Surgical Assistant Salary (United States)

Pay for Surgical Assistants in the United States is typically around $20.67 per hour. The top of the range reaches $32.58, and the bottom approaches $14.11 per hour. Location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Some workers in this field—24 percent—are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by most and dental plans are enjoyed by more than half. Most Surgical Assistants (66 percent) are women. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire form the basis for this summary.
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%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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' salaries may sharply decline with career advancements. Higher-end positions like Oral Surgery Assistant tend to get paid much less. More commonly, Surgical Assistants take pay cuts as they move into roles as Surgical Dental Assistants or Oral Surgery Assistants, making $14,023 or $14,054 less per year, respectively.

Surgical Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Surgical Assistant

Surgical Assistants report using a wide range 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 are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Oral Surgery. It is often found that people who know General Surgery are also skilled in Oral Surgery.

Pay by Experience Level for Surgical Assistant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Surgical Assistants with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy higher salaries, as pay increases are mainly incremental. After five to 10 years, compensation can go from $41K to $48K. Those with one to two decades of experience under their belt tend to see salaries around $58K. As Surgical Assistants reach 20 years on the job, salary increases slow down a bit, averaging $60K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 27 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 14 percent. More than half of respondents report one to nine years of experience.

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.
Surpassing the national average by 47 percent, Surgical Assistants in Houston receive some of the highest pay in the country. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Denver, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Honolulu, where Surgical Assistants typically earn around 43 percent, 32 percent, 28 percent, and 13 percent more than usual. The smallest paychecks in the market, 3 percent south of the national average, can be found in Orlando.

Related Job Salaries

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%
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