The Surgical Tech Career

In case you’re wondering the profession of a surgical tech is becoming one of the fastest growing careers and what makes it even more interesting is that, this career is in demand, is easy to get into and it pays well too.

The field of surgical technology is one of the fastest developing ones, with an expected growth of 25% in the next several years. This means that there will be many job opportunities for surgical technicians, so pursuing such a career is a wise step to make.

The Job Duties

Surgical technologists are a vital part of the operating room medical team. They assist surgeons during surgeries by passing them instruments and carefully monitoring the patient’s condition. They must also ensure that the instrumentation is perfectly sterile and the conditions in the operating room are suitable for performing the surgery. They also have several responsibilities directly concerning the patient, such as making all the preparations before the surgery and transporting the patient to the recovery room afterwards.

Working Surroundings

Surgical technologists work in clean and cool environments. However, they are often required to stand for a long period of time, as well as be fully focused, concentrated and alert. Surgical technicians must be able to handle highly stressful situations, as well as disturbing sights. Sometimes, they could be exposed to contagious diseases.

Surgical technologists enjoy a certain job security, since the demand for this type of professionals is increasing.

Most of the surgical techs work 40 hours a week, but they may often need to work overtime. Also, they can work on call, as well as work night shifts and on weekends and holidays on a rotating basis.

Most employers provide benefits for the surgical techs, including paid vacation, sick leave and health, medical, dental and life insurance, as well as retirement programs. Some institutions also offer child care benefits.

The Association of Surgical technologists is the professional organization of surgical techs and it is advisable for every aspiring surgical technician to become its member.

The Requirements

The surgical technician profession is one of the very few medical professions that do not require many years of education. There are surgical tech programs that even last less than a year and provide the necessary skills for one to start his/her surgical tech career. However, all ambitious individuals wishing to build a successful career should obtain an Associate’s degree, since it is required my most employers. This process takes up to two years and completing such an accredited program makes one qualified for the national certification, which is recommended and in some states even mandatory.


The job of a surgical technologist is also financially rewarding. According to the Bureau for Labour Statistics, the starting annual salary is approximately $25 000, which may not be very fulfilling, but the average surgical tech hourly wage is $20, which makes $40 000 per year. Generally, better educated and more experience surgical techs have better salaries. Also, the ones working in big medical institutions in highly developed and urbanized cities have better incomes.

Job Prospects

Almost 75% of all surgical technologists work in operating and delivery rooms in hospitals. But, one can build a surgical technologist career in specialty hospitals, dental practices, as well as insurance companies, surgical instrumentation companies, sterile supply firms etc. One could also become a so called private scrub, who is a part of special surgical teams, such as teams for organ transplantation.

Hospitals are expected to remain the primary employers of surgical techs, despite the expected increase of the number of surgical technicians employed by offices and physicians practices.

One can advance in his/her surgical technician career and become a first assistant. The responsibilities of a first assistant include suturing, retracting, treating wounds and many more. Specialization in a certain field is another possibility for advancement for surgical technologists. Neurosurgery and open heart surgery are the most wanted areas of specialization for surgical techs.

The surgical tech career is suitable for any calm, thorough and detail-oriented individual, wanting to help others. This career offers fulfillment, financial satisfaction, as well as many opportunities for advancement.

Source by Ruth R. Riddle


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