Surgical Assistants: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Surgical Assistants assist surgeons during surgery by performing duties such as tissue retraction, insertion of tubes and intravenous lines, or closure of surgical wounds. Perform preoperative and postoperative duties to facilitate patient care.

  • Verify the identity of patient or operative site.
  • Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
  • Cover patients with surgical drapes to create and maintain a sterile operative field.
  • Coordinate or participate in the positioning of patients, using body stabilizing equipment or protective padding to provide appropriate exposure for the procedure or to protect against nerve damage or circulation impairment.
Read more about what does a Surgical Assistant really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$47450 per year

Average hourly wage
$23 per hour


Surgical Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $28130 and $33980 while the more experienced ones can earn over $56780 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
TN$31$64,010
AK$30$62,580
NM$29$60,690
WA$29$59,950
MA$27$55,950

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Surgical Assistant is to move to a higher paying state like TN. Right now, the highest paying states for Surgical Assistants are TN, AK, NM, WA and MA.

However, a higher pay at TN doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at TN might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Surgical Assistant is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

We asked other Surgical Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had an Associate’s Degree followed by a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Radiologist Assistant
Electroneurodiagnostic/Electroencephalographic Technology/Technologist
Gene/Genetic Therapy
Polysomnography
Renal/Dialysis Technologist/Technician
Read more about how to become a Surgical Assistant and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Surgical Assistant.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to follow routines
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.
One of the fastest growing careers
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Salary is below average

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
74%

Is this job meaningful
82%


74% of Surgical Assistants said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Organizers and The Helpers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.




Learn more about Surgical Assistants

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Related career information

Surgical Assistants job description, Surgical Assistants salary, Surgical Assistants information, what is the job of a Surgical Assistant like, pros and cons about Surgical Assistants, colleges and universities for Surgical Assistants, is Surgical Assistants the right career for me, careers in Healthcare and Medical

Similar careers

Assistant-at-Surgery, Certified First Assistant (CFA), Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA), Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA), Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), Certified Surgical Technician, First Assistant, Gastrointestinal Technician (GI Technician), Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA), Surgical Assistant-Certified (SA-C)

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