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Surgical Technology Major

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Surgical Technology

18 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#106 in Popularity
$49,040 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Surgical Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many surgical technology/technologist graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 3,893
Undergraduate Certificate 3,237
Basic Certificate 810
Bachelor’s Degree 18

What Surgical Technology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to surgical technology/technologist were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Surgical Technology/Technologist Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in surgical technology/technologist should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills for Surgical Technology/Technologist Majors

When studying surgical technology/technologist, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Surgical Technology/Technologist Majors

A major in surgical technology/technologist will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Surgical Technology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with surgical technology/technologist:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Surgical Technologists 11.7% $47,300

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Surgical Technology?

18 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
78% Percent Women
17% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 78% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of surgical technology/technologist majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Surgical Technology/Technologist Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 0
Black or African American 1
Hispanic or Latino 2
White 13
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 2

How Much Do Surgical Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Surgical Technology/Technologist majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $49,040 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Surgical Technology Major  ( 49040 to 122320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with surgical technology/technologist require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for surgical technology/technologist careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 3.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 19.9%
Some College Courses 14.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 26.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 5.2%
Master’s Degree 14.9%
Doctoral Degree 10.3%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.9%

Online Surgical Technology Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 478 schools offered some type of surgical technology/technologist program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 55 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 264 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 10 1
Associate’s Degree 316 16
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 55 4
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Surgical Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a surgical technology/technologist grad is $49,040 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 23% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $182,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to surgical technology/technologist.

Major Number of Grads
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) 28,857
Physician Assistant 10,197
Radiologic Technology 9,768
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 7,134
Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer and Ultrasound Technician 5,546
Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist 5,400
Athletic Training 5,307
Other Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions 2,036
Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist 1,458
Electrocardiograph Technology/Technician 773
Nuclear Medical Technology/Technologist 661
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technology/Technician 589
Electroneurodiagnostic/Electroencephalographic Technology/Technologist 337
Polysomnography 322
Perfusion Technology/Perfusionist 117
Mammography Technician/Technology 73
Radiation Protection/Health Physics Technician 63
Cardiopulmonary Technology/Technologist 43
Hearing Instrument Specialist 39
Gene/Genetic Therapy 19

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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