How Long Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologists are in charge of administering anesthetics, monitoring vital signs, and performing surgery-related tasks. 

Anesthesiologists must complete several years of study and training before practicing. 

This article will focus on what an anesthesiologist does, how long it takes to become an anesthesiologist, what they typically make, and how to start a career in this field.

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What is an Anesthesiologist School Like?

Anesthesia specialists must be licensed medical professionals in every state. 

You must enroll in medical school after completing a pre-med or liberal arts undergraduate degree. 

All medical specialties will be described in general terms by the medical school. 

Because anesthesiology connects to many different areas of medicine, it is advantageous for anesthesiologists in training. 

Your one-year internship will teach you about anesthesiology in pediatrics, surgery, and general medicine after you graduate from medical school. 

Anesthesiology residency is then completed after three years.

Most students enroll in fellowship programs for a year or longer to learn about anesthesia specialization. 

The options are cardiac, pediatric, neurologic, obstetrical, pain management, or critical care. 

The American Board of Anesthesiology Examination is the last requirement for board certification as an anesthesiologist.

Is Attending an Anesthesiologist School Worth It?

This largely depends on your values. 

Being an anesthesiologist can be challenging since you may spend much time working with the surgeon. 

Despite the difficulties of their work, anesthesiologists rarely receive thanks from the people they treat. 

This is because they are less dependent on patient interaction than other disciplines. 

However, the knowledge that you significantly contributed to preserving a patient’s life makes all the effort worthwhile. 

Furthermore, the high compensation of an anesthesiologist is another rewarding aspect of the profession.

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What Schooling Do You Need to Be an Anesthesiologist?

Students pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree, followed by four years of graduate study leading to an M.D. or an osteopathy degree (D.O.). 

After that, they complete a four-year anesthesia residency (about 160 anesthesiology medical residency programs in the United States). 

Some residents pursue a second year of study, known as a fellowship, in a particular field of anesthesiology, such as research or education.

Before becoming an anesthesiologist, you must decide if you want to pursue a medical career. 

With a rotation across each branch of medicine, medical school is set up to give students the greatest variety of options. 

Because of the strong doctor-patient interactions, utilization of cutting-edge technologies, and fast-paced environment in anesthesiology, some medical students will discover that they are drawn to the field. 

They will learn that anesthesiologists have training in internal medicine, critical care, obstetrics, and pain medicine, to name a few and that they deal with emergencies, organ transplants, and all varieties of surgeries—from head to toe.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed Anesthesiologist?

Students must complete a substantial amount of coursework and training before becoming anesthesiologists. 

Being an anesthesiologist typically takes 12 to 15 years to complete. 

The basic scope of what happens throughout that time is outlined below;

1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

The initial phase entails earning a bachelor’s degree in any field. 

Choosing a pre-med route is a common choice for students who want to become anesthesiologists, while you are not required to major in science or math. 

It takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree.

2. Enroll in medical school 

You must enroll in medical school after completing your undergraduate studies. 

Typically, four years are needed to complete medical school. 

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3. Finish a residency

A normal anesthesiology residency program lasts four years and provides recent medical school graduates with practical instruction and clinical experience.

4. Occupy a License

A physician must be licensed in their state of employment before an anesthesiologist can practice medicine. 

The United States Medical Licensing Examination must be passed successfully for applicants to be granted a license and meet state education and residency criteria. 

5. Gain a Fellowship: 

Even while fellowships are optional, lots of aspiring anesthesiologists go for them to focus on a particular field, such as pediatric anesthesia or critical care medicine. 

A one- to two-year commitment is typical for fellowships, which may also need extra certification.

6. Learn to Get Certified: 

Although certification is not compulsory, many anesthesiologists prefer to get it to prove to their patients’ parents that they keep the greatest standards of care. 

Passing both the written and oral tests is required for certification. 

Students must fulfill continuing education requirements and pay the required fees for recertification after receiving their certification.

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How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed Anesthesiologist?

According to data from the Institution Board, the tuition and fees for a four-year undergraduate public college are $8,893 for in-state students and $22,203 for out-of-state students for the academic year 2013–2014. 

Private four-year institutions charge $30,094 in tuition and fees. 

Costs for room and board at public colleges, both in-state and out-of-state, are $9,498 and $10,823, respectively. 

The student can anticipate paying more tuition and fees after graduating from undergrad and entering medical school.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), first-year medical students at public medical schools would pay between $12,465 and $48,960 in tuition, fees, and health insurance for residents and between $22,878 and $82,251 for non-residents in 2013-2014. 

For citizens, the average cost is $31,783, whereas, for non-residents, it is $55,294. 

The assumption is that locals would pay $127,132 for tuition, fees, and health insurance during a student’s four-year enrollment at a public medical school, while non-residents would be required to pay more, which totals $221,176.

For residents and non-residents, private medical schools’ tuition, fees, and health insurance prices range from $20,303 to $60,048. 

Residents anticipate spending $50,476 on average, while non-residents will shell out $52,093. 

Again, using the same average data, residents of private medical schools can anticipate spending $201,904 on tuition, fees, and health insurance for a four-year course of study in medical school. 

The average cost for non-residents is $208,372. 

Additionally, students must account for and include living expenses while enrolled in medical school.

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Salary and Job Outlook for Anesthesiologist after Study

According to data from the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics, anesthesiologists are among the medical professionals who earn the highest salaries, with a national average yearly salary of $331,190. 

Notably, it’s tough and complex to be an anesthesiologist. 

The patients are rendered comatose, and you ensure they are fully functional when awakened. 

Also, anesthesiologists are in charge of the nervous system-affected medications they must give out. 

The patient’s life may be in jeopardy with a minor error. 

One of the riskiest fields is, without a doubt, this one. 

Why anesthesiologists are paid well may be clear to everyone. 

This is because there is a great demand for this specialty, and it takes too long to specialize in it.

Nevertheless, depending on your place of employment, your expected yearly salary may be higher or lower. 

In comparison, anesthesiologists in outpatient care facilities earn $247,550 annually, compared to $349,590 on average for those employed in physician offices. 

In the United States, there are 31,130 people employed. 

Anesthesiologists expect a 0.5% reduction in employment growth between 2020 and 2030. 

The tiny reduction is not particularly alarming, though.


In conclusion, a bachelor’s degree and at least eight years of postgraduate study must be earned before becoming an anesthesiologist. 

In-depth knowledge, training, and competence are necessary to sedate patients safely for medical and surgical procedures. 

A residency, internship, and medical school will all be required for your anesthesiology education. 

Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities in this specialized field are expanding more quickly than the national average (BLS)

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the length of training to become an anesthesiologist? 

The majority of anesthesiologist training programs take 12 years or less to complete. This spans four years of residency, four years of medical school, and four years of an undergraduate program. Thanks to some programs, it would take less time to become an anesthesiologist if students could finish their bachelor’s education and medical school in six years.

What are the anesthesiologists’ working conditions

Most anesthesiologists do inpatient and outpatient procedures while at work in a hospital or medical center. They spend the same time with patients in the waiting room, operating room, and recovery area.

How many hours do anesthesiologists put in each week? 

Anesthesiologists frequently put in more than 40 hours every week. Some anesthesiologists may work 12-hour shifts or be available around the clock. The number of hours anesthesiologists work each week is greatly influenced by their workplace.

Is Becoming an Anesthesiologist Difficult? 

You’ll need to learn considerable skills and expertise to succeed because the procedure is drawn out, and residencies can be rather competitive. 

Overall, becoming an anesthesiologist can be challenging, but it is possible.

Is a Career in Anesthesia Worth It? 

Pursuing a career in anesthesiology is worthwhile if you have a passion for the field. If you still want to become an anesthesiologist after thinking about how long it will take you to complete anesthesia school, how much it will cost, and other issues, you should go for it.

Are anesthesiologists medical professionals? 

Yes, attending medical school and earning an MD or DO are necessary steps to becoming an anesthesiologist.


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