How much does a Surgical Tech Salary in 2023? (Complete Guide to become one)

The entry-level surgical tech salary will be around $36,930. Decades of experience and hard work will increase this range to $75,940. Moreover, many cities and indifferent states offer quite a good range even to the mid-level surgical tech.

One of the burning questions in the medical sector is how much does the surgical technologist earn? It is true that jobs in this area have quite a high range of wages. However, it is not completely true with this profession.

Specifically, 50% lesser compare to the national average, only the people of highly experienced can get a decent range. If one is planning to be one or wants to come to the USA they must know the scenario.  We are going to explore more below regarding the details, be our guest.

Surgical Technologist
Surgical Technologist

Surgical Tech Salary

In the medical sector, people only know the Doctors and the nurses. But there is many other important and not replaceable position that requires a huge shout-out. Specifically, the surgical tech position in the medic field.

If you do not know, they are surgical technologist professionals who have expertise and degree in the related field. Performing one of the most important responsibilities, preparing the operation theater (OT), and helping the surgeon during the operation is their main responsibility.

In short, they are playing the role of the ambassador of every operation. According to research, every different type of operation requires a different type of instrument. Also, in several steps, the surgeon will need a different surgical instrument.

When the surgeon is doing his or her work, he put 100% of his attention and brain into the surgery to save a life. At that moment, talking and instructing others on the tools can distract him. So this extremely sensitive work requires an expert who will know at which moment the doctor will need which tools.

Here are the roles played by the technologist in the surgical room. Respecting the crucial position, the US government pays an honorable salary which may not be one of the highest paying salaries in the USA. But compared to other secondary positions, this one holds a pretty good wage.

According to the BLS, the average paying rate of this profession is,

Number of EmploymentPercentile10%25%50%75%90%
109,060Annual Wage $ 36,930$ 46,440$ 48,530$ 60,780$75,940
Hourly Wage$ 17.76$ 22.33$ 23.33$ 29.22$ 36.51

According to the report, there is a total of 109060 employees in the surgical technologist profession actively doing their work. As for their standard salary range, it is $23.33 hourly and $48530 early on average.

However, as a beginner surgical technician, one will not get so much but lesser than many simple positions. The entry-level salary will be around $36930. Some popular organizations with high employee facilities may offer much but this is the most common amount.

According to the official data, the growth of this job is 6% compared to the other relevant jobs. The percentage is a little lower if we look at the other profession. It is because this position is only valid in the hospital’s specific area which is the OT room. Rather than this, they have educational instate to use their expertise as a jobholder.

Medical institute offering degrees for choosing this specific profession will need an expert professor to teach the students. In that case, only a few places are available for the experienced one. They can have both the hospital and lecturer jobs at the same time.

We are hoping that in future the percentage of this job will increase as with the population of the country. A huge portion of people are getting old and new babies are coming into the world.

Both positions require a huge number of operation happening. So, the need and the salary of the surgical tech may increase.

 Before going any further, let’s have a look into the other area related to this position.

How to Become a Surgical Technologist?

From the above information, one can guess the importance of the responsibility of the job. If that person is not well educated and well trained, they will make mistakes which can cause life. That is why there are some basic requirements that one has to fulfill to be qualified for this job.

Mainly, the educational qualification of the candidate as well as experience matters highly when it is to the medical field.

After completing a formal education or high school, one will have to take an accredited program to have an associate degree or certificate. Many vocational schools, colleges, universities, and even some hospitals offer such courses for surgical assistants or technologists. One must have to get them admitted into a CAAHEP accredits program for that.

After completing the degree, the candidate will have to sit for exams to gain certifications of their qualification. To become a surgical technician, one will have to gain a certificate from the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants and the American Board of Surgical Assistants.

One may get a job where they will be learning first before working. But the salary of a certified surgical technologist will be more than the beginner level. Moreover, they already have enough skills gathered to get a job in a good place.

Along with all those degrees, they must have basic lifesaving skills like CPR or BLS. Though those will be taught in that degree program, the candidate must not lose any opportunity to learn something which will be beneficial.

Moreover, they will need some other qualities, those are,


One may think why they will have to have good communication skills. Well, the job requires a good understanding between the surgeon and the technologist. So that he or she can realize what the doctor will need before he/she speaks.

Moreover, the responsibility of notifying the doctor of any specified consequence of infection is necessary. So talking and suggesting the superior requires great communication skills. Rather than this, they will have to talk with the nurses and the family member of the patients about the infection possibilities, prevention, and treatment.

Along with that, they will have to have excellent listening skills. They must properly hear and understand every single talk of the surgeons during the surgery. Also, when the authority asks or commands something, they must understand it at once.

Attentive and detailed oriented

In the operation theater, every single member involved with the procedure has to be extremely attentive including the surgical tech. that person needs to hand over the right tools at the right time. For that, he or she needs to observe every single step of the doctor closely with 100% attention.

Moreover, detailed and organized personalities are another mandatory quality in the OT with the operating tools. That person will have to keep all the instruments organized. So that they do not have to delay a second when the surgeon will need something.

Physical Stamina

Depending on the complexity of the operation, it can be run for 2 hours or more. The surgical tech needs to start working long before the start of the main operation. They need to organize all the necessary instruments, clean the area, and prepare the bed.

After that, until the patient is out of bed, he or she will need to stay stand and continue working. That means a long working period standing on their feet. That requires huge physical stamina to be in the position of working properly.

Moreover, they need to move their hand and fingers too fast in response to the need for time. That means dexterity another physical requirement for this position.

Stress maintaining skill

Working inside the OT under such pressure will be extremely stressful. One has to perform over time and have to be strong mentally in any situation. That is why this job requires a person with strong mental control and skills to ignore the stress and focus on work.

Is the surgical tech job too hard to do?

Are you feeling hard reading the requirements and qualities and thinking that this job is extremely hard? We will not give you false hope because all the jobs in the medical sector are actually quite hard. All the people related to the hospital or clinic have to withstand certain difficulties. They need to give their fullest in every simple to a hard task. Because it is a matter of people’s health and their life. Let’s see the common responsibilities a surgical tech will have to perform,

1. Sole responsibility is preparing the operating room and all the instruments for the surgery.

2. Sterilizing and cleaning all the equipment’s time to time and keeping track of the supplies of the OT.

3. Take care of the operating patient before and after and prepare them for the operation.

4. Most important responsibility is taking part in the operation and helping the doctors by giving what they need.

5. Doing the job after the work of the doctor is done such as applying bandages and sterilizing the wounds.

Surgical Technologist Salary
Surgical Technologist Salary

What are the work opportunities for Surgical Technologists?

The work opportunities of this profession are not much compared to other jobs. Since it is a dedicated medical field in a specific area, the positions are also short. As illustrated in the government’s official data, the most necessary of this position is in the operation theater of any hospital.

However, they do not appoint any beginner level in the OT room but an intermediate or advanced skilled person. Since this specific area requires more expertise, one can expect a rising wage for this position here.

Work PlaceOpportunities
Hospitals; state, local, and private72%
Offices of physicians11%
Outpatient care centers11%
Offices of dentists2%
Administrative and support services1%
Educational Institutions3%

Moreover, doctors who run private chambers and outpatient care centers also hire people with such kind of expertise for their offices. The responsibility here can be the mix for them compared to the hospital. But the job will be less stressful here than there.

The wage rate of this type of place will extremely vary according to the individuals and the expertise of the candidate. Some may offer a higher salary for the same expertise than others. It is because they have a good reputation with suitable earning.

Surgical Technologist Salary according to experience level 

If we see the percentile above, the 10% percentile holds the lowest salary. That means the people in this position just entering the job will get the lowest salary. Compare to the national average the beginner of surgical tech will get more than 50% less wage.

Surgical Technologist Salary according to experience level

From the graph, we can see that a person in their mid-career having more than 5 years of experience can have $35000, which is still so much lower than the national average. Only, when they get into their late career with more than 20 years of experience can get a decent salary.

Imagine working for more than 20 years and then getting a proper salary. This is so sad to explain when one is a family person and the breadwinner. However, this is an average estimate of the government. The good thing is people with proper skill and expertise will get a decent income in almost every state and city in the United States of America.

Related Jobs that Surgical technicians do

If one is in the learning phase and still confused about which profession they should choose, this part will help them remove their confusion if it is about the salary. Having enthusiasm this is exact field but do not feel like the earning you will get will serve you well, you should look for the jobs which are close to this but offer quite a handsome wage.

ProfessionEstimated Salary
Operating Room Technician$98000
Registered Nurse$82000
Anesthesia technician$45000
Medical Assistant$40000
Dental Assistant$38000

Now one can compare those professions with the interested one and decide which one suits them the most. However, different cities in this country will have a high difference in the salary range. So, if you are living in a city that offers a rise in this profession, you should not change your major.

Best Paying State of the USA to the Surgical Tech

We all know that America has 51 different states in different geographical locations. According to the natural stand of the States and other structures, the salary of several jobs will be uneven compared to each other.

As a surgical technologist, according to the government’s official data, California is the state which offers the maximum salary. If we count the top five cities for that job, all of them will be in this state. Besides, Texas also pays well which is around $52950 with a minimum of experience.

StateHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
New York$29.02$60,350

Which city pays the most?

According to a report in the usnews, most of the cities in California offers a high range of salary for technicians in surgical expert.  One of the reasons is having the most resourceful and popular hospitals here.

Amon all the cities, San Francisco is the one that offers the highest possible average for this profession. Moreover, almost all the cities will provide a range of more than $70000.

CityPay scale
San Francisco$79,230
San Jose$74,080
Santa Rosa$72,170

In case you are living in the mentioned state and specifically those cities, this position or job will bring proper money to maintain a family.

The job market in the USA is quite resourceful compared to the other countries of the world. It is one of the best among all the options for both national and international for diversity, availability of jobs, and salary.

The growing field of this profession in the USA is also a positive light for many. Mainly, the people who are admired to be surgical tech residents someday.

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