Surgical Technician

Employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.

In addition, the aging of the large baby-boom generation is expected to increase the need for surgical technologists because older people usually require more operations. Moreover, as these individuals age, they may be more willing than those in previous generations to seek medical treatment to improve their quality of life. For example, an individual may decide to have a knee replacement operation in order to maintain an active lifestyle or to have cataracts removed to improve vision.

The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $45,160 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $64,800.

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In May 2016, the median annual wages for surgical technologists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

  • Outpatient care centers $46,960
  • Offices of physicians 45,730
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private 44,740
  • Offices of dentists 44,050

Most surgical technologists work full time. Surgical technologists employed in hospitals may work or be on call during nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also be required to work shifts lasting longer than 8 hours.

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