In the USA, the average perfusionist salary in 2016 was a low six-figure: around $105,000 per year (that means about $50 per hour, for a full-time year with 2,080 hours of practice), which is one of the highest wages paid in the healthcare field, comparable with the remunerations of physicians. The pay for this health profession varies depending on certain elements, which are presented in one of this article’s sections.
This post also includes more details about the income provided by the perfusionist jobs in the USA and in other countries, as well as the values of the mean wages of similar occupations, in the USA, so that anyone can make a salary comparison for jobs that are similar – in the sphere of activity, education requirements or pay level – to the profession whose pay is described in this article. The final section of this post offers a brief outline of this occupation.
What Influences the Clinical Perfusionist Salaries
As anyone can easily intuit, the earnings of the medical perfusionist job are not fixed, they vary according to several factors, which usually influence the income of almost any occupation, be it medical or not.
First and foremost, the geographical location of the working place exerts the greatest influence on the level of this job’s pay; more precisely, the country (and, in a lesser extent, the state and the administrative-territorial area of employment) where this health professional works determines the level of his or her income, almost more than anything else. Then, the number of years and the number of hours of practice have an important impact on these professionals’ earnings.
The type of the work setting is another essential influential element for this pay; although the great majority of the perfusionists work in the hospitals, these workers can also practice in public or private clinics, outpatient care centers, and even in schools, colleges and universities, where he or she teaches the students or is a scientific researcher.
The cardiovascular perfusionist salary is also affected by the type of the employment sector – the private sector provides, in general, higher wages (for any occupation, not only for the one dealt with in this article).
The Salaries of Perfusionists in USA
The most reliable information about the wages offered in the United States for any occupation can be found on www.bls.gov, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Official Website. But, when it comes to the perfusion jobs, the website bls.gov doesn’t provide too much detail; this is happening because this profession was included by te US BLS, in the group of jobs named “Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other”. For this group of occupations, the average wage was $46,000 per year in 2016. These values are expected to increase a bit in 2017, but still they are much lower than the medical perfusionist average salary, because this (sub)category of jobs also includes other occupations than the one whose income is described in this post.
However, the website bls.gov offers the mean values of the wages of other healthcare professions that are related to this article’s main occupation, regarding the main duties, the field of activity, the pay level or the level of the necessary education (therefore, anyone can compare salaries of these related jobs). The following list contains the mean annual wages in USA in 2016 of the jobs that are similar to the perfusionist jobs (the corresponding entry-level education – for the USA – is specified in parentheses):
- medical assistant salary: $30,780 (Postsecondary non-degree award)
- paramedic salary: $34,870 (Postsecondary non-degree award)
- phlebotomist salary: $31,410 (Postsecondary non-degree award)
- dental assistant salary: $35,640 (Postsecondary non-degree award)
- respiratory therapist salary: $57,880 (Associate’s degree)
- dental hygienist salary: $71,530 (Associate’s degree)
- physical therapist salary: $82,180 (Doctoral or professional degree)
- pharmacist salary: $116,500 (Doctoral or professional degree)
- optometrist salary: $111,640 (Doctoral or professional degree)
Perfusionist Salary in 2016 in Other Countries
In the United Kingdom, the pay for these professionals ranges from £20,500 (pounds sterling, which is equivalent to about $34,000) to more than £60,000 (i.e. more than $100,000) per annum.
In Canada, the average annual wage for this occupation is around 65,000 CAD, that is approx. $60,000; this annual pay is equivalent to an hourly perfusionist’s salary of 31.25 CAD/hour, i.e. about $28/hour on average (calculated for 2,080 working hours in a full-time year).
In Australia, this profession’s pay is around 75,000 AUD (i.e. approx. $70,000) per year.
What Does a Perfusionist Do?
This healthcare professional is commonly known as medical or clinical perfusionist. It is a highly-trained member of the surgery teams, who operates the heart-lung machine, which is a complex pump that performs the extracorporeal circulation, i.e. it replaces the heart and lungs during surgeries, by performing the patient’s circulatory and respiratory functions (more precisely, it makes the blood and the oxygen circulate through the patient’s body).
The medical perfusionist salary is so high because of his or her huge and complex responsibility: to maintain a good physiological and metabolic state of the patient, by properly managing the patient’s circulatory and respiratory functions, during the surgical procedure.