What is a Surgery Tech?

A surgery technologist, also called a surgical technologist or a surgical technician, is a medical professional who assists in surgical procedures. Surgery technologists work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and other medical personnel to ensure that surgeries are performed safely and effectively.

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Job Description

A surgery tech is responsible for preparing the operating room for surgery and assisting the surgeon during the procedure. They may also be responsible for sterilizing equipment and instruments, setting up the operating room, and ensuring that the patient is comfortable and prepared for surgery.


A surgery technologist, also called a surgical technologist, scrubs in for surgery and assists surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other medical personnel during operative procedures. Surgical technologists may work in various medical specialties, including cardiology, oncology and orthopedics. They often accompany patients who are being transferred to recovery rooms or intensive care units.

Surgery technologists typically have completed accredited surgical technology programs and have earned certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. Some states regulate surgical technologists.


While there are no formal education requirements to become a surgery tech, most employers require completion of an accredited surgical technology program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools and some hospitals.

Prospective surgery techs can pursue either a certificate or an Associate’s degree in surgical technology. Programs typically take two years to complete and include coursework in anatomy, physiology, medical ethics and surgical procedures. Students also participate in clinical rotations, which provide them with hands-on experience in the operating room.


Most employers require surgery techs to have completed a postsecondary education program in surgical technology. Some programs take as little as 1 year to complete, while others may take up to 2 years. Completing a surgical technology program can help you qualify for a higher salary.

National Average

The average salary for a Surgery Tech is $53,490 per year in the united states

By State

Salaries for certified surgical technologists (CSTs) vary by state. The table below shows salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for CSTs in different states.

The states with the highest average salary for CSTs are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. These states also generally have a higher cost of living. For example, the cost of housing is significantly higher in California than in other states.

The states with the lowest average salary for CSTs are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, and Nebraska. These states generally have a lower cost of living. For example, the cost of housing is significantly lower in Arkansas than in other states.

State|Average Annual Salary

Connecticut $63290 New Jersey $62660 New York 62660 Washington 62170


Job Outlook

A Surgery Tech is an allied health professional who works alongside surgeons to ensure that the operating room is clean and that surgical instruments are sterile. Surgery Techs also may assist during surgery by passing instruments to the surgeon and providing support to the surgical team. The job outlook for Surgery Techs is positive, with an expected growth in job opportunities of about 9 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Growth Rate

The profession of surgical technologist is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through the year 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A 12% growth in employment is projected for surgical techs during this decade (from 2016 to 2026), which is much higher than the 7% growth rate forecast for all occupations.

Positions by State

The number of surgery tech jobs is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The aging baby-boom population will need more medical procedures, and as a result, more surgical technologists will be needed.

There were about 107,000 jobs for surgical technologists in 2018, the BLS reports. The states with the highest employment levels were California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. These states also had the highest concentrations of jobs for surgical technologists.

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