Orthopaedic surgeons are one of the happiest careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, orthopaedic surgeons rate their career happiness 3.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 15% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy orthopaedic surgeons are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Neurosurgeon
4.1
N/A
Dermatologist
4.1
$201k
Pediatrician
4.0
$171k
Neurologist
4.0
$201k
Anesthesiologist
4.0
N/A
Orthopaedic surgeon
3.8
N/A
Nurse anesthetist
3.8
$196k
Radiologist
3.7
$201k
Orthodontist
3.6
N/A
Naturopathic physician
3.5
$74k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are orthopaedic surgeons happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do orthopaedic surgeons find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as orthopaedic surgeons?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are orthopaedic surgeon’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are orthopaedic surgeons making the best use of their abilities?

Are orthopaedic surgeons happy with their salary?

Orthopaedic surgeons rated their satisfaction with their salaries 4.2/5. The majority of orthopaedic surgeons are quite happy with their salaries, with very few having complaints about their income level.

We asked orthopaedic surgeons how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

4.2 out of 5 stars

15 orthopaedic surgeons

5 Star
53%

53% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
20%

20% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
20%

20% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
7%

7% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their compensation 2 stars

Do orthopaedic surgeons find their jobs meaningful?

On average, orthopaedic surgeons rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.9/5. Unlike many careers, orthopaedic surgeons have little difficulty finding meaning in their work, and it likely constitutes one of the main reasons people become orthopaedic surgeons.

We asked orthopaedic surgeons how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

3.9 out of 5 stars

14 orthopaedic surgeons

5 Star
29%

29% of orthopaedic surgeons rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
43%

43% of orthopaedic surgeons rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
21%

21% of orthopaedic surgeons rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
7%

7% of orthopaedic surgeons rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as orthopaedic surgeons?

Orthopaedic surgeons rated their personality fit with their work an average of 4.5/5. The majority of orthopaedic surgeons find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked orthopaedic surgeons how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

4.5 out of 5 stars

15 orthopaedic surgeons

5 Star
60%

60% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
13%

13% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their career fit 3 stars

How enjoyable is an orthopaedic surgeon’s work environment?

As a whole, orthopaedic surgeons rated their enjoyment of their work environment 4.1/5. A solid majority of orthopaedic surgeons enjoy their work environment, probably contributing to overall higher satisfaction with working as an orthopaedic surgeon.

We asked orthopaedic surgeons how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

4.1 out of 5 stars

14 orthopaedic surgeons

5 Star
43%

43% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
36%

36% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
7%

7% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
14%

14% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their work environment 2 stars

Are orthopaedic surgeons making the best use of their abilities?

Former orthopaedic surgeons on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 3.8/5. Most orthopaedic surgeons surveyed find that they manage to use their abilities to their fullest as an orthopaedic surgeon, which helps contribute to higher career satisfaction in the long term.

We asked orthopaedic surgeons how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

3.8 out of 5 stars

14 orthopaedic surgeons

5 Star
43%

43% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
29%

29% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
21%

21% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
7%

7% of orthopaedic surgeons rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars