- Job Description
- Job Outlook
- Where to Work
- How to Advance
If you’re considering a career in surgical technology, you’re probably wondering what kind of salary you can expect to earn. Here’s a look at what surgical techs get paid, both in terms of hourly wages and annual salaries.
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A surgical technologist, also called a surgical technician or scrub, is an allied health professional who works under the direct supervision of a licensed physician, registered nurse or other medical personnel to provide assistance during operative and invasive procedures. Surgical techs are members of the operating room team and their duties vary depending on the specific surgical procedure, the type of medical facility and the size of the surgical team. However, common duties of surgical techs include preparing the operating room and sterile instruments, scrubbing in and setting up the sterile field, passing instruments to the surgeon during the procedure and caring for the patient before and after surgery.
Duties of a surgical tech
A surgical technologist (sometimes called a scrub, or scrub tech) is a person who works in the operating room with surgeons, registered nurses and other surgical personnel to help during a surgery.
The duties of a surgical technologist include setting up the operating room with all the necessary equipment, preparing the patient for surgery and making sure that everything needed is within reach of the surgeon. During surgery, they hand instruments and other supplies to the surgeon as needed. They also may hold retractors or other devices to keep the patient’s organs and body parts in place during surgery. Surgical technologists also may apply dressings to the incision site once surgery is complete.
Surgical technologists typically work in hospitals but also may work in outpatient Surgery Centers or in medical offices. They usually work full time but may be on call or work evenings, weekends or holidays as needed.
Education and training requirements
Most surgical technologists have completed a postsecondary educational program in surgical technology, although some have completed on-the-job training. Many community colleges, technical colleges, hospitals, and vocational schools offer accredited surgical technology programs that result in a certificate or an associate’s degree.
Programs typically last about 9 months to 2 years and include courses in medical ethics, anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. Students also receive supervised clinical training in which they learn to assist surgeons and anesthesiologists during operations. Most states regulate surgical technologists and require them to be licensed or certified. Some states have no formal regulatory requirements.
Surgical techs play an important role in the medical field. They work alongside surgeons and other medical staff to ensure that operations go smoothly. Surgical techs are in demand and the job outlook is positive. Let’s take a look at what surgical techs get paid.
Growth projection for surgical techs
The job outlook for surgical techs is positive, with a projected employment growth of 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for surgical techs is driven by the aging baby-boomer population, who will need more surgical procedures as they age. Additionally, the increasing number of pregnant women and the growing obese population will also contribute to the demand for surgical techs.
Salary range for surgical techs
Salaries for surgical techs vary depending on a number of factors, including years of experience, geographic location, and type of employer.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for surgical techs was $47,300 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,620, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,880.
The BLS reports that the largest employers of surgical techs were general hospitals, which employed 34 percent of all surgical techs in the united states physicians’ offices, which employed 22 percent; and outpatient care centers, which employed 9 percent.
Where to Work
There are many places that a surgical technologist can find employment. Many surgical technologists work in hospitals, but there are also opportunities to work in outpatient surgery centers, physician’s offices, and even in dental offices. There are even surgical technologists who work as traveling surgical technologists, going from one assignment to another.
Best states for surgical techs
The top five states for employment of surgical techs are California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and New York. If you want to work as a surgical tech, these states offer the best opportunities. However, the highest paying states for surgical techs are not necessarily the ones with the most job openings. The top five states for pay are Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, California and Massachusetts. So if you’re looking to make the most money as a surgical tech, these are the states where you should focus your job search.
Best cities for surgical techs
Just like any other profession, the amount of money a surgical technologist makes can vary greatly depending on their experience, location, and employer. However, there are some cities that tend to offer higher salaries for surgical techs than others. Here are some of the best cities for surgical techs, based on average salary:
-Boston, MA: $73,000
-New York, NY: $70,000
-Los Angeles, CA: $68,000
-Chicago, IL: $67,000
-San Francisco, CA: $67,000
How to Advance
As a surgical technologist, you can make a comfortable living. The median annual salary for a surgical tech is $47,300, which means that half of all surgical techs earn more than this amount and half earn less. Your salary will depend on factors like your experience, education, and geographic location. To advance in your career and earn a higher salary, you can pursue further education, specialize in a certain area, or become certified.
Certification for surgical techs
Most surgical tech programs will include a practicum or externship, which gives you the chance to work in a real-world healthcare setting. Once you have completed your training and education, you can become certified as a surgical technologist.
The certification process involves passing an exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). The NBSTSA offers two levels of certification: Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and Tech in Surgery-Certified (TS-C). Both certifications require passing a written exam, but the TS-C also requires passing a skills assessment.
Professional organizations for surgical techs
Joining a professional organization related to your field is a great way to network with other professionals, stay current on industry news and trends, and potentially advance your career. If you’re a surgical tech, there are several Professional organizations for surgical techs that you can join.
-The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) is the largest organization for surgical technologists in the world, with over 40,000 members in the United States alone. AST offers members access to publications, job boards, educational resources, and a yearly conference.
-The National Certified Surgical Technologist Board (NCST) provides certification for surgical technologists who meet their requirements. NCST also offers continuing education courses and a yearly conference.
-The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is not specifically for surgical technologists, but membership can be beneficial for those working in the surgical field. ACS offers discounts on continuing education courses, liability insurance, and publications. They also host an annual conference.