Surgical Tech Salary: How Much Will You Make as a Surgical Technologist in 2022?

William Miller

Surgical technologists are in high demand. As the population ages, the need for surgical procedures increases, and surgical techs are needed to help with those procedures. How much do they make? What is the job outlook? How do you become a surgical tech? Keep reading to find out!

History of the Profession

The surgical technologist profession has a long and interesting history. The first formal training programs for surgical technologists began in the early 1940s, although the profession itself dates back much further. In fact, the roots of surgical technology can be traced back to the 1800s, when surgical instruments were first developed.

Job Description

Surgical techs (also known as operating room technicians or O.R. techs) assist surgeons and nurses during surgery. They are responsible for preparing the sterile environment in the operating room and surgical instruments, as well as ensuring that all of the necessary supplies and equipment are available and functioning properly. They help to drape the patient for surgery, and may also be responsible for suctioning or irrigating the operative site. Surgical techs also may help to position the patient on the operating table, administer anesthesia, and control bleeding. After surgery, they may help to pack, unpack and sterilize the surgical instruments and care for the patient’s wound. Overall, surgical technologists work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses to ensure that every surgical procedure is carried out safely and effectively.

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How to Become a Surgical Tech?

To become a surgical tech, you typically need an associate degree from a vocational or technical school. However, some employers may accept a high school diploma or equivalent and offer on-the-job training. A certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA, the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT), or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is also recommended. It is important to ensure that the surgical tech certification you are pursuing is from an accredited organization, as this will ensure that you are receiving a quality education.

Soft Skills

The job of a surgical technologist is both challenging and rewarding. It requires a high level of skill, knowledge, and experience. Surgical technologists must be able to think on their feet and react quickly and effectively in emergency situations. They must have a strong commitment to patient safety and be able to work well under pressure. They should also be able to work well as part of a team and be able to communicate effectively with other members of the surgical staff.

Average Surgical Tech Salary

As of 2022, the median surgical tech salary is $49,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top states for surgical tech salaries are California ($62,000), Nevada ($59,000), Alaska ($58,000), and New York ($58,000). The lowest-paying states for surgical techs are Iowa and Arkansas, where the average surgical tech salary amounts to $38,000. It also doesn’t pay well to be a surgical technician in Kentucky, Alabama and New Mexico, where the average salaries oscillate between $39,000 and $40,0000 a year.

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What Else Can Affect Surgical Tech Salaries?

There are a few factors that affect surgical tech salaries, other than the location. The first is experience. Generally, the more experience a surgical tech has, the higher their salary will be. Another factor that can affect salary is the type of facility where the surgical tech works. For example, those who work in hospitals tend to earn more than those who work in outpatient centers. And finally, shift differential can also play a role in earnings, with those who work nights or weekends often earning slightly more per hour than those who work during the week. All of these factors can affect how much a surgical tech earns, and it’s important to keep them in mind when considering a career in this field.

Job Outlook

The demand for qualified surgical technologists is expected to grow in the coming years as the population ages and more people require surgery. In 2016, BLS projected that the number of surgical tech positions would grow by 13 by 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due, in part, to the increasing number of surgeries being performed each year. Surgical techs are an important part of the surgical team, and they play a vital role in ensuring that surgeries are performed safely and effectively. As the population continues to age, the demand for surgical techs is expected to increase. Surgical techs who are certified and have experience will have the best job prospects.


There are approximately 102,000 surgical technologists working in the United States today. The majority of surgical techs are female (69 percent) and the average age is 40. Surgical technologists come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The majority (64 percent) identify as white, followed by Hispanic or Latino (15 percent), African American (8 percent) and Asian (7 percent). About one-third of surgical technologists have an associate’s degree, while another third have a bachelor’s degree. The remaining third have some other type of postsecondary education or training.

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