; they have a lower administrative burden and higher earning potential than many other physician specialties. For those looking to supplement their income, locum tenens is a flexible option to pick up additional shifts and practice in new clinical environments.

Chart images from Medscape.com


Allison Riley

Allison Riley

Allison Riley is a public relations professional with more than 10 years experience in healthcare and corporate communications. She lives in New York City with her better half and two wonderful daughters. She and her girls are currently contending for world's slowest recorded stair climb to a fifth-floor apartment, and she enjoys writing so she can just finish her sentence already.

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