Home Jobs & Education How Much Does A Surgical Tech Make?

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surgical-technologistSurgical technologists, also referred to as operating room technicians, assist surgeons during operations and other medical surgical procedures.

Surgical techs are typically responsible for preparing the operating room for surgery, sterilizing the equipment, preparing patients for surgery, and helping surgeons or nurses by passing them sterilized supplies during the surgery.

After an operation, surgical technologists may also apply dressings to the wounds, take specimens for analysis at the laboratory, and clean the operating room thoroughly.

Salary
How much do surgical techs make? According to the May 2012 records from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual surgical tech salary is $43,480, which equates to a mean hourly wage of $20.91. The bottom ten percent in the profession earns $29,710 annually, while the top ten percent earn an average of $60,240 each year.

Those employed within general medical and surgical hospitals earn a mean annual salary of $42,700, but surgical technologists that work in physician offices make an average $45,500 and those in specialty hospitals make even more at $48,060 each year. Surgical techs employed within California earn the highest annual average salary at $54,750, while those in Nevada also earn significantly more than the national average at $53,990.

State Hourly Wage Average Salary Number of Jobs
Alabama $16.22 $33,740 1,870
Alaska $25.79 $53,640 150
Arizona $22.63 $47,070 1,990
Arkansas $18.56 $38,600 990
California $26.32 $54,750 9,250
Colorado $23.77 $49,440 1,680
Connecticut $25.40 $52,830 890
Delaware $20.67 $43,000 270
Florida $18.62 $38,720 6,440
Georgia $19.05 $39,620 2,840
Hawaii $25.69 $53,440 260
Idaho $19.08 $39,680 550
Illinois $20.18 $41,980 2,890
Indiana $19.32 $40,180 2,170
Iowa $18.32 $38,110 620
Kansas $19.75 $41,080 830
Kentucky $18.18 $37,810 1,940
Louisiana $17.67 $36,750 1,660
Maine $20.34 $42,300 590
Maryland $22.89 $47,610 1,980
Massachusetts $23.95 $49,810 2,400
Michigan $19.64 $40,850 3,030
Minnesota $23.89 $49,690 1,770
Mississippi $15.79 $32,850 1,450
Missouri $19.21 $39,960 1,650
Montana $20.20 $42,010 390
Nebraska $19.52 $40,590 720
Nevada $25.96 $53,990 820
New Hampshire $22.75 $47,330 310
New Jersey $21.92 $45,590 1,680
New Mexico $19.36 $40,270 460
New York $22.42 $46,640 5,060
North Carolina $18.96 $39,440 3,080
North Dakota $18.84 $39,190 330
Ohio $19.96 $41,510 3,710
Oklahoma $17.30 $35,980 1,780
Oregon $22.74 $47,300 840
Pennsylvania $19.36 $40,260 3,260
Rhode Island $22.18 $46,140 280
South Carolina $18.01 $37,470 1,760
South Dakota $17.75 $36,920 430
Tennessee $17.96 $37,360 3,130
Texas $20.65 $42,940 9,720
Utah $18.51 $38,490 770
Vermont $17.69 $36,800 120
Virginia $21.89 $45,540 2,210
Washington $23.60 $49,090 2,180
West Virginia $16.43 $34,160 560
Wisconsin $23.35 $48,570 2,580
Wyoming $21.02 $43,710 150
Data courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment
Most surgical technologists are employed within state, local, or private medical and surgical hospitals, accounting for nearly 69 percent of the 97,150 surgical tech jobs. An additional 12 percent find employment within physician offices, while the rest work in outpatient care centers and dentist offices. While in the operating room, surgical technologists are typically on their feet for long periods of time and need to wear special sterile clothing called scrubs. They may be exposed to unpleasant sights, smells, and bodily fluids, as well as diseases within all of the various work environments.

The vast majority of surgical technologists find full-time employment; however, there are many that work above and beyond the normal 40-hour work week. Those employed in hospitals may have to work shifts at night, on weekends, and on holidays. If they are on call, surgical techs may be required to work long shifts at irregular hours unexpectedly. Employment within this profession is expected to grow at an average rate of 19 percent from 2010 to 2020.

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