Surgical Assistant Salary
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.Read More...
The most basic educational qualification for surgical positions includes either a medical school degree or certification as a surgical assistant. CPR certification is often required, and other specialized requirements may exist depending on the position. Most positions also require experience working in an operating room prior to applying. The ability to handle high-stress situations is required, as is the ability to recognize the varying needs of a wide array of patients. Surgical assistants must be able to work well in a team setting, and basic computer skills may also be required depending on the needs of the employer.
Surgical Assistant Tasks
- Assist during operations and procedures by providing tools, sterilizing, and performing medical tasks.
- Prepare patients and rooms for procedures.
- Examine patients, collect, and update health histories and convey discharge instructions.
- Document, process, and track patient and procedure information in electronic systems.
Common Career Paths for Surgical Assistant
As Surgical Assistants transition into upper-level roles such as Oral Surgery Assistants, they may actually see their salaries decline sharply. The average Oral Surgery Assistant earns a much lower $36K on average. Surgical Assistants most often advance into Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant and Surgical Dental Assistant positions even though the median salaries are $12K lower and $12K lower, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Surgical Assistant
Surgical Assistants generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Lucky workers who know Bariatrics can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 30 percent above average. Robotics and Orthopedics are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 20 percent and 30 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Oral Surgery. Most people experienced in General Surgery also 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 with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $41K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $47K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Surgical Assistants make a median salary of $52K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Surgical Assistants with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $57K.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Surgical Assistants in Dallas enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 54 percent above the national average. Surgical Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Cincinnati (+32 percent), Nashville (+25 percent), Houston (+21 percent), and Denver (+21 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Surgical Assistant's salary, with Orlando Surgical Assistants earning salaries that are 32 percent less than the national average. New York and Miami are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 21 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively.
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