Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

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Derivative
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Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Derivative » Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am

Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Fri May 18, 2018 4:52 am

I think you're asking the wrong questions. You're setting yourself up for failure and a miserable life if you first decide on compensation and then work your way backwards. Doesn't really work that way. The numbers you throw out there seem, to me, to be higher than what most general surgeons clear, and you'd have to match into ortho or plastics or something to realistically land those.

You provided no information in your post: Is it a safe assumption that you're not a medical student and likely haven't applied yet? Finished pre-reqs, clinical experience, volunteering, MCAT? Without getting all your ducks in a row and first having a danged good answer re: "Why medicine?" you won't be a match for the career. And believe me, there is plenty of room for misery. Don't pursue it for the money.

CPA and real estate can be two separate career choices. Same with being a "business owner," although you can be a "business owner" and work as a CPA, work in real estate, or be a surgeon as well.

It really sounds like you're asking a lot of generic questions that need more focus.

afan
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by afan » Fri May 18, 2018 5:02 am

There is a huge range of income among surgeons. Depends on the field, the location, success in attracting patients and the whims of reimbursement. But to make that kind of money one would be busy practing surgery. Most surgeons love the clinical work. If you can imagine yourself.being just as happy doing something else then running a business has far lower start up.costs, better hours, no night call, no malpractice risk...
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darrvao777
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by darrvao777 » Fri May 18, 2018 5:21 am

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
What do you mean by 25 and pursuing the medical school track? If you aren't already in medical school, I don't think being a surgeon is in the cards for you.

If you are already thinking about pursuing a track that is less stressful and more profitable, I don't think being a surgeon is in the cards for you.

Most surgeons don't make 500-700K. If you expect to make that much, I don't think being a surgeon is in the cards for you.

I am a surgeon in a high pay, low stress subspecialty that makes > 700K and I will readily admit, I got lucky. I don't recommend that people pursue med school and especially surgery unless they can't see themselves doing anything else in life.

It doesn't sound like you are in medical school. Best case scenario would mean you graduate med school by 29. You'd leave a surgical residency at 34 (tack on some more years for fellowship training). The best years of your life will be spent being overworked and underpaid. Money isn't going to buy those years back, unless of course, this is your passion and calling.

Jags4186
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:17 am

A $500-$700k income puts you near, but not quite at the top 0.1% of earners in the country. The probability of making $500k-$700k therefore is tiny regardless of profession. I might suggest some other professions for you that would almost guarrantee you make you that type of money:

Executive at fortune 500 company
NBA/MLB/NFL player
Movie star
Anchor of a major news networks primetime show
Private attorney for the President of the United States
Managing Director and an investment bank

As others above have stated, you certainly will need to focus yourself a little more in order to make that type of money.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Fri May 18, 2018 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by smitcat » Fri May 18, 2018 6:18 am

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
What is the status of your plan to attend medical school?....
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228625&p=3551401#p3551401

Your past posts indcate a pattern of revisiting the same topics at a 1/3rd to 1/2 year interval - what is the end goal?

ponyboy
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by ponyboy » Fri May 18, 2018 6:28 am

I have 2 friends who pursued the surgeon career. I wouldnt trade my life for theirs any day of the week...my wife and I make a combined $160k in a LCOL area. The amount of hours they had to put in for 10ish years to become a surgeon is ridiculous. They are just out of I guess residency...that time after residency where they do surgery for a while...one is on the west coast and the other east coast. I guess they'll try to link up and find jobs near each other at some point??

Unless its a passion of love...there are easier ways to make a lot of money...lawyer being one of them. Much less time in school...but long hours. Become a partner in a big firm in a major city...sacrifice 5-7 years of your life then retire by 40 at the latest. Couple million to hold you over.

pencap75
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by pencap75 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:39 am

If your career goal is purely to make money, then medicine ain't for you.

You are 25, and you aren't even in med school yet. I graduated med school when I was 25.
Even if you go to med school, there is no guarantee that you will end up in a surgical residency. You might be brilliant or you could be mediocre and end up in some low paying primary care. Either way, you will have huge med school debt unless you have rich parents.

Go into medicine if its your calling.
If you want to make money, go into business.

Don't be fooled into thinking all docs are filthy rich boglehead docs. The docs that come here tend to be financially responsible with our high incomes. On other doc sites I go to, it seems like most of them are complaining about their lack of income and huge debt.

sc9182
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by sc9182 » Fri May 18, 2018 7:08 am

Incomes are generally > 0 ; generally stable, usually grows up at inflation for above avg folks.

Business outcomes/profits could be in wide range including Negative territory; hard to guarantee anything in bidness.

Why not combine both !?

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Cycle
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Cycle » Fri May 18, 2018 7:23 am

My wife and I entered the work force with STEM undergraduate degrees. I saved prodigiously since starting full time work at 21 and she saved some money in her twenties. We achieved 3% FIRE at 33.

Our megacorp jobs in the midwest pay combined ~280k, plus we have ~20k in rental income, plus our 3-fund usually spits out 80-100k of gains. By age 40, in todays dollars our income+investment gains should be ~500k annually, age 45 600k, age 50 750k. This is for two people who are individual contributors (ie not people managers).

Working at megacorp you can build wealth, but getting a massive salary is tough and requires long hours and high stress. Many megacorps value work-life balance, like I get 5 weeks vacation. We have our first child on the way, and combined we get 8 months paid time off, which is a benefit of like 100k per child. Outside of megacorp not many places offer these kinds of benefits. MMM forum would torch this post, but I actually like working in tech at megacorp.

The magic of compounding interest works against you every year you delay entry into the workforce. I had 4 years of roth and 401k contributions at your age, so you'll need to shift any of the numbers provided above by half a decade.

masonstone
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by masonstone » Fri May 18, 2018 7:26 am

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?

First you have to be able to get into medical school. Sounds like there’s only one option for you.

whatistiaa
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by whatistiaa » Fri May 18, 2018 7:49 am

darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:21 am
I am a surgeon in a high pay, low stress subspecialty that makes > 700K and I will readily admit, I got lucky. I don't recommend that people pursue med school and especially surgery unless they can't see themselves doing anything else in life.
Surgery.
Low stress.
>700K

Honestly thought the only surgeons with that salary would be busy private practice neurosurg, ortho, or plastics. Do you mind me asking what subspecialty?

staythecourse
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by staythecourse » Fri May 18, 2018 8:07 am

Why limit yourself to surgery? I would bet most high end medical specialists have a higher probability of making more then a SBO. Then, of course, to be philosophical doctors USED to be SBO themselves just in the field of medicine. I would say that high end specialists have a better chance of being rich then SBO, but won't be in the >1SD range like you could if you ran your business. MOST SBO don't make it big, but when they do there is no limit and A LOT less regulations in the way to be profitable then in medcine.

Doesn't take much for a doctor to break 400k depending on your specialty, but very hard to break 700k unless you want to live in a smaller town OR work really hard Or really lucky OR run your own practice and take advantage of the income from junior docs.

Good luck.

p.s. Second the don't pick a career just based on money as it may all go away with one sign of a pen (new law) which is even worse since your loans are permanent.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by jharkin » Fri May 18, 2018 8:14 am

Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:52 am
I think you're asking the wrong questions. You're setting yourself up for failure and a miserable life if you first decide on compensation and then work your way backwards. Doesn't really work that way. The numbers you throw out there seem, to me, to be higher than what most general surgeons clear, and you'd have to match into ortho or plastics or something to realistically land those.

+100000

Not to mention that just "getting an MBA" doesn't mean you are going to launch the next Apple or Berkshire. You need to come up with a business idea that nobody else thought of, and put in a lot of blood sweat and tears to make it successful in the market. Even so some high percentage (like 80%+) of all new businesses fail.

And real estate? I know LOTS of people who got real estate licenses and never made any more than hobby money from it. Its sales. If you dont have the knack for sales you are not going to magically get rich that way.

Back to the surgeon idea. If you are cutting ME open I want to know you are doing it because you are passionate about helping people get healthy. Not just for a paycheck.

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lthenderson
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by lthenderson » Fri May 18, 2018 8:34 am

jharkin wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 8:14 am
Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:52 am
I think you're asking the wrong questions. You're setting yourself up for failure and a miserable life if you first decide on compensation and then work your way backwards. Doesn't really work that way. The numbers you throw out there seem, to me, to be higher than what most general surgeons clear, and you'd have to match into ortho or plastics or something to realistically land those.

+100000
+100001

carolinaman
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by carolinaman » Fri May 18, 2018 8:36 am

My dad told me to find something I really love doing and then figure out how to make a living doing it. You are trying to figure out where you can make the most money and then educate/credential yourself to do it. You may be successful making money but will you be happy and content? Probably not. Whatever you wind up doing, make sure you have passion for doing it.

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Cycle
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Cycle » Fri May 18, 2018 8:48 am

Why do you want to earn that much annually?

Do you think it will make you happy? The money itself won't make you happy. The career may.
Do you think it will impress others? It won't, better off spending that time in the gym
Do you think it will give you financial security? A super high salary isn't needed for financial security, just a good salary
Do you think it will allow you to have a chauffeur and fancy car? Its called uber/lyft, and negates the need for your own car / driver.
Do you think it will allow you to live comfortably in a big house? Comfort as you get older is when your knees and back don't hurt, not how many square ft you have. Big house just means more empty space to fill with unnecessary stuff.

Just follow your passion. You don't need to be a surgeon to do surgery stuff, like I get to deploy medical devices I design in animals and cadavers, but it's the design and testing piece that is my passion.

txranger
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by txranger » Fri May 18, 2018 8:54 am

Sounds like put the cart before the horse son. Do what u like doing and $ and/or career success will come with it.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri May 18, 2018 8:58 am

To answer your question:
Surgeon makes more on average without a doubt since so many businesses struggle to break even.
However, in business you have a chance of clearing a lot more money than a surgeon - if you work hard, have a knack for it, work your way up, and happen to be in all the right places at all the right times.

However:
I agree with others - you have a much better chance of success regardless of the career you choose if you are happy and motivated doing what you do every day. The successful business owners are successful in part because they love what they do and drive hard. I'm sure the same is true for surgeons.

ssquared87
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by ssquared87 » Fri May 18, 2018 8:59 am

Im a consultant and work with clients in many fields. You can make huge amounts of money in business in any of those fields if you are great at what you do. What industry you chose is less important than how skilled you are at the technical aspects of your profession, managing others, and building relationships.

I've worked with CEOs of small textile companies that make well over 7 figures, and these are people who are smart, affable and friendly, but otherwise ordinary guys who love what they do and managed to work themselves up. Lot of people on the sales side of business do extremely well. Think software sales, professional service sales, etc. The sales guys in my company are the most well paid, some making in the 7 figure range, and they basically work 35 hours a week. Although they don't work a ton of hours, they have laser sharp focus.

Then of course you can start your own business. If you are passionate about your company, you can take it to whatever level you want.

Investment bankers, PE and VC guys make surgeons look like peasants.

I guess what I'm saying is that you can find ways in most fields to get money. Don't choose a field based on money, pick something you are passionate then chase the money within that area.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by goodenyou » Fri May 18, 2018 9:06 am

Choosing a career in medicine is very unpredictable. Getting into medical school, doing well in medical school, getting (and liking) into a high-paying specialty residency are all unpredictable. If you want to be rich, immerse yourself in a career that is all about money. Finance/accounting etc. where you are constantly thinking about money. If you practice medicine in that way, you will be inclined to be unethical or commit fraud. I see it everyday. Trying to do the "Safety Dance" of guaranteeing a high paying career by going into medicine is a fool's errand. You may end up with astronomical debt and in a career that you loathe (after 10 years of school and training). Most doctors nowadays are opting for employment because the barrier of entry into private practice is getting more difficult and the debt-laden need the guarantee to pay off huge education obligations. The rules and regulations are very onerous and reimbursements continue to fall. So is the satisfaction. I am not encouraging my kids to do it.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

investingdad
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by investingdad » Fri May 18, 2018 9:12 am

My advice is to actually start down a path and then stick with it to its conclusion.

After reading some of your other threads, you come off sounding wishy washy.

Perhaps this isn't the case, but that's the vibe you're projecting.

MrJones
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by MrJones » Fri May 18, 2018 9:41 am

smitcat wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:18 am
What is the status of your plan to attend medical school?....
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228625&p=3551401#p3551401

Your past posts indcate a pattern of revisiting the same topics at a 1/3rd to 1/2 year interval - what is the end goal?
+1. Regardless of what you do, have your considered understanding and working to get your mental habits and thought processes to a better place?

Accrual
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Accrual » Fri May 18, 2018 10:28 am

investingdad wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:12 am
My advice is to actually start down a path and then stick with it to its conclusion.

After reading some of your other threads, you come off sounding wishy washy.

Perhaps this isn't the case, but that's the vibe you're projecting.
I agree. Most folks who make the type of money OP is referring to are very deliberate and purposeful when it comes to their career. Making $700k doesn't come down to choice, but a lot of hard work, deliberate actions, and some luck. As someone else noted - what is the end goal? Money?

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Fri May 18, 2018 10:35 am

OP, it is impossible to determine the probabilities that you ask about.

I recommend that you formulate new questions that are answerable and that could provide you with specific information that would be useful to your decision-making.

I also agree with others that your choice of career should not be made solely — or even mainly — on predicted compensation. As you think about your passive future careers, what other factors matter the most to you?

Andy.

Frank Grimes
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Frank Grimes » Fri May 18, 2018 11:03 am

If you're making that much as a CPA, you're probably a Big 4 partner. Aside from high stress in that position, you will have suffered through a career of high stress to even get to that point.

Or maybe you could get to that salary level after hanging a shingle and building a business over decades. But you won't roll out of school and make that right away. Not to mention the high stress it'll take to build that business.

As others have suggested, you probably need to reconfigure your thought process.

Afty
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Afty » Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am

stoptothink wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:09 am
smitcat wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:18 am
Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
What is the status of your plan to attend medical school?....
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228625&p=3551401#p3551401

Your past posts indcate a pattern of revisiting the same topics at a 1/3rd to 1/2 year interval - what is the end goal?
Either someone is seriously lost, or they are a troll.
I read this as the OP having second thoughts about medical school. Perhaps they're thinking that maybe it's not the career for them and trying to find something similarly lucrative that they would enjoy more.

OP, are you having second thoughts about medical school? What prompted this post?

jayk238
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by jayk238 » Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am

Afty wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:22 am
stoptothink wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:09 am
smitcat wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:18 am
Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
What is the status of your plan to attend medical school?....
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228625&p=3551401#p3551401

Your past posts indcate a pattern of revisiting the same topics at a 1/3rd to 1/2 year interval - what is the end goal?
Either someone is seriously lost, or they are a troll.
I read this as the OP having second thoughts about medical school. Perhaps they're thinking that maybe it's not the career for them and trying to find something similarly lucrative that they would enjoy more.

OP, are you having second thoughts about medical school? What prompted this post?
Youre being too generous.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by investingdad » Fri May 18, 2018 12:21 pm

It's funny, I knew a guy in my early 20s that used to plan out various career ideas, talked about cross country moves, going to school for... whatever... based on what he thought he'd earn, etc.

We were friendly from around my senior year in college until a few years after I graduated. I eventually came to realize he had no real plans or ideas on how to execute against a plan. As a friend, I actually tried to push him to do some of the things he talked about. No dice.

I came across his social media presence a few years back, almost 20 years since we'd lost touch. Not really surprisingly, he was in the same town doing the same type of low level jobs he had in his 20s.

Unfortunately, some folks never get out of neutral.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Pajamas » Fri May 18, 2018 12:43 pm

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?
I don't think you should choose a career based primarily on which one will allow you to earn the most money. You are considering a broad range of careers in very different fields. Most colleges have some sort of career office with people who can administer tests and provide counseling to help you select a field of study and career path. Sounds like you really could benefit from assistance in assessing your skills and preferences and matching those with careers.

You also seem to be limiting your choices based on one highly variable aspect, salary. You can make good money in any field if you are good at it. Even low-paid fields have managers and business owners and executives and investors who make a lot of money. Consider doing something you are good at and enjoy and the money will follow from success. Going into a highly-compensated profession or career is not a guarantee of financial success because it is based on performance in the long term.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by CedarWaxWing » Fri May 18, 2018 12:54 pm

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

No one can answer that question as asked.

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

The above paragraph suggests you would not wish to go into medicine, as your priorities would not be satisfied in that field.


If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

No one can answer that question as asked. If you work in a big firm and become a partner, 50/50 maybe.

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

Impossible to answer the above question as asked. Real estate business incomes are all over the map, as are surgeon's incomes.

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

You enjoy both tracks? But you have no experience in either? Business degrees and accounting degrees are far easier to get than an Md degree, and they also lead to gainful employment after undergrad degrees.


I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

No data will tell you how much YOU will easily make. No job is easy if properly done and if well remunerated.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
Most surgeons do not make that kind of money. Being a surgeon is definitely not a safe path for either career entry efforts nor for longevity in that field. A surgeon can go three years of a 6 year residency... and suddenly loose their resident position even if doing a good job. A board certified surgeon can loose his/her career and job with a multitude of medical problems that would not have that affect on most careers or by making one wrong mistake.

Your questions suggest that you have not yet found something that you enjoy enough that you would do it for any livable salary. Anything that you have to get paid 500k per year to do suggests that you don't have a real interest in the job, but are interested in only the money. Looking for a career you would truly enjoy and would be willing to do even if you had no need to earn a living is a best career for most people, and knowing what that would be is a more worthy task than looking for the most lucrative career. I am pretty sure that the ideal talents and traits for being a great CPA are not the same as the ideal talents and traids for being an excellent surgeon. Good luck.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by folkher0 » Fri May 18, 2018 1:26 pm

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
Don't take this the wrong way, but if this is the kind of thinking you have at age 25, you are not gonna be a surgeon. Just get it out of your mind and come up with a new plan. If you started med school tomorrow, you might finish surgical training in 9 years without specialization. You have unrealistic expectations for income. You haven't considered debt. I don't see you finishing med school let alone residency if this is how you are thinking about surgery as a career.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 18, 2018 1:27 pm

I removed some off-topic comments. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by 123 » Fri May 18, 2018 2:38 pm

There are a couple of guys I hear about on the news frequently, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who started their own businesses and have done well. It really depends on whether you love what you do and get lucky, more than anything else.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by SouthernCPA » Fri May 18, 2018 2:50 pm

Frank Grimes wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:03 am
If you're making that much as a CPA, you're probably a Big 4 partner. Aside from high stress in that position, you will have suffered through a career of high stress to even get to that point.

Or maybe you could get to that salary level after hanging a shingle and building a business over decades. But you won't roll out of school and make that right away. Not to mention the high stress it'll take to build that business.

As others have suggested, you probably need to reconfigure your thought process.
I agree, you will have no family or social life to get to that point as a CPA.

Also, "owning a business" is all over the spectrum...you could own a real estate development company making millions of dollars per deal (with lots of risk) or you could own a snowball stand and make barely $10,000 a year....

Generally, there are no shortcuts in the world. You will have to risk much and give up a lot of personal life/time in order to hit the level of success you are wanting. There is no easy way out, aside from being born or marrying into wealth. If neither of those happened to you, prepare to settle for middle class or work hard and get lucky.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by darrvao777 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:12 pm

whatistiaa wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:49 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:21 am
I am a surgeon in a high pay, low stress subspecialty that makes > 700K and I will readily admit, I got lucky. I don't recommend that people pursue med school and especially surgery unless they can't see themselves doing anything else in life.
Surgery.
Low stress.
>700K

Honestly thought the only surgeons with that salary would be busy private practice neurosurg, ortho, or plastics. Do you mind me asking what subspecialty?
Busy, private practice, plastics.

I should probably qualify the low stress. Stress is all relative. Relatively low stress compared to what surgical residents or most surgical attendings go through. The volume is still very high to support that kind of pay. (Even today is a good example. Not tremendously high volume but there were a couple of factors that got me stressed out and flustered at work today. And that's rare. But I'm home before 5 so how much can I really complain? Not common amongst surgeons)

I am exclusively outpatient and reconstructive so that cuts down on a lot of stressors.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the OP but if you are 25, want high pay, and don't want to work hard for it, it will likely never happen. In either field. Most wealthy people have to work and work hard for their money. If it were easy, we'd all be rich.
Last edited by darrvao777 on Fri May 18, 2018 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri May 18, 2018 3:12 pm

1. Find your passion. What would you do for free because you love to do it so much?
2. Find your lifestyle. Early birder? Have to have weekends off. Have to have vacations? Need work friends and friend coworkers?
3. Find your "dealbreakers". Must be in charge. Must be the "boss". Don't like to be told what to do? Etc.
4. Find what you are willing to sacrifice for your passion, career, or wealth.
5. Find if you can commit. How much? 24/7?
6. Know your limitations.
7. Be realistic: Not all MD's are wealthy. Not all businessman are wealthy. Neither path can be chosen optimally because so many fail to succeed in either despite desire and apparent ability. One can make conceptual choices but the choice alone does not guarantee the result years or decades later. And, not all fields guarantee high income. And vs vs. For example: A graduate from welding school can have a chain of muffler shops later on and end up wealthier than many professions.

Figure out and "get it" organically from #1-6 and the rest will fall into place.

aloha
j

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Mydanyale » Fri May 18, 2018 9:35 pm

Derivative wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 2:30 am
Which one is higher on average? Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

I am wondering if a surgeon salary + benefits almost always comes out ahead of starting your own business. I am ~25y/o and am pursuing the medical school/surgeon track but am just wondering who produces more money annually (after all benefits, taxes, are taken into account). I don't know if I should just pursue the business track as a CPA, MBA, or as real estate agent/broker/investor.

If I became a CPA and started my own CPA firm, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

If I started a real estate business, what is the probability of me making more than a surgeon annually?

The thing is I really enjoy both tracks (business/CPA/real estate and medicine/surgery) and love the idea of building a business that just keeps on growing and serving more people/making more money. I have acquaintances (40 y/o+) who have their own real estate and CPA business and they seem to serve so many people and make so much more money than a surgeon and have much more free time and less stress. I just don't know the probability of making more as a CPA and real estate business investor/owner vs. a surgeon.

I think if I can easily make more as a CPA or real estate business owner I may pursue that track since they seem to be less stressful than being a surgeon. Can anyone provide any insight or let me know how I can find actual data to answer these questions? Thank you.

For a surgeon salary I am talking $500k-$700k/yr. I don't know how easily it is to build a business that makes that much as a CPA or real estate agent/broker/investor and the probability of making that much consistently per year. How much safer would becoming a surgeon be if you wanted to earn at least 500k-700k annually?
Being an MD is the way to secure a high income level for the rest of your life. It is the safer bet imho.
Only the very few successful business or the top investors make more. Most people in business, including CPAs and real estate brokers don't make that amount of money.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Mydanyale » Fri May 18, 2018 9:38 pm

darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:12 pm
whatistiaa wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:49 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:21 am
I am a surgeon in a high pay, low stress subspecialty that makes > 700K and I will readily admit, I got lucky. I don't recommend that people pursue med school and especially surgery unless they can't see themselves doing anything else in life.
Surgery.
Low stress.
>700K

Honestly thought the only surgeons with that salary would be busy private practice neurosurg, ortho, or plastics. Do you mind me asking what subspecialty?
Busy, private practice, plastics.

I should probably qualify the low stress. Stress is all relative. Relatively low stress compared to what surgical residents or most surgical attendings go through. The volume is still very high to support that kind of pay. (Even today is a good example. Not tremendously high volume but there were a couple of factors that got me stressed out and flustered at work today. And that's rare. But I'm home before 5 so how much can I really complain? Not common amongst surgeons)

I am exclusively outpatient and reconstructive so that cuts down on a lot of stressors.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the OP but if you are 25, want high pay, and don't want to work hard for it, it will likely never happen. In either field. Most wealthy people have to work and work hard for their money. If it were easy, we'd all be rich.
Yes, well done!

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by whatistiaa » Fri May 18, 2018 10:27 pm

darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:12 pm
whatistiaa wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:49 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:21 am
I am a surgeon in a high pay, low stress subspecialty that makes > 700K and I will readily admit, I got lucky. I don't recommend that people pursue med school and especially surgery unless they can't see themselves doing anything else in life.
Surgery.
Low stress.
>700K

Honestly thought the only surgeons with that salary would be busy private practice neurosurg, ortho, or plastics. Do you mind me asking what subspecialty?
Busy, private practice, plastics.

I should probably qualify the low stress. Stress is all relative. Relatively low stress compared to what surgical residents or most surgical attendings go through. The volume is still very high to support that kind of pay. (Even today is a good example. Not tremendously high volume but there were a couple of factors that got me stressed out and flustered at work today. And that's rare. But I'm home before 5 so how much can I really complain? Not common amongst surgeons)

I am exclusively outpatient and reconstructive so that cuts down on a lot of stressors.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the OP but if you are 25, want high pay, and don't want to work hard for it, it will likely never happen. In either field. Most wealthy people have to work and work hard for their money. If it were easy, we'd all be rich.
I'm impressed!

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by El Greco » Fri May 18, 2018 10:36 pm

OP. Do everyone a favor. If making a lot of money is your only goal, please don't become a surgeon.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by jeff622859 » Fri May 18, 2018 10:47 pm

Hi OP, I am 33 y/o and about to finally finish my residency in 1 months. I have 100s of thousand in debt and have missed lots of life experiences while in call rooms the past decade. But I still love medicine. Please go into business to make money. I don’t want you as a colleague.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by jacoavlu » Fri May 18, 2018 10:51 pm

I think you should go into real estate.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by Tachyon » Sat May 19, 2018 12:39 am

Y'all are being a bit harsh. I'm giving OP the benefit of the doubt. Since he says he loves both tracks, but now trying to make a decision. Where financial issues are part of that consideration.

OP just has to make sure that he can finish. Tremendous amount of time/effort to put into the medicine track would be wasted and not finish. Loving what you do helps, but is not necessary. I actually see no problem going into medicine "for the money" or stability. As long as OP does it fully understanding what it actually means "for the money', including debt, delayed income production for nearly a decade and opportunity cost, etc.

People always say that you can make more or easier money elsewhere (ie business) compared to medicine. Of course you can. But the reality is most businesses fail. And I suspect that if you take the average income of a business owner, cpa, or real estate agent, it's much less than the average income of a surgeon. Being a doctor/surgeon is actually the "safer" way to go IF you know you can finish. There is a track to the income. Whereas in business, there's no track or guarantee.

It's such a long road, you have to make sure you can finish. That's the risk in medicine IMO.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by cutterinnj » Sat May 19, 2018 12:45 am

whatistiaa wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:49 am
darrvao777 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:21 am
I am a surgeon in a high pay, low stress subspecialty that makes > 700K and I will readily admit, I got lucky. I don't recommend that people pursue med school and especially surgery unless they can't see themselves doing anything else in life.
Surgery.
Low stress.
>700K

Honestly thought the only surgeons with that salary would be busy private practice neurosurg, ortho, or plastics. Do you mind me asking what subspecialty?
I’m in a similar situation.
Urology.
But I got lucky finding a job with partners with similar ideals as me.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by MedSaver » Sat May 19, 2018 12:49 am

Once you start the medicine path, very few don't make it to the end since getting in is very difficult. A few percent will drop out in med school because they hate it or they can't cut the academic rigors or it's too hard on their family. But Almost no one "leaves" once they are in residency. Some will change residencies but no one just up and leaves. A tiny fraction of a percentage will be unable to pass their boards or be prevented from graduating because of disciplinary actions. Once you are in practice there is very good job stability, if you can compromise. You will find work, but it may not pay what you want, where you want with who you want and you may not be able to practice the way you hoped you would.

My understanding of business/MBA is that a few make it big and everyone else fights for scraps so it's much more of a crapshoot.

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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat May 19, 2018 8:38 am

jeff622859 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:47 pm
Hi OP, I am 33 y/o and about to finally finish my residency in 1 months. I have 100s of thousand in debt and have missed lots of life experiences while in call rooms the past decade. But I still love medicine. Please go into business to make money. I don’t want you as a colleague.
Do you need assistance on how to pay down the debt? Consider updating your here: Help with 401k roll-over prior to moving to much higher tax bracket and we'll help you walk through it.
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Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

Post by staythecourse » Sat May 19, 2018 10:57 am

jeff622859 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:47 pm
Hi OP, I am 33 y/o and about to finally finish my residency in 1 months. I have 100s of thousand in debt and have missed lots of life experiences while in call rooms the past decade. But I still love medicine. Please go into business to make money. I don’t want you as a colleague.
That's a bit harsh. There is NOTHING wrong with going into medicine for money. It isn't binary. It isn't like if you want to make money you don't like helping people. There is a reason the hardest specialties to get into are the ones that pay the most and it isn't because folks like the "science". One of the GREAT aspects of medicine is even if you are all about the benjamins you still make a great impact on a person's life even if that is not your number one goal. Now being unethical is a different story. Wanting to make money is not a problem. The problems come in when folks put money AHEAD of patient well being which is more in the realm of unethical practice. No different then a lawyer putting $$$ ahead of their client's best interest.

Heck, if more docs were more business minded we would not have the situation playing out where docs are being subordinate to less intelligent and less knowledgeable admin. folks. I've been solo for awhile and am constantly amazed at how poor docs are at running a practice which ends up with them just joining a hospital and getting screwed. I would love to see more business minded folks in medicine vs. the "love of the game" folks. We have enough of the latter and not enough of the former.

Good luck.
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