What Are Some Popular Careers in Anesthesia?

Many subspecialty areas exist in the field of anesthesia. Some anesthesiologists might care only for children undergoing a surgical procedure. Others might administer anesthesia only to patients receiving open heart, brain, or spinal cord surgery. This article highlights some common careers in anesthesia. Schools offering Anesthesia Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Each subspecialty in the field of anesthesia presents its own unique career. The University of Arizona references several subspecialty areas in anesthesia. The areas that lead to the most popular careers in anesthesia include these:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Obstetrical
  • Pediatric
  • Cardiothoracic
  • Critical care or trauma

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2019) $289,595*
Entry-level Education Medical or Osteopathy Degree (M.D. or D.O.)
Similar Occupations Anesthesiologist Assistant; Anesthesia Technician
Work Environment Operating room

Source: *PayScale.com

Pain Management

Anesthesiologists working in the area of pain management specialize in the use of spinal fusion systems and stimulation devices for the spinal cord. They can administer anesthetic injections such as nerve blocks to help reduce chronic pain. They may work with other medical personnel such as osteopaths and physical therapists.


Those specializing in obstetrical anesthesia generally work with women in labor. They administer epidural anesthesia to the lower spinal cord to reduce the pain of delivery. They also administer anesthesia for cesarean sections and hysterectomies.


Children usually require special attention when undergoing anesthesia. Pediatric anesthesiologists have received special training to work with infants and children undergoing surgery. These anesthesiologists usually work in children's hospitals as well as larger general or community hospitals.


Cardiovascular anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery of the heart, lungs, or blood vessels. According to the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA, www.scahq.org), cardiovascular anesthesiologists are proficient with different types of monitoring devices used in heart surgeries. They also use special types of insert tubes for vascular and lung surgeries.

Critical Care or Trauma

In many instances, hospital patients suffering from a trauma may need emergency surgery. Critical care anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to these types of patients. They typically work in a hospital's intensive care unit but may also be necessary in other parts of a hospital. They have a thorough knowledge of many types of injuries as well as shock and trauma physiology.

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