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Surgical Assistant Salary (United States)

For Surgical Assistants, hourly wages usually total $20.67 per hour. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Although most have medical coverage and just over a half have dental coverage, about a fourth claim no health benefits at all. There are more female Surgical Assistants than male, making up 66 percent of individuals in this profession. The majority of Surgical Assistants claim high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Surgical Assistant Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$34,296 - $98,199
(Median)
34K
55K
77K
98K
MEDIAN: $55,228
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Surgical Assistant Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$14.11 - $32.58
(Median)
14
17
21
27
33
MEDIAN: $20
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$34,296 - $98,199  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,061  
Profit Sharing
$500 - $3,000  
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).
)
$30,812 - $81,672  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 154
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$14.11 - $32.58  
   
Overtime
$17.52 - $49.91  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,061  
   
Profit Sharing
$500 - $3,000  
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).
)
$30,812 - $81,672  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 467
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Job Description for Surgical Assistant

Surgical assistants provide assistance surgeons during medical procedures in the operating room. They work directly under surgeons and must follow their orders at all times. Surgical assistants' work also includes preparation for surgeries, including following antiseptic techniques and sterilization procedures. Individuals in this position must also consistently check that required equipment is functioning properly and does not need maintenance. Work hours vary greatly depending on the employer and position, but often shift flexibility and long shifts are required. Surgical assistants generally must be on call for long periods, but actual work during these times varies based on demand. This position involves potential exposure to hazardous environments, ranging from body fluids and chemicals to radiation and diseases.
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Surgical Assistant Tasks
  • Examine patients, collect, and update health histories and convey discharge instructions.
  • Document, process, and track patient and procedure information in electronic systems.
  • Assist during operations and procedures by providing tools, sterilizing, and performing medical tasks.
  • Prepare patients and rooms for procedures.

Common Career Paths for Surgical Assistant

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Surgical Assistants may actually experience a considerable drop in salary if they transition into an upper level Oral Surgery Assistant position. Pay for Oral Surgery Assistants tends to be $35K per year. Many Surgical Assistants advance into roles as Surgical Dental Assistants or Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assistants, but the median salaries are $14K lower and $14K lower, respectively.

Surgical Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Surgical Assistant

Survey results suggest that Surgical Assistants use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Robotics, General Surgery, and Orthopedics are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 20 percent, and 20 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Oral Surgery. Those familiar with General Surgery also tend to know Oral Surgery.

Pay by Experience Level for Surgical Assistant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Surgical Assistants do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $41K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $48K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $58K. Surgical Assistants with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $60K. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; a little over a half of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up nearly one-fourth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining about a seventh.

Pay Difference By Location

Houston
up arrow 47%
Denver
up arrow 43%
Cincinnati
up arrow 32%
Chicago
up arrow 28%
Honolulu
up arrow 13%
Seattle
up arrow 5%
Nashville
up arrow 4%
Atlanta
up arrow 3%
National Average
$48,000
Orlando
up arrow 3%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
With a pay rate for Surgical Assistants that is 47 percent greater than the national average, Houston offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Also paying near the top of the field are Denver, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Honolulu, where Surgical Assistants annually earn 43 percent, 32 percent, 28 percent, and 13 percent more than the national average. Falling short of the national average by 3 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Orlando.

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Experience Affects Surgical Assistant Salaries

National Average
$48,000

Skills That Affect Surgical Assistant Salaries

Robotics
up arrow 26%
Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN)
up arrow 16%
Surgery
up arrow 8%
National Average
$48,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 70 votes.

Gender

Female
66%
female alumni
 
Male
34%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 73% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 42% employee benefits None: 24%