The average Surgical Assistant in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $20.67 per hour. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Surgical Assistants making up 71 percent. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and slightly more than half receive dental plans. Work is enjoyable for Surgical Assistants, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Read More
$34,814 - $82,515
$35K
$55K
$83K
MEDIAN: $54,902
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$14.44 - $31.07
$14
$21
$31
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary 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.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$34,814 - $82,515  
   
Bonus
$499.33 - $11,693  
Profit Sharing
$3,537  
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).
)
$30,959 - $74,794  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 174
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.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$14.44 - $31.07  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.25  
Overtime
$19.10 - $47.78  
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.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$499.33 - $11,693  
   
Profit Sharing
$3,537  
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).
)
$30,959 - $74,794  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 620

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

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...

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


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


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.

Surgical Assistant Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

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

National Average: $46,573

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

Surgical Assistant Reviews

What is it like working as a Surgical Assistant?

Surgical Assistant in Rochester:
"Continuous learning."
Pros: The variety of work and the fact that I am helping to alleviate health problems very directly through surgery.
Cons: Potentially standing for 8+ straight hours, mandatory overtime.

Surgical Assistant in McLean:
"Interesting."
Pros: I love working with people. My main goal is to make sure patients have a great experience no matter how scared or anxious they are.
Cons: Because we are a surgical office, we usually only see patients two or three times and their treatment with us is over.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Surgical Assistant

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 78 votes.
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
13%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Surgical Assistant Salaries




National Average
$47,000


Skills That Affect Surgical Assistant Salaries

Bariatrics
up arrow 30%


up arrow 20%



plastic surgery
up arrow 13%

Open Heart
up arrow 13%

Cardiovascular
up arrow 12%

up arrow 11%

National Average
$47,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 78 votes.

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 73%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
vision benefits
Vision: 44%
dental benefits
None: 25%
ADVERTISEMENT