Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Surgical Assistant

Find Schools Near

What Does it Take to Be a Surgical Assistant?

Career Description 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.

Life As a Surgical Assistant: What Do They Do?

  • Pass instruments or supplies to surgeon during procedure.
  • Postoperatively inject a subcutaneous local anesthetic agent to reduce pain.
  • Incise tissue layers in lower extremities to harvest veins.
  • Monitor and maintain aseptic technique throughout procedures.
  • Assist members of surgical team with gowning or gloving.
  • Adjust and maintain operating room temperature, humidity, or lighting, according to surgeon’s specifications.

Skills Needed to be a Surgical Assistant

When polled, Surgical Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Types of Surgical Assistant

  • Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA)
  • Surgical Technician (Surgical Tech)
  • Surgical Services Assistant
  • Assistant-at-Surgery
  • Clinical Assistant

Surgical Assistant Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 127,800 jobs for Surgical Assistant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,100 new jobs for Surgical Assistant by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 11,000 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Surgical Assistants in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Surgical Assistant are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Rhode Island, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Surgical Assistant Make?

The salary for Surgical Assistants ranges between about $28,130 and $72,720 a year.

Salary Ranges for Surgical Assistants

Surgical Assistants who work in New Mexico, Alaska, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Surgical Assistants in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $46,230
Alaska $62,580
Arizona $48,840
Arkansas $42,300
California $50,150
Colorado $46,270
Connecticut $55,450
Delaware $48,900
District of Columbia $54,210
Florida $42,730
Georgia $46,960
Hawaii $54,660
Idaho $48,750
Illinois $47,590
Indiana $49,300
Iowa $42,590
Kansas $49,180
Kentucky $51,780
Louisiana $38,370
Maine $51,500
Maryland $44,590
Massachusetts $55,950
Michigan $45,640
Minnesota $55,940
Mississippi $36,900
Missouri $46,580
Montana $42,630
Nebraska $45,370
Nevada $45,980
New Hampshire $50,390
New Jersey $53,570
New Mexico $60,690
New York $55,700
North Carolina $39,230
North Dakota $46,370
Ohio $42,780
Oklahoma $43,960
Oregon $54,520
Pennsylvania $43,070
Rhode Island $55,490
South Carolina $42,820
South Dakota $54,290
Tennessee $64,010
Texas $43,990
Utah $41,150
Vermont $50,140
Virginia $48,050
Washington $59,950
West Virginia $43,490
Wisconsin $44,080
Wyoming $51,120

What Tools & Technology do Surgical Assistants Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Surgical Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word processing software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Palm OS
  • Patient tracking software
  • Nursing documentation software
  • Patient scheduling software
  • Supply documentation software
  • Surgery workflow communication software

Becoming a Surgical Assistant

What education is needed to be a Surgical Assistant?

Surgical Assistant Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Surgical Assistant?

Surgical Assistant Work Experience

Where do Surgical Assistants Work?

Surgical Assistant Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Surgical Assistant Industries

References:

Image Credit: via

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Medical Technologist Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.