Surgical Assistant Salary (United States)

Hourly pay for Surgical Assistants in the United States typically comes in around $20.67 per hour. Compensation starts at $14.11 per hour and can reach $32.58. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Although most have medical coverage and more than half have dental coverage, about one-fourth claim no health benefits at all. The majority of Surgical Assistants (66 percent) are women. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. 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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As Surgical Assistants transition into upper-level roles, they may actually see a sharp decline in salary. For instance, an Oral Surgery Assistant will earn less than his or her lower-level colleagues. Surgical Assistants most often move into positions as Surgical Dental Assistants or Oral Surgery Assistants, where they typically take pay cuts of $14,023 or $14,054 per year.

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 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.
In most cases, Surgical Assistants can expect only incremental pay growth as they advance in their careers. Salaries increase to $48K from around $41K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $58K after 10 to 20 years. Salaries tend to grow less rapidly after achieving 20 years of experience, with more senior Surgical Assistants earning an average of $60K per year. 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 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 14 percent. Between one and nine years of experience is the norm for people in this field—more than half of those surveyed fit this bill.

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.
Surgical Assistants will find that Houston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 47 percent. Surgical Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Denver (+43 percent), Cincinnati (+32 percent), Chicago (+28 percent), and Honolulu (+13 percent). Orlando is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 3 percent.

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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