How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make?

Surgical technologists are in high demand and can command a good salary. But how much does a surgical tech make? We break down the numbers so you can see what you can expect to earn in this exciting field.

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Surgical technicians, also known as operating room technicians or scrub techs, are an important part of the surgical team. They work alongside surgeons and registered nurses to ensure that the operating room is clean and sterile, and that the patient is prepared for surgery.

Surgical techs are in high demand, and the demand is only expected to grow in the coming years. If you’re considering a career as a surgical tech, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to earn. Here’s a look at salaries for surgical techs in different parts of the country.

What is a Surgical Tech?

A surgical technologist, also called a surgical technician or operating room technician, is an allied health professional working as part of the team delivering surgical care. Surgical technologists work under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses and other surgical personnel. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, help to position patients and even handle sterile instruments during surgery.

A typical day in the life of a surgical technologist might include:

Preparing operating rooms for surgery
Cleaning and sterilizing equipment
Selecting and organizing needed instruments and supplies
Positioning patients on the operating table
Providing surgeons with needed instruments during surgery
Transporting patients to recovery areas
Counting sponges, needles and other items used during surgery
Maintaining sterile conditions during surgery

How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make?

How much does a surgical tech make?

While salaries for surgical techs can vary depending on experience, location, and other factors, the median annual salary for this occupation was $47,300 in May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The lowest 10 percent of surgical techs earned less than $33,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $67,680. The BLS notes that most surgical techs working in hospitals receive health insurance and other benefits.

Surgical techs typically need to complete postsecondary education in order to enter this career. Although certification is not required, it may help surgical techs stand out to potential employers.

Factors That Affect a Surgical Tech’s Salary

There are several factors that affect how much a surgical tech makes.
-Experience: A surgical tech with more experience will typically earn a higher salary than one with less experience.
-Certification: Surgical techs who are certified by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) may earn a higher salary than those who are not certified.
-Education: Surgical techs who have completed a accredited surgical technology program may earn a higher salary than those who have not.
-Location: Surgical techs who work in metropolitan areas may earn a higher salary than those who work in rural areas.

The Job Outlook for Surgical Techs

The job outlook for surgical techs is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the occupation to grow by 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average rate for all occupations. This growth will result in the creation of approximately 27,600 new jobs during this time period.


In conclusion, surgical techs can expect to earn a median salary of $47,300 per year. Earning potential is highest for those with experience and advanced training. With the right mix of skills and experience, surgical techs could bring in an annual salary of $58,000 or more.

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