Surgical Technologist Salary

Salaries for surgical technologists can vary based on a number of factors, including the place in which they work, time on the job and even whether they have obtained certification. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the mean annual pay for the 98,500 people in the U.S. working in the occupation was $45,010, as of May 2014. This is $21.64 per hour. Some states do pay more than others: The BLS reports that Nevada, the District of Columbia and California were the three highest-paying locations in the country for surgical technologists, as of May 2014.

Learn more about surgical technologist jobs.

Is the field of surgical technology in high demand?

According to the BLS, between 2012 and 2022, employment in this field is expected to grow 30 percent, which is much faster than average for all occupations. In fact, this could lead to the availability of some 29,300 new positions becoming available during this time, the BLS says. What is expected to drive this growth? The BLS reports that an aging Baby Boomer population will be in need of more surgical procedures and that surgical technologists will be needed to help. Also, surgical technologists may be in high demand in emergency rooms because they typically cost less to employ than registered nurses.

How to become a surgical technologist

Becoming a surgical technologist typically requires completion of a college program, often at the diploma, certificate or associate-degree level, according to the BLS. Students can look for training programs across the U.S. that are either accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). There is a lot of choice, as approximately 500 programs were accredited by either of these two organizations in 2012, according to the BLS.

As part of surgical tech programs, students take classes such as anatomy, medical terminology and physiology, but also complete training in a clinical setting so that they gain practical job-oriented experiences. Upon graduation, they may wish to seek certification from either the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the National Center for Competency Testing, the BLS says.


  1. Surgical Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/surgical-technologists.htm#tab-6
  2. Surgical Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292055.htm

Surgical Technologist Schools