Surgical Technologist Careers: Job Duties, Salary & Certification

Find everything you’ll need to know in order to become a surgical technologist.

Even though the surgeon gets all the credit for a successful surgery, the life of a patient depends in a very large part on the diligence and competence of the surgical technologist.

Surgical technologists are key members of the surgical team and as you’ll need a cool head, a quick mind and an iron stomach to perform your job. Your duties will include preparing and sterilizing the OR for surgery, transporting patients to and from the OR, passing instruments to the attending surgeon, retracting the patient’s tissues and suturing incisions.

Because contamination in the OR could be life-threatening for the patient on the table, the importance of the surgical tech cannot be underestimated.

Job Description

It’s a great time to consider career training for a surgical technician job, and here’s one good reason why: Demand for these professionals is projected grow 7% through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook—much faster than average for all occupations.

Read what surgical technologists do in our comprehensive job description.

Surgical Technologist Salary

Three-quarters of surgical technologists work in hospitals, but you might be surprised where they command the highest salaries. Here’s what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found for median annual surgical technician and technologist salaries.

Average Annual Salary for Surgical Technologists


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2019

Click to learn more about your surgical technologist salary.

Surgical Technologist Certification

According to the Association of Surgical Technologists, most employers prefer to hire certified surgical technologists over their non-certified peers. Learn what you’ll need to do to earn your certification.Find out more about earning your professional certification and becoming a certified surgical technologist.

Surgical Technician or Assistant?

Surgical technicians and surgical assistants may be more different than you think. Read our comparison on both careers and learn the differences, from certification to salary to needed degree and job duties.

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