How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make? A Guide to Salary and Career Outlook

If you’re interested in a career in healthcare and enjoy working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, becoming a surgical tech could be a great fit for you. In addition to helping surgeons during operations, surgical techs play an important role in keeping the surgical environment sterile and preparing the operating room for procedures.

How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make
How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make

But how much can you expect to earn as a surgical tech? The answer depends on several factors, including your location, experience, and the type of facility where you work.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for surgical technologists was $49,710 as of May 2020. The lowest 10 percent of surgical techs earned less than $34,710 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $72,510 per year.

The highest-paying industries for surgical techs include outpatient care centers, which offer a median annual wage of $55,250, and employment services, which offer a median annual wage of $54,290. Other high-paying industries include colleges, universities, and professional schools, as well as general medical and surgical hospitals.

If you’re just starting out in your career as a surgical tech, you can expect to earn less than the median salary. However, with experience, you can increase your earning potential. Some surgical techs go on to become surgical assistants or pursue other healthcare careers that offer higher salaries.

In addition to salary, job outlook is an important consideration when choosing a career. According to the BLS, employment of surgical techs is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in part to an aging population that requires more surgical procedures, as well as advances in technology that make surgery safer and less invasive.

If you’re interested in becoming a surgical tech, there are several educational paths you can take. Many community colleges and vocational schools offer surgical technology programs that typically last between nine months and two years. These programs include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience.

In addition to completing an accredited surgical tech program, most states require surgical techs to be certified. Certification requirements vary by state, but typically involve passing an exam administered by a recognized professional organization, such as the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

In conclusion, surgical technology can be a rewarding and well-compensated career for those with a passion for healthcare and a strong attention to detail. While salaries vary based on location, experience, and industry, the BLS reports a positive job outlook for surgical techs in the coming years.

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