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Anesthesiologists
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Description: what do they do?
Physicians who administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery or other medical procedures.
Also known as:
Anesthesia Associate, Staff Anesthetist, Obstetrical Anesthesiologist, Anesthesia Director, Staff Anesthesiologist, Medical Doctor (MD), Physician Anesthesiologist, Attending Anesthesiologist, Anesthesiologist, Anesthesia Resident

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center.

Career video
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    Transcript: For centuries, surgery was often an agonizing experience. Through advances in medicine, anesthesiologists are able to make operations virtually pain-free. Except in emergencies, the anesthesiologist usually meets with the patient prior to the surgery. The doctor will ask about the patient’s medical history, and explain the type of anesthesia that will be used, as well as possible side effects. Before the operation begins, the doctor administers the anesthesia…and checks to see that it’s taking effect. The anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s vital signs – heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing. The amount of anesthesia may need to be continually adjusted to ensure the patient is properly sedated. It’s a mentally-demanding, high pressure job. The patient’s life is in this doctor’s hands. Most work is in operating rooms at hospitals or surgical outpatient centers. They may also handle pain management in intensive care units and during labor and delivery. Hours can be long and irregular. Even after the surgery is completed, anesthesiologists continue to watch over patients, ensuring they come out of the anesthesia successfully. Anesthesiologists complete 4 years of residency training after medical school. After residency, they may pursue additional years of fellowship training in subspecialties such as cardiothoracic anesthesia and critical care. Millions of operations are performed each year. Many of them just wouldn’t be possible without the knowledge and expertise of anesthesiologists.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
US
N/A
2014 Employment
N/A
2024 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
33,700
2014 Employment
40,800
2024 Employment
21%
Percent change
1,610
Annual projected job openings
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2014, the number expected to be employed in 2024, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually over the 10 years. While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central: Long Term Projections, through 2024.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Employment Projections: 2014–24.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Anesthesiologists in United States
LocationUSUnited States
10%N/A$146,310
25%N/A$208,000+
MedianN/A$208,000+
75%N/A$208,000+
90%N/A$208,000+


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2016 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Doctoral or professional degree
  • No work experience
  • Internship/residency

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
  • Implement advanced life support techniques.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
  • Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Prescribe treatments or therapies.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
  • Prescribe medications.
  • Direct healthcare delivery programs.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Schedule medical facility use.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Selective Attention - Paying attention to something without being distracted.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Perceptual Speed - Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Flexibility of Closure - Seeing hidden patterns.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Monitor patient before, during, and after anesthesia and counteract adverse reactions or complications.
  • Provide and maintain life support and airway management and help prepare patients for emergency surgery.
  • Record type and amount of anesthesia and patient condition throughout procedure.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Diagnose illnesses, using examinations, tests, and reports.
  • Coordinate and direct work of nurses, medical technicians, and other health care providers.
  • Schedule and maintain use of surgical suite, including operating, wash-up, waiting rooms, or anesthetic and sterilizing equipment.
  • Instruct individuals and groups on ways to preserve health and prevent disease.
  • Conduct medical research to aid in controlling and curing disease, to investigate new medications, and to develop and test new medical techniques.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.