Assistant-At-Surgery Careers

An assistant-at-surgery is the surgeon's reliable right hand inside the operation room. They work beside surgeons to provide aid during surgical operations and procedures.

Their job starts even before the surgery itself. The assistant at-surgery sets up the operation room and prepares the patient's chart and documentation. They also sterilize and organize surgical tools, ensuring that they are clean and safe to use.

During surgeries, they keep an eye on electronic equipment to monitor and report the status of the patient's vital signs. And as the procedure continues, they may also help administer injections, stitch up wounds, and take part in patient resuscitation efforts.

To be an efficient assistant-at-surgery, they need to be attentive, dedicated, and cooperative. Typically, they render 40 hours in a workweek and cover long shifts. They may also report to work on holidays and weekends.

To pursue a career as an assistant-at-surgery, candidates must hold an associate degree in surgical technology along with the necessary certification. They ascend to this position from spending at least three years in the operating room as registered nurses, technicians, or physician assistants.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an assistant-at-surgery. For example, did you know that they make an average of $54.81 an hour? That's $113,999 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 23% and produce 154,900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Assistant-At-Surgery Do

There are certain skills that many assistants-at surgery have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, technical skills and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an assistant-at-surgery, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.8% of assistants-at surgery included patient care, while 9.7% of resumes included surgical procedures, and 7.9% of resumes included rn. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the assistant-at-surgery job title. But what industry to start with? Most assistants-at surgery actually find jobs in the health care and education industries.

How To Become an Assistant-At-Surgery

If you're interested in becoming an assistant-at-surgery, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.1% of assistants-at surgery have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.4% of assistants-at surgery have master's degrees. Even though some assistants-at surgery have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an assistant-at-surgery. When we researched the most common majors for an assistant-at-surgery, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on assistant-at-surgery resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an assistant-at-surgery. In fact, many assistant-at-surgery jobs require experience in a role such as medical assistant. Meanwhile, many assistants-at surgery also have previous career experience in roles such as dental assistant or internship.

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Assistant-At-Surgery Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Assistant-At-Surgery

Assistants-At Surgery in America make an average salary of $113,999 per year or $55 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $297,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $43,000 per year.
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Best Paying Cities For Assistants-At Surgery

Average Salarydesc
Boston, MA
Salary Range83k - 273k$151k$151,202
Chicago, IL
Salary Range77k - 265k$144k$143,613
Norwich, CT
Salary Range70k - 221k$125k$124,970
New York, NY
Salary Range70k - 216k$123k$123,285
Englewood, CO
Salary Range58k - 227k$115k$115,011
Lawrenceville, GA
Salary Range50k - 177k$95k$94,504

Recently Added Salaries

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Assistant-At-Surgery Demographics



68.4 %


25.6 %


6.0 %



54.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

24.0 %

Black or African American

10.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


69.7 %


12.1 %


6.1 %
Show More Assistant-At-Surgery Demographics

Assistant-At-Surgery Education


16.0 %



30.1 %


24.0 %

High School Diploma

12.8 %
Show More Assistant-At-Surgery Education Requirements

Online Courses For Assistant-At-Surgery That You May Like

Introduction to Cataract Surgery

This comprehensive course will give you the fundamental knowledge needed to begin performing cataract surgery by phacoemulsification and extracapsular removal. Each step from preoperative evaluation to postoperative care will be covered to help prepare you for the operating room...

Transgender Medicine for General Medical Providers

The course is a comprehensive set of didactic lectures surveying fundamentals of transgender medical and surgical treatment. The material is meant to provide the student with core knowledge that is essential for current primary care providers caring for transgender patients. There are 10 modules led by the expert clinical faculty from the pioneering Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, located within the Mount Sinai Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New Yor...

The Basics of Trauma Surgery

This course imparts a wide range of basic knowledge and skills in the field of trauma surgical and orthopedic treatment of patients. To facilitate this, the course employs a new concept of information transfer. We follow a scientific approach and a sophisticated combination of modern teaching methods to vividly impart the taught contents. This included case-based learning, comprehensive factual knowledge, and consecutive quizzes, which help to better memorize the learned contents and later emplo...

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Top Skills For an Assistant-At-Surgery

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.8% of assistants-at surgery listed patient care on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and technical skills are important as well.

Best States For an Assistant-At-Surgery

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an assistant-at-surgery. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon. Assistants-at surgery make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $143,877. Whereas in Hawaii and Washington, they would average $119,301 and $116,736, respectively. While assistants-at surgery would only make an average of $116,149 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Assistant-At-Surgery Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Assistant-At-Surgery Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. West Virginia

Total Assistant-At-Surgery Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Assistants-At Surgery

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Top Assistant-At-Surgery Employers

1. Columbia University
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2. CNA Financial
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3. Oral & Maxillofacial Assoc
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4. dermassociatesinc
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5. University of Illinois at Chicago
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6. Massachusetts General Hospital
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Assistant-At-Surgery Videos

Updated August 18, 2021