Surgical Technicians work with surgeons, surgical assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists during surgical procedures. Surgical technicians (ST) are also called surgical technologists or operating room (OR) technicians. Certificate programs take a year to complete and associate degrees take two years full time.
Surgical technicians 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.
Other job duties include moving patients to and from the operating and recovery rooms. ST’s make sure patients are comfortable and relaxed, because people are always nervous before surgery. Surgical techs also tend 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
To become a surgical tech, it’s important to enroll in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
- 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 needed.
- Get a job.
Surgical Tech Salary and Job Outlook
- Entry level salary is averaging over $31,000
- The median annual salary is in the middle $40Ks.
- Top ST’s make an average of $64,000 per year.
Employment for surgical techs is projected to grow 12% through 2026, much faster than most other careers.