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Career Profile: Anesthesiologists

Administer anesthetics and analgesics for pain management prior to, during, or after surgery.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 31,300 people employed as anesthesiologists in the United States. The median annual salary is $208,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $136,180 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000 (or more) per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Monitor patient before, during, and after anesthesia and counteract adverse reactions or complications.
  • Record type and amount of anesthesia and patient condition throughout procedure.
  • Provide and maintain life support and airway management and help prepare patients for emergency surgery.
  • Administer anesthetic or sedation during medical procedures, using local, intravenous, spinal, or caudal methods.
  • Examine patient, obtain medical history, and use diagnostic tests to determine risk during surgical, obstetrical, and other medical procedures.
  • Diagnose illnesses, using examinations, tests, and reports.
  • Coordinate and direct work of nurses, medical technicians, and other health care providers.
  • Instruct individuals and groups on ways to preserve health and prevent disease.
  • Schedule and maintain use of surgical suite, including operating, wash-up, waiting rooms, or anesthetic and sterilizing equipment.
  • Conduct medical research to aid in controlling and curing disease, to investigate new medications, and to develop and test new medical techniques.
  • Position patient on operating table to maximize patient comfort and surgical accessibility.
  • Coordinate administration of anesthetics with surgeons during operation.
  • Decide when patients have recovered or stabilized enough to be sent to another room or ward or to be sent home following outpatient surgery.
  • Confer with other medical professionals to determine type and method of anesthetic or sedation to render patient insensible to pain.
  • Order laboratory tests, x-rays, and other diagnostic procedures.
  • Inform students and staff of types and methods of anesthesia administration, signs of complications, and emergency methods to counteract reactions.
  • Provide medical care and consultation in many settings, prescribing medication and treatment and referring patients for surgery.
  • Manage anesthesiological services, coordinating them with other medical activities and formulating plans and procedures.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
31,300
Annual Openings:
800
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-1%
Annual Salary Range:
$136,180 - $208,000
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher