As of 2015, the average salary of a surgical assistant in the United States is $63,000 per year. The median hourly salary is just shy of $21 per hour.
Surgical assistants can also earn bonuses of approximately $2,000 and profit sharing of upwards of $24,000, bringing total cash compensation from $31,000 to $72,000 per year. Women account for 69 percent of surgical assistants, and the biggest factor affecting compensation is the residence of the employee and length of her career.
Surgical assistants assist doctors during surgical procedures by preparing the operating room, providing tools, sterilizing and performing necessary medical tasks. They also examine patients, collect health histories and assist with discharge instructions. Basic educational qualifications include either a medical degree or surgical assistant certification.