For Ophthalmic Surgical Assistants, hourly average wages total $18.24 per hour. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Ophthalmic Surgical Assistants making up 79 percent. Work is enjoyable for Ophthalmic Surgical Assistants, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — over a third — do not have any health coverage, a majority do receive medical benefits and just over two-fifths have dental insurance. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$14.07 - $26.18
MEDIAN: $18.00

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National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
Hourly Rate
$14.07 - $26.18  
$21.53 - $44.04  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$29,624 - $60,805  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 39

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Job Description for Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant

Ophthalmic surgical assistants generally work for ophthalmologists in clinics, hospitals or doctors’ offices. They help ophthalmologists care for their patients, and they must maintain the operating room in accordance with established sterilization techniques. These assistants are responsible for cleaning and sterilizing medical instruments, assisting with surgical procedures, and helping transport patients from waiting rooms to examination or treatment rooms. Ophthalmic surgical assistants may also be required to train new ophthalmic surgical assistants, as well as help keep accurate, up-to-date patient records. They also need to anticipate surgeons' needs (such as related to instruments, sutures and sponges) during surgery, as well as respond to their requests promptly and efficiently. They must follow all relevant protocol, procedures and rules at all times.


Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant Tasks

  • Wash and sterilize equipment using germicides and sterilizers.
  • Position patients and cover with sterile surgical drapes.
  • Hand instruments and supplies during eye surgeries, hold retractors and cut sutures, and perform other tasks as directed by surgeon during operation.
  • Clean and restock the operating room, placing equipment and supplies and arranging instruments according to instruction.

Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $38K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $40K. On average, Ophthalmic Surgical Assistants make $38K following one to two decades on the job. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $52K.

Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant Salaries

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National Average

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Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 6 votes.


79 %
21 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 58%
dental benefits
Dental: 42%
medical benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 38%