Surgical technicians are also called surgical technologists or operating room technicians. The most common places for surgical techs to work are hospitals, outpatient care centers, and offices of physicians.

Surgical Technologist Job Description

Surgical Technologists work with surgeons, surgical assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists during surgical procedures. They make sure all equipment needed in the surgical theater is in place, disinfected, and assembled so that the surgical team has easy access to it. STs also prepare patients for surgery by cleaning, shaving, and disinfecting incision sites, when necessary.

ST’s make sure patients are comfortable and relaxed, because people are always nervous before surgery. Other job duties include moving patients to and from the operating and recovery rooms, tending to the needs of the doctors and surgical team, handing them their sterile instruments, and positioning the machines and diagnostic equipment.

How to Become a Surgical Technologist

Generally, surgical technology certificate classes take about one year to complete, and associate degree programs take two years for full time students to finish.

  • Earn your high school diploma or GED
  • Enroll into a surgical technology program.
  • Earn certificate or associate degree.
  • Take a certification exam.
  • Earn supplementary certifications when required by your state.

To become a surgical tech, it’s important to enroll in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Find surgical technology training now.

Surgical Tech Salary and Job Outlook

  • Entry level salary is averaging over $33,420 per year.
  • The median annual salary is $48,300.
  • Top surgical techs make an average of $71,400 per year.

The salary information above is the most recent data available on the official BLS website and represents salaries for surgical techs in 2019. Employment for surgical techs is projected to grow 7% through 2029, much faster than most other careers.