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Surgical Technologist

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What is a Surgical Technologist?

Occupation Description Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon’s assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.

Daily Life Of a Surgical Technologist

  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Clean and restock operating room, gathering and placing equipment and supplies and arranging instruments according to instructions, such as a preference card.
  • Provide technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses, or anesthesiologists.
  • Monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.
  • Wash and sterilize equipment, using germicides and sterilizers.
  • Maintain files and records of surgical procedures.

What a Surgical Technologist Should Know

When polled, Surgical Technologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Surgical Technologist

  • Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech)
  • Surgical Technologist (Surgical Tech)
  • Operating Room Technologist (OR Tech)
  • Surgical Scrub Technician
  • Surgical Scrub Technologist (Surgical Scrub Tech)

Is There Job Demand for Surgical Technologists?

There were about 107,700 jobs for Surgical Technologist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 12,600 new jobs for Surgical Technologist by 2026. The BLS estimates 10,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Surgical Technologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Surgical Technologist are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Rhode Island, or Connecticut. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Surgical Technologists Make A Lot Of Money?

Surgical Technologists make between $32,870 and $69,170 a year.

Salary Ranges for Surgical Technologists

Surgical Technologists who work in Alaska, California, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Surgical Technologists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $36,630
Alaska $63,930
Arizona $50,680
Arkansas $42,720
California $60,940
Colorado $53,620
Connecticut $56,750
Delaware $47,250
District of Columbia $59,280
Florida $44,030
Georgia $44,830
Hawaii $54,240
Idaho $51,330
Illinois $49,730
Indiana $45,640
Iowa $41,080
Kansas $42,290
Kentucky $45,520
Louisiana $39,990
Maine $46,450
Maryland $56,130
Massachusetts $55,440
Michigan $43,280
Minnesota $58,630
Mississippi $39,700
Missouri $43,070
Montana $49,440
Nebraska $45,280
Nevada $59,040
New Hampshire $50,660
New Jersey $53,740
New Mexico $44,110
New York $55,310
North Carolina $43,940
North Dakota $45,000
Ohio $47,400
Oklahoma $41,800
Oregon $54,280
Pennsylvania $44,940
Rhode Island $50,700
South Carolina $39,970
South Dakota $40,970
Tennessee $43,860
Texas $49,410
Utah $44,300
Vermont $43,880
Virginia $50,790
Washington $58,320
West Virginia $37,390
Wisconsin $53,870
Wyoming $43,430

What Tools do Surgical Technologists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Surgical Technologists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Database software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Graphics software
  • Google Drive
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Internet browser software
  • Patient tracking software
  • Supply documentation software
  • Surgery workflow communication software
  • Nursing documentation software
  • Patient scheduling software

Becoming a Surgical Technologist

Individuals working as a Surgical Technologist have obtained the following education levels:

Surgical Technologist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Surgical Technologist?

Surgical Technologist Work Experience

Where do Surgical Technologists Work?

Surgical Technologist Sectors

Surgical Technologists work in the following industries:

Surgical Technologist Industries

Similar Careers

Those who work as a Surgical Technologist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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