July 23, 2008
Surgical technologists assist in surgical operations. They work under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, anesthesiologists, or other surgical personnel.
Surgical technologists held 86,000 wage and salary jobs in May 2007. Median annual wages of surgical technologists were $37,540. The middle 50 percent of workers earned between $31,410 and $45,250. The highest earning 10 percent made more than $52,550, and the lowest earning 10 percent made less than $26,650.
Before an operation, surgical technologists gather equipment, check to make sure that everything is working properly, and prepare patients for surgery. During the operation, surgical technologists pass instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons and surgical assistants. After an operation, surgical technologists take patients to the recovery room and help clean and restock the operating room.
Most surgical technologists receive formal training in vocational and technical schools, hospitals, or community colleges. These programs, which provide both classroom training and supervised clinical experience, usually take from 9 months to 2 years to complete and lead to a certificate or a degree in surgical technology.
These employment and earnings data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For more information, see "Healthcare jobs you might not know about," by Tamara Dillon, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2008.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Surgical technologists on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/jul/wk3/art03.htm (visited April 26, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
STEM occupations: past, present, and future
A look at employment and wages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.