How much does a neurosurgeon make? A complete career guide for specialization in Nervous System 

How much does a neurosurgeon make
Image credit: Polaris Spine and Neurosurgery Center

When it comes to picking a career line in medical science, Surgery is one of the rare alternatives that students pick. Do you know? According to the latest statistics, only 4% of medical students choose Surgery. In comparison to these statistics, the percentage of students who pick neurosurgery is much less. To your surprise, it is only 0.5%. Henceforth, one question about neurosurgery pops up in every medical student’s mind, how much does a neurosurgeon make? 

Viewing the statistics, it is crystal clear that the demand for neurosurgeons has improved over the years. Not only this but their range of salaries based on countries have also increased, without a doubt. 

Image credit: MozaWeb

Are you here today to make a decision, whether you want to pursue higher education in neurosurgery or not? And, if you want to, what is it going to pay you in the long run? What is the possibility for the job and ground-breaking surgeries? You have commenced here for all the right reasons. Today, we are spreading some light on the subject of a career as a neurosurgeon. 

Let’s get started: 

Introduction to Neurosurgery

To begin with, as the term “surgery” suggests, neurosurgery comes under medical specialization “surgery.” In Surgery as well, neurosurgery belongs to the sub-categorization of “Neuro,” which stands for “the nervous system.” Thus, Neurosurgery is the Surgery of the nervous system. In simple words, medical students also know it as “brain surgery.” 

However, in our view, brain surgery would not be the right description of neurosurgery. The reason is neurosurgery takes control of majorly three parts of the body. These are the brain, spinal cord, and perpetual nerves, which connect all the parts of your body. Therefore, it is the Surgery of any disorder, injury, or disease that impacts the nervous system. 

How much does a neurosurgeon make
Image credit: Scientific American

One of the main reasons why neurosurgeons are highly in demand right now is that, at the national level, each country has a limited number of neuro specialists. For example, in India, there are only 1800 surgeons at hand who specialize in neuro. 

Whereas, in the United States, the data is approximately double, i.e.., 3500 neurosurgeons at disposal. And, surprisingly enough, in the entire world, there are only 50 000 neurosurgeons (competitive and non-competitive). 

So, if you are questioning your potential career as a neurosurgeon, our research concludes that you will have a lot of work on your plate in this career line. 

Bonus fact: wondering how much does a neurosurgeon make in the USA? Based on the experience, a neurosurgeon can earn anywhere between 14 grand per year to 393 grand per year. 

What are the roles and job responsibilities of a neurosurgeon? 

For the most part, learning about neurosurgery and what it takes to become a top-notch neurosurgeon in the world surely is tempting. But, can you handle the roles and responsibilities that come with this career line? For this question, you have to conclude your own answer based on the mainstream roles and responsibilities of a neurosurgeon: 

  • In the context of a career, a neurosurgeon is required to diagnose patients for any problem relating to the nervous system. 
  • In the event that the problem is minor yet, can grow in the future, a proper diagnosis based on the patient’s symptoms and current condition is required by a professional neurosurgeon. 
  • A neurosurgeon also remains responsible for deciding whether or not a nervous system disease/diagnosis needs surgical treatment. 
How much does a neurosurgeon make
Image credit: Polaris Spine and Neurosurgery Center
  • Many neurosurgeons throughout their careers prepare to do some groundbreaking work on incurable neurodegenerative diseases. For example, Aliziemer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Spinal atrophy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and others. 
  • Many Neurosurgeons also work as “neuroscientists” to research for new treatment options on an existing curable disease or find first-time treatment for incurable diseases, as mentioned above. 
  • Surgery of brain, spinal column or cord, nervous system, etc. 

Apart from career-based roles and responsibilities, a high-end neurosurgeon also counted the following (people skills), which are crucial for a neurosurgeon.

These are: 

  • Persistent healthy communication within the workplace, including patients, family members, colleagues, superiors, interns, medical students, and so on. 
  • Ability to perform under pressure as neurosurgeries can result in both negative and positive changes in the patients. Thus, the pressure to do well is always there. 
  • Neurosurgeons often work in teams while holding down any complicated case. So, teamwork and discipline are crucial pillars to success in this line. 
  • Skills and comprehensive understanding to diagnose brain or nervous system issues. Apart from this, effective decision-making skills are also important because a patient does not always know what to do? 

So, the bottom line is – while choosing neurosurgery for further specialization in medical science, the main question is now how much does a neurosurgeon make? But, instead, first, ask yourself the question, can you take such pressure? And if yes, read further ahead to find out how to pursue neurosurgery? 

How to become a neurosurgeon? How much does a neurosurgeon make in my country? 

Without a doubt, studying to become a neurosurgeon is long and takes you on an exquisite journey. To become a successful and well-known neurosurgeon, it takes 16 years, including studies and on-premises medical experience in total. For your reference, a complete guide on how to become a neurosurgeon is given below: 

STEP 1: General Medical Studies

For the most part, each country has distinctive standards for a student to pursue general medical studies (without a specialization). In India, General Medical Studies is pursued via an MBBS course which is 5.5 years long. MBBS here stands for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. In this 5.5 long course period, 4.5 years include theoretical studies and in-school medical practices. Rest 1 year is for an internship in a hospital/medical institution. 

How much does a neurosurgeon make

In the United States, to pursue general medical studies (to become a physician at least), students are required to complete a 4 years long course called MD or Doctor of Medicine. In the USA as well, students are required to do a fellowship for 6 months to 1 year to attain on-premises medical experience to complete this degree. 

All countries set up entrance examinations to choose deserving candidates for pursuing MBBS or MD (based on what country you are in). On the other hand, some medical institutions or examinations ask students for undergraduate degrees in fields of science such as chemistry or biology. However, it is not necessary. 

STEP 2: Pursue MS or Master of Surgery, how much does a neurosurgeon make after this? 

After pursuing MBBS or MD (India or USA), you have obtained the right to become a general physician. The second step is considered the primary beginning of becoming a neurosurgeon. By entering medical school to pursue an MS Course or Master of Surgery, you can become a surgeon or general surgeon. It is essential to note that it is a three years course in which you have to choose your specialization in the first year only. So, if you desire to become a neurosurgeon based on how much a neurosurgeon makes, you can select “neurosurgery” while applying for admission to college. 

Image credit: Scoop blog – Stanford University

Again, countries, for the most part, have government entrance examinations set each year to pick deserving candidates for MS. So, we strongly recommend you to look out for the upcoming examination registration dates and syllabus. 

Please also note that a few private medical schools also interview and admit candidates in MS based on their merit and internship experience during MBBS persuasion. So, if you do not want to spend a year waiting for an entrance examination, you can have a good look at a private medical institute. 

Neurosurgeons can get jobs in hospitals, local health centres, government health institution at average salary after this degree.

STEP 3: Pursue Magister Chirurgiae (advanced degree in Surgery)

In the beginning, only, we would like to inform you that Magister Chirurgiae or advanced degree in Surgery (postdoctoral) is optional. With that being said, if you wish not to pursue M.Ch, you would still be a neurosurgeon after MS. But, as a potential neurosurgeon in the future, you must know about options. 

Image credit: Forbes

M.CH is a five years advanced program that will allow you to become an exceptional neurosurgeon. In general terms, it is a Ph.D. in medicine. 

STEP 4: Get Recruit and start your practice in real world. How much does neurosurgeon make?

After completing MBBS and MS, MBBS and MCH or MBBS, MS, and M.Ch, the time will finally come when you can apply for a job as a neurosurgeon in a private or government-based medical institution. Again, how much does a neurosurgeon makes depends on one’s experience, degrees, and the country they have pursued medical studies in. But, of course, if you are talented, focused, and creative, you can make a well-known and ground breaking neurosurgeon. 

How much does a neurosurgeon make? 

Now, the terminal question is, how much does a neurosurgeon make? While picking a career, money remains a significant part of it. You will want to know beforehand if the money is worth it in the future or not. Let’s suppose you spend 16 years getting higher education in neurosurgery, spending hundreds of grand. So, what should you expect when you begin your career in the real world finally? 

Here are the maximum and minimum salaries of a neurosurgeon in different countries: 

How much does a neurosurgeon make in India? 

Currently, the demand for top-notch neurosurgeons in India is very high as the country only has 1800 brain surgeons approximately. A neurosurgeon in India makes anywhere between 4.5 lakh INR per annum to 50 lakh INR per annum. In terms of USD, it is equivalent to 6 grand USD to 66.5 Grand. 

How much does a neurosurgeon make on the USA? 

Wondering how much does a neurosurgeon make in the USA? Based on the experience, a neurosurgeon can earn anywhere between 14 grand per year to 393 grand per year. It is rather surprising that in India, a top-notch neurosurgeon only makes 66.5 grand. Whereas, in the USA, the salary per annum for a neurosurgeon with an excellent grasp on the field is 5 to 7 times higher. 

How much does a neurosurgeon make
Image credit: US News and Getty Images

What is the salary of a neurosurgeon in the UK? 

Shockingly enough, neurosurgeons’ national count in the UK is only approximately 300 in total. Thus, the demand for candidates in this profession is very high. According to the research, a general/locale neurosurgeon in the UK makes more than 10 000 Pounds. In contrast, top-notch neurosurgeons can earn as high as 1, 00, 000 pounds in a year. 

What is the salary of a neurosurgeon in Canada? 

In comparison to the USA, UK, and India, the salary level of neurosurgeons in Canada is very high. The latest facts state that a top-notch neurosurgeon in Canada can make up to 800K Grand per year. 


So, are you ready to pick your specialization yet? For further questions concerning your career as a neurosurgeon, drop your “?” below. We will help you get there. Some second-hand best paid surgical choices are thoracic surgeons, which makeover 500K over a year. Other than that, orthopedic surgeons are the next best alternative. Make a wise choice, thank you!