Orthopedic Surgeon Salary in South Africa

Orthopedic surgeons specialize in tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and soft tissues. They perform invasive and non-invasive surgical procedures on patients for treatment. Not only this, but the profession also offers an attractive salary along with other financial benefits.

Occupation:Orthopedic Surgeon
Monthly Salary Range:R 77200 – R 227000
Average Monthly Salary:R 152100
Description:Orthopedic surgeons specialize in the musculoskeletal systems, including the tendons, joints, bones, ligaments, and tender muscles.
Minimum Qualification:Five years of medical school and a mandatory year of residency. Candidates with fellowships are preferred.

Want to know more about the orthopedic surgeon’s salary in the country? Here is a complete guide on the average salary and the factors that may determine one’s salary in a specific role.

Orthopedic Surgeon Salary Overview

To become an orthopedic surgeon in South Africa, one has to complete five years of medical training along with a year of mandatory residency and a fellowship. An entry-level surgeon entering the field earns anywhere around R77,200, and it can go up to R227,000 per month.

On average, orthopedic surgeons make R148,000 per month, which is R1,780,000 per year and R860 per hour. The median salary for orthopedic surgeons in the country is around R1,703,200 per year. If you are earning higher than the median salary, it usually means that you are paid well.


Another good news for orthopedic surgeons is that the field is a high-bonus one. According to the registered staff, 86% of the employees received at least one bonus in one year, whereas the other 14% didn’t receive any bonus in these twelve months. Typically, the average amount of these bonuses ranges between 6 and 8% of their annual salary.

Salary Structure

There is a hierarchy in orthopedic surgery, but it is mostly in the sense of seniority and having more experience. This seniority is based on several factors, including your expertise, training, education, city of allocation, etc. So, let us discuss each of these features in detail.

Years of Experience

Your experience in the clinical setups is by far the most significant factor that decides your salary as an orthopedic surgeon. The rule of thumb says that as you excel in the field, your earnings increase significantly. Here is the breakdown of the orthopedic surgeon’s salary based on their expertise.

Years of ExperienceIncome (per month)
Less than 2 years of experienceR87,600
2 to 5 yearsR118,000
5 to 10 yearsR153,000
10 to 15 yearsR185,000
15 to 20 yearsR202,000
Over 20 years of experienceR213,000
  • Employees with two years of experience earn around R87,600 per month.
  • With five years of experience, there is a significant 34% increase in the monthly salary.
  • As to proceed to gain ten years of experience, there is a notable 30% increase in the salary.
  • For fifteen years of experience, this increase is around 21%.
  • Employees with twenty years of experience earn 9% more than the previous class.
  • Finally, expert orthopedic surgeons with over twenty years of experience earn 5% more.
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Education is yet another parameter used to determine the salary of an orthopedic surgeon in South Africa. The rule of thumb is that as you gain more training and progress in academics, your earnings get better. Here are a few insights into how your degree is a deciding salary factor.

  • An entry-level five-year training can get you into an internship or fellowship program.
  • With experience and specialization in one area of orthopedic surgery, you get 25% more salary than an entry-level surgeon.
  • As you progress more and get a doctorate, there is an expected 22% increase in your monthly salary.


Ideally, it shouldn’t, but gender is yet another factor that counts when deciding your salary as an orthopedic surgeon. According to statistics, male surgeons in the orthopedic division earn 7% more than their female counterparts. Here are the average salaries of male and female orthopedic surgeons.

Female Orthopedic SurgeonsR1,728,900
Male Orthopedic SurgeonsR1,858,200

City of Allocation

The city you are based in also plays a role in determining your salary as an orthopedic surgeon. Usually, hospitals in the metro cities have a higher income value, as there is more patient traffic in comparison with the hospitals in remote cities. Here is a breakdown of the orthopedic salaries based on various cities.

City of AllocationAverage Salary (Yearly)
Cape TownR1,908,800
Port ElizabethR1,594,500

Government Vs. Private Sector

Another factor that plays a vital role in deciding your monthly salary as an orthopedic surgeon is the sector you are working in. In South Africa, the stats suggest that the surgeons located in the public sector have a 7% higher salary amount in comparison with their private counterparts. This is partly due to the massive funds the SA government invests in the healthcare system.

Here is how much an average private and public-sector orthopedic surgeon earns in the country. Please note that it may vary depending on your expertise and work requirements.

SectorIncome (per month)
Private SectorR30,400
Public SectorR32,400

Responsibilities of Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic surgeons or medical orthopedists are doctors who specialize in treating ligaments, joints, muscles, and bones. They usually focus on an area of orthopedic surgery and operate on chronic patients. Their primary job is performing surgery to repair and reset the bones and soft tissues, using invasive and non-invasive operational procedures.

Here are a few professional responsibilities you will have to fulfill as an orthopedic surgeon.

  • Order tests and keep a record of their results.
  • Diagnosing patients according to their results.
  • Prescribing medications.
  • Collaborating with other doctors and physical therapists to find possible treatments.
  • Fixing broken and fractured bones.
  • Recording and analyzing the patient’s progress.
  • Keeping in check the patient’s medical history.
  • Supervising medical staff in a clinical capacity.
  • Providing post-operative care to patients along with other clinical staff.
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As orthopedic surgeons excel in their careers, they may have to work in a sub-special capacity, including sports medicine, spine surgery, or pediatric orthopedics. Depending on the work requirements, they have to perform additional tasks.

  • Explaining surgical procedures to patients in an easily understandable language.
  • Mentoring general surgeons about basic surgical procedures.
  • Supervising surgical interns and training them in ethical and surgical practices in a clinical setup.
  • Treating joint-related injuries.
  • Using arthroscopy to diagnose joint pain.

Some common procedures they perform on a day-to-day basis include joint replacement, bone grafting, reconnecting nerves, joint reconstruction, repairing tendons and ligaments, and spinal disk replacement.


What is the average salary of an orthopedic surgeon in South Africa?

An average orthopedic surgeon in South Africa earns around R148,000 per month.

How much does an expert orthopedic surgeon earn in South Africa?

A senior orthopedic surgeon in South Africa earns anywhere around R227,000.

What is the orthopedic surgeon’s starting salary in South Africa?

An average starter orthopedic surgeon with a five-year medical education and one year of residency earns around R77,200.

How do you become an orthopedic surgeon in SA?

To become a qualified orthopedic surgeon in South Africa, you need to go through at least five years of medical training and one mandatory year of residency.

What is the median salary of an orthopedic surgeon in South Africa?

The orthopedic surgeon’s median salary in South Africa is R1,703,200 per year.

What do orthopedic surgeons do?

An orthopedic surgeon specializes in treating and repairing bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, and soft tissues. They are responsible for doing invasive and non-invasive surgical procedures to treat patients.

Do women or men orthopedic surgeons earn more?

In orthopedic surgery, men are paid 8% more than their female counterparts.

Orthopedic surgery is a reputable and financially beneficial field for anyone aspiring to enter the healthcare or medical profession. Aside from an attractive salary, employees also get incentives and fringe benefits. Lastly, I hope this guide has managed to give you valuable insights about the orthopedic surgeon’s salary in South Africa.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.