Surgeon assistant’s salary is around $55,000 in the United States. Surgeon assistants work under the supervision of a surgeon. They assist the surgeon during an operation and perform a lot of critical tasks. They are more involved with the patient during the surgery than a surgical technologist, even if both occupations are usually considered as similar when they are not. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide a specific report about the surgical assistant’s salary and employment growth. However, the bureau does have report about the estimated 30% increase in the demand for surgical technologists from 2012 to 2022. Both occupations are more or less similar in that they mainly work in the surgery room, so the employment growth is likely to be the same and caused by the country’s aging population. Another reason is the advances in medical technology that encourage hospitals to perform innovative surgeries. Keep reading for more information about surgeon assistant salary and career requirements.
Surgeon assistant job description
Surgeon assistants, also called as surgical assistants or surgical first assistants, help surgeons during operations by cutting tissue, clamping vessels, closing wounds, and others. They also prepare the necessary equipment for the surgery, inserting or removing Foley bladder catheters, positioning the patient correctly, lifting the patient, and other duties before and after the surgery.
Surgeon assistants are trained to assist in almost all types of surgical operations. Many of them are employed in hospitals, while some work for physicians and dentists whose clinics provide outpatient surgical procedures. Others are employed by ambulatory surgery centers. There are also transplant doctors who require the services of surgical assistants in their surgical team.
How much does a surgeon assistant make ?
Average surgeon assistant salary
The median surgeon assistant’s salary is around $55,659, with the median wage being $20, according to PayScale.
Surgeon assistant salary in the US
PayScale reported that the typical surgeon assistant’s salary ranges between $30,928 and $79,619. Their median salary is shown to be $55,659. Without the bonus and profit sharing, their basic pay ranges from $34,417 to $96,901. As for their hourly rates, surgeon assistant earns between $14.15 and $32.52. If they work overtime, they earn between $17.26 and $49.84.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs showed that the starting surgeon assistant salary is $55,000, their average annual pay is $75,000, and the highest salary may reach up to $200,000. The surgeon assistant’s salary varies widely because their annual pay is based on the level of their primary profession, such as a physician assistant or a registered nurse.
According to Indeed, the surgeon assistant’s salary averages $63,000. Based on the BLS report for surgeon technologists, the general medical and surgical hospitals industry had the highest levels of employment and paid a salary of $43,710. But the industry that paid the highest surgeon technologist salary is that of the home health care services, where their annual pay was $63,480.
Surgeon assistant salary by city/state in the US
The starting surgeon assistant’s salary in 2013 was the highest at $41,000 in California and the lowest at $24,000 in Hawaii in the West Region. In the Northeast region, the highest salary was earned in New York at $46,000, while the lowest was in Maine at $32,000. In the South region, the highest salary was paid at $46,000 in Washington, D.C. and the lowest was earned at $32,000 in Louisiana. The surgeon assistant salary in the Midwest also varied from $28,000 to $41,000, with the lowest in South Dakota and Nebraska and the highest earned in Illinois.
Surgeon assistant salary in Canada
According to WowJobs, the average surgeon assistant salary for those working in Canada is around C$52,296. Physician assistant earns between C$32,916 and C$102,749, as per PayScale reports. However, the surgeon assistant’s salary is bound to be higher than this.
Surgeon assistant salary in Australia
Since there are no specific salary reports about the surgeon assistant’s salary for those working in Australia, the salary of the relevant occupation of dental assistant can be considered. Dental assistant in Australia earned an annual pay ranging between AU$34,644 and AU$54,178.
Surgeon assistant salary in the UK
Based on the salary of the similar occupation of dental assistant, the surgeon assistant’s salary may also range between £12,145 and £22,462. The dental assistant in the UK also received a median pay of £16,797 per year, with the hourly rates ranging between £5.94 and £10.25.
Surgeon assistant salary in South Africa
There are no specific data about the surgeon assistant’s salary in South Africa, but there are reports about the salary of dental assistants, a relevant profession. Dental assistants usually take home a basic salary ranging from R39,400 to R132,503.
How to become a surgeon assistant
To become a surgeon assistant, one needs to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program to get admitted into a graduate-level certificate or degree program. There are also undergraduate programs for surgical first assisting, although these programs only accept applicants who have operating room experience, even in an allied profession, and certification.
After getting a certification or degree, the next step is to enroll in a training program. Allied health training programs usually include classroom-based lectures and clinical instruction. The typical curriculum includes microbiology, anatomy, chemistry, pharmacology, and physiology, among other science courses. Once the students are done with the program, they must get a passing score in the certifying examination.
Aside from passing the exam, aspiring surgeon assistants should also build their experience in the field. Some programs may need at least three years of working in the operating room.
After which, it is important to take a surgical assisting program that may last for one to two years. Typical coursework includes anesthesia methods, microbiology, wound closure techniques, and pharmacology. The next steps should be to pass the physical exam, get a CPR certification, get their health insurance, get vaccinated, and complete a drug screening.
Certification is also important and the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, the American Board of Surgical Assistants, and the National Surgical Assistant Association offer one exam. Certifications should be renewed by taking continuing education credits regularly.
Conclusion about surgeon assistant salary
Based on the surgeon technologist’s salary, the surgeon assistant’s salary is bound to be almost the same at $44,420. The highest earners took home $61,300 or more, while the lowest earners received $30,450 or less.