The industry of cosmetic surgery is rapidly growing every day.

If you have ever thought of becoming a plastic surgeon but you’re not fully sold on the idea just yet, then there are a couple of things you should know.

Like any medical field, the commitment to becoming a part of the cosmetics industry will be intense.

However, if you have a passion for beauty, it may just be for you.

Cosmetology within plastic surgery of facial and physical reconstruction is an expertise that takes years to reach a level of mastery.

Pursing any field in medicine will be tedious but the benefits you reap from the seeds you sow are impeccable.

Further knowing its benefits may allow you to finally decide if it is the career path for you or not.


Benefits and Basics in a Career as a Plastic Surgeon


  • High Paying Industry

The annual salary of plastic surgeons is among the highest tier in the medical field.

According to many recent studies, surgeons were the 9th highest paying physicians in America.

In the 6th year of practice, a surgeon will earn over $380,000 a year with the average starting salary to be around $200,000 annually.

Depending on where you are, the salary does increase by region.

If you want to be a top earner as a plastic surgeon, opening your practice would be your best option.

Running a personal practice will enable you to customize prices of each service from facelifts to nose jobs, and from breast augmentation to liposuction.

Although starting your practice requires a pretty big investment, the payoff, in the long run, is well worth it all.


  • Demand for plastic surgery

The demand for plastic surgery in this day in age is evident.

Over 18 million people in the last year alone have gone through surgical or minimally invasive surgery for cosmetic purposes in the United States.

This data made by the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) shows that there were over 250,000 more surgeries done in 2018 than the prior year.

It is a business that is continuously rising and gaining more demand every day.

Cosmetic surgery focuses on physical body enhancements while plastic surgery is geared toward reconstructing body parts completely from either burns, trauma, or disease.

Either form of surgery has had a big demand in society in recent years.

If you do plan on opening your practice, the highest demand for surgeries done annually includes Tummy tucks (130,000 procedures), eyelid surgery (205,500 procedures), rhinoplasty (213,800 procedures), liposuction (258,500 procedures), and breast augmentation (313,700 procedures).


  • Fulfilling Value

Despite the common belief that the only driving force for pursuing this career path is the money, it is an industry that is so much more than meets the eye.

The positive impact you can make on the lives of those who seek your surgery expertise will give you a level of pride that every plastic surgeon experiences.

This is even truer when you can help patients who are dealing with physical deformities from birth defects, freak accidents, and trauma.

For some surgeries like the ones done on the nose, correcting the deviated septum by slimming the nose’s airways can greatly improve breathing quality overall.

Being a plastic surgeon does not necessarily mean you will only be doing procedures for vanity.

Knowing that will make the business a lot less vain and more satisfying.


  • Not Just For Physical Enhancements

It’s so important to realize that being a plastic surgeon does not just mean you’ll be doing work on those wanting to enhance their physicality.

Although it will be the vast majority of your customers, a great number of people who come to you have gone through physical injuries that require them to attain surgery to go back to their normal selves.

Understanding that you as a cosmetic surgeon can enhance lives for the better will make it a job truly worthwhile.

Now that you know the benefits of pursuing the plastic surgery industry, it’s now important to know the steps necessary to reach your goal.

Training will be extensive and educational requirements are up there, but with dedication, you will meet all the licensing necessary to become a plastic surgeon.


The Educational Requirements for Becoming a Plastic Surgeon

If you’re becoming a lot more intrigued to pursue this field of medicine, it’s now time to know what requirements may be expected of you to qualify for this career.

You will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree as a premedical major and can be in either chemistry or biology.

Once you attain that degree, the next step is to complete the MCAT or Medical College Admission Test.

The final steps include finishing a 4-year doctor of medicine degree through an accredited school of medicine and also attain your surgical residency of training after graduating.

Discover what role you want to attain your expertise within this field.

You will also have to know the rules and regulations of ABPS to ensure you do not end up opening a practice that is not credible.

Figure out what specialty you want to focus on the most before finishing your general training or within the years you do mixed training.

This will ensure that you do not wind up in expertise you don’t find joy doing for years to come.

Possibilities are quite endless when you are a plastic surgeon, so doing some research is recommended.

Lastly, you will also need to secure a certification with ABPS. This will involve an examination and conformity with a code of ethics.

Becoming a plastic surgeon is no joke and will take time to finally be a full-fledged professional that is practicing.

Once you have finalized your residence, it’s advised that you join a fellowship.

This will allow you to master the skills you have developed throughout training and will give you time to become an expert in your chosen niche.

The money will come in naturally when you enjoy the process fully and taking it one patient at a time.



Dr. Jeanette Padgett, MD FACS in OKC has deep roots in Oklahoma and a long history of serving the community of Oklahoma City.

Dr. Padgett received her medical training here and also began her professional plastic surgery career in Oklahoma. She has been a practicing plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City since 1990.