Surgical Medical Assistants

Career Guide: Salary, Job Duties, and More

This page offers details on the expected salaries, day-to-day job duties, and additional insights for those exploring or considering a career as a surgical medical assistant.

What is a Surgical Medical Assistant?

Surgical medical assistants are critical yet underrecognized members of operating room teams. They assist surgeons before, during, and after procedures by verifying patient records, preparing the sterile field, passing instruments, monitoring vital signs, prepping specimens, and helping transport patients. Their diverse medical, technical, and administrative duties require training in surgical technology and a dedication to patient care and safety protocols.

Though they work behind the scenes, surgical assistants support surgeons and nurses with the intricate demands of surgery. Their communication, adaptability, and composure under pressure make them integral to smooth workflows and positive outcomes in the operating room.

Read on to learn more about the steps to train for this position, and answers to commonly asked questions.

Key Responsibilities of a Surgical Medical Assistant

The role requires expertise in aseptic procedures, familiarity with specialized equipment, and knowledge of patient safety best practices. Surgical medical assistants provide critical assistance so that surgeons can effectively concentrate on the complexities of each operation.

With strong organizational skills and the ability to work well under pressure, they help ensure seamless flow in the operating room.

LPN Jobs in the U.S.

What is the Salary of a Surgical Medical Assistant?

The outlook for careers as surgical medical assistants appears promising over the next decade, with job growth projected to outpace the average rate substantially. Underlying this robust expansion is a confluence of factors fueling greater demand. An aging demographic necessitating more surgical procedures, technological progress in healthcare spurring the need for specialized assistants, and the proliferation of outpatient facilities where many surgeries occur, are all converging to heighten demand.

Surgical assistants possessing certification and adaptability performing diverse procedures should encounter expanding job prospects and avenues for career advancement amid these supportive conditions. The combination of rapid growth and the value of specialized skills points toward a favorable environment for those training to enter this vital role within the healthcare workforce.

National Average: $49,850.00

U.S. RegionsAverage Salary

Additional Key Information:

Salary Range$42,000.00 entry level to $60,000.00+
Common BenefitsHealth insurance, retirement, vacation & bonuses

How Do I Become a Surgical Medical Assistant?

Pursuing a career as a surgical medical assistant to support surgeons in the operating room is an incredibly rewarding path for those interested in healthcare. Properly preparing for this critical role requires progressing through key education, certification, and practical experience milestones:



Practical Experience

Those aspiring to become surgical medical assistants have a rewarding career ahead helping surgeons in the operating room. The key is laying the proper foundation through education, hands-on training, and credentialing. Enroll in an accredited program specializing in surgical technology or assisting to establish core knowledge. Reinforce learning via clinical externships offered in quality programs. 

Consider relevant part-time work for added exposure as well. Certifications like CMA and CST boost qualifications and job prospects. Keeping these pointers in mind will lead to success in launching this fulfilling career supporting critical healthcare procedures.


Support your nursing team
Healthcare Administrative
TAG MedStaffing Team
5 Ways to Support Your Nursing Team

Fostering open communication, promoting team building, offering development opportunities, improving workflow, and encouraging health and wellness are 5 key strategies to support nursing teams. Implementing these practices helps nurses feel valued and empowered, leading to better patient outcomes, improved retention, and a positive workplace culture.

Read More »
Healthcare Staffing Shortages
Industry Insights
TAG MedStaffing Team
How Healthcare Facilities Can Manage Staffing Shortages

Hospitals and healthcare facilities nationwide are grappling with substantial staffing challenges, particularly in recruiting nurses and physicians. These shortages pose a serious threat to patient access and the quality of care provided. From rural clinics to large urban hospitals, addressing these workforce gaps is crucial, and innovative strategies must be implemented to ensure effective healthcare delivery. Explore proven staffing approaches below to navigate these challenges successfully.

Read More »

Resumes & Inquiries

Thank you for your interest in TAG MedStaffing, a division of Atlantic Group. Please fill out the form below to submit your resume or get in touch. A member of our team will reach out shortly to speak with you directly.