Surgical Tech Job Information

A surgical technician, or a surgical tech, is a professional who plays a major role in the success of a surgery. They assist the surgeon and the entire surgical team in performing various procedures and tasks related to a surgery. The role of a surgical tech varies from country to country, and from hospital to hospital. A surgical tech prepares the surgical room before the surgery. Assisting the patient with things like shaving and bathing are some of the other duties of a surgical tech. A surgical tech is also responsible for handling various surgical tools during the surgery.

Required Educational Qualifications

  • A high school diploma with good grades in biology provides a firm base.
  • An associate degree in the subject of surgical technology is a major plus.
  • A certification that provides skills and training for becoming a surgical tech could be obtained through community colleges.
  • Exams are also conducted by various medical associations, a type of licensing exam, which after clearing enables the person to enter surgical tech profession. 
  • Apart from hospitals and clinics, associations of allied health workers also employ surgical techs.
  • In some cases, the certified surgical tech might have to renew the license periodically. Refer to official websites of the concerned authority for more information.

Nature of Work

A surgical tech works in close association with patients, nurses, surgeons and the entire team that is involved in performing a surgery. Hence, the work hours of a surgical tech depends on the schedule of the surgery being performed. Most of the time, a surgical tech needs to work in coordinated shifts. On day to day basis, a surgical tech will:

  • Communicate with the surgery team to know the schedule of surgeries.
  • Prepare a sterile environment prior to the surgery.
  • Help the patient prepare for surgery.
  • Assists the surgery team with surgical tools.
  • Follows the instructions of the surgery team.

Earnings and Advancement Opportunities

A surgical tech salary varies depending on factors like - employer, geographical location, skills of the technician and experience. Normally a surgical technician makes about $35,000 to $46,000 in a year. Depending on the efficiency of the technician and their growth in the field, the salary may go up to $55,000 a year. Sometimes, surgical techs are paid on an hourly basis ranging from $12 to $26 per hour.

Advancement opportunities in this particular field are quite good. A surgical technician with considerable experience and skills could be promoted to first surgical assistant. A first surgical assistant will upgrade their skills to a particular type of surgery, like open heart surgery or brain related surgery. This upgrade leads to a higher salary. At times, a surgical technician is also entrusted with administrative responsibilities of the healthcare facility; however, this again depends on overall experience and education of the professional, and the healthcare facility itself. Some facilities have very firm set of rules about who is allowed to complete and handle paperwork.

Because the healthcare industry is rising, this job is expected to grow over the next few years. It is a rewarding and challenging job that appeals to many people that want to help others.