How Much Does a Surgical Technician Get Paid?

If you'd like a fast-paced job saving people's lives in hospital operating rooms, then a surgical technician career might be for you. Your salary in this profession depends on your employer, state, work experience and certification. Read on to learn more about how much surgical technicians are paid. Schools offering Biomedical Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

Surgical technicians (also known as surgical technologists) aid surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists with surgical procedures. They sterilize the operating room, help patients prepare for surgery and provide surgical instruments to doctors during an operation. To work as a surgical technician, you must undergo a training program after high school and earn a diploma, certificate or associate's degree from an accredited school. Your salary can depend on your location, your experience level and your certification status.

Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), surgical technicians made an average annual salary of $43,480 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov). The bottom 10% of earners made $29,710 or less per year, while those in the top 10% made $60,240 or more annually.

Salary by Employer

The majority of surgical technicians were employed at general medical and surgical hospitals and earned an average wage of $42,700, according to May 2012 BLS salary figures. Other top employers and their average wages included physicians' offices ($45,500), outpatient care centers ($45,560), dentists' offices ($40,460) and employment services ($48,340). Surgical technicians employed at the offices of other health practitioners made the highest average wage of $51,900.

Salaries by State

If you want to position yourself in a state that has one of the best salaries, the BLS reported in May 2012 that California, Nevada and Alaska offered surgical technicians the highest average incomes, with respective yearly mean wages of $54,750, $53,990 and $53,640. In addition, the BLS reported that Texas, California and Florida were the states employing the largest number of surgical technicians. These states offered respective average wages of $42,940, $54,750 and $38,720.

Benefits of Certification

According to the BLS, those who receive certification after graduating from a surgical technician training program should have the best employment opportunities. The BLS reported that you can receive certification from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), which requires you to complete a training program, pass an exam and pursue continuing education classes for re-certification. According to PayScale.com, most surgical technicians with their CST credential earned a median wage of $40,207 as of April 2014.

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