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.