Cosmetic Surgeons

Cosmetic Surgeon Draws Lines on Patient's Face

Cosmetic surgeons (also known as plastic surgeons and esthetic surgeons) are medical doctors who specialize in surgeries to correct disfigurement and/or improve physical appearance. Though the terms cosmetic and plastic surgery are often used interchangeably, cosmetic surgery usually means procedures performed to reshape normal structures of the body to improve the patient's appearance. Plastic surgery generally refers to reconstructive surgeries performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, injury, infection, tumors, or disease. Approximately 41,600 surgeons (including cosmetic surgeons) are employed in the United States. 

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Esthetic Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons
Duties Perform patient consultations and care; perform reconstructive surgery on patients to correct physical defects caused by injuries or birth defects; perform elective cosmetic surgeries, such as liposuction or tummy tucks, to improve patients' appearance; keep medical records
Salary Range $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Major urban centers; states with the highest employment levels are California, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida
Minimum Education Level
  • Medical Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health
Experience Minimum of 12 years, including internship and residency
Personality Traits
  • Enterprising
  • Helpful
  • Scientific
  • Business Management
  • Leadership
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Excellent
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Cosmetic Surgery Department Chair
  • Cosmetic Surgeon
  • Resident
  • Intern

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