Surgical Technician

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Surgical Technician job description involves working in the healthcare industry, providing assistance to surgeons during operations. As a Surgical Technician, your main responsibility is to ensure the surgical environment is safe and sterile. That means preparing the operating room, sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment, and ensuring all supplies and medications are available for the procedure. During surgery, you'll provide the surgeon with everything they need, from instruments and sutures to sponges and dressings.

A keen eye for detail is essential, as you'll need to anticipate the surgeon's needs and quickly respond to any complications that may arise. You'll also be responsible for monitoring the patient's vital signs during surgery, maintaining a sterile environment to minimize the risk of infection. A Surgical Technician job is an essential part of any surgical team, and it's a challenging and rewarding career that requires dedication and a strong work ethic.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Set up and prepare surgical equipment and instruments for procedures
  • Assist surgeons during surgeries by passing them instruments and supplies
  • Monitor patients' vital signs during procedures and alert the medical team of any changes
  • Maintain sterility in the operating room and follow infection control procedures
  • Prepare patients for surgery by washing and disinfecting the incision site
  • Transport patients to and from the operating room and assist with lifting and positioning them on the table
  • Keep track of surgical supplies and ensure that they are properly sterilized and stored
  • Clean and disinfect the operating room after surgeries
  • Collaborate with nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide patient care in the perioperative setting.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Surgical Technician in the healthcare industry, you need to have a combination of education and experience. Typically, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent, and then you'll have to complete a Surgical Technologist training program that lasts between nine months to two years. It's essential to gain hands-on experience through an externship or clinical rotation. During your training, you'll learn how to prepare the operating room, sterilize equipment, and assist surgeons during procedures. Employers generally prefer to hire candidates who are Certified Surgical Technologists (CST), which is a certification obtained through an exam after completing an accredited program. With these qualifications, you'll be ready to join the exciting world of surgery.

Salary Range

Surgical Technician salary range varies widely depending on factors such as geographic location, years of experience, and the type of healthcare facility where they work. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Surgical Technologists in the US is $49,710, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $71,400 and the lowest 10 percent earning less than $33,150. PayScale reports a similar range, stating that the average salary for a Surgical Technician is $21.59 per hour, with a range of $14.96 - $30.54 per hour. In Canada, the median hourly pay for a Surgical Technologist is CAD 29.16 (approximately USD 23.42). In the UK, the average salary for a Surgical Technologist is £21,892 (approximately USD 28,872). 


  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics: 
  • PayScale: 
  • Indeed Canada: 
  • NHS UK:

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Surgical Technicians in the healthcare industry over the next 5 years is positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Surgical Technologists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by an aging population requiring more surgeries, advances in surgical technology, and an increased emphasis on outpatient care. As a result, a higher demand for surgical technicians is expected, especially in states with large populations like California, Texas, and Florida. In addition, the average salary for a Surgical Technician is $49,710 per year, making it a viable career option for those interested in the healthcare industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Surgical Technician? 

A: A Surgical Technician is an allied health professional who assists in surgical operations. They handle surgical instruments, prepare operating rooms, and provide aseptic techniques during surgery.

Q: What education and certification do I need to become a Surgical Technician? 

A: You need a high school diploma or equivalent and a post-secondary certificate or associate degree from an accredited program. Some states require certification. You can earn certification through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Q: What skills do I need to become a Surgical Technician? 

A: You need good communication and teamwork skills, the ability to work under pressure, and attention to detail. You also need to be physically fit, have manual dexterity, and be able to stand for long periods.

Q: What are the job duties of a Surgical Technician? 

A: Surgical Technicians prepare and arrange surgical equipment, instruments, and supplies. They monitor equipment and sterile technique during surgery. They also assist the surgical team with dressing, skin closure, and cleaning the operating room.

Q: What job prospects and career advancement options are available to Surgical Technicians? 

A: Job prospects are good, with an expected growth rate of 7% from 2019-2029. You can advance your career by becoming a surgical assistant, first assistant, or supervisor. Continuing education and certification can also lead to better job opportunities.

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