The employment outlook for surgical technicians is very optimistic. There is currently a high demand for surgical technicians, and the demand is expected to continue growing. Openings for surgical technicians are expected to increase by more than twenty five percent over the next eight years, as growth in the field outstrips most other fields. The demand for surgical technicians results from changes in surgical procedures, with more and more procedures taking place on an outpatient basis, along with an increasingly aging population. Technological changes and advancements also contribute to this growing need, with an increased reliance on fiber optics and laser in surgical procedures. Surgical technicians are employed in hospitals, outpatient facilities, and with physicians and other medical providers.
The duties of a surgical technician vary from location to location. Generally, the technician is responsible for preparing the operating room prior to surgery. During surgery, the technician monitors equipment in place and supplies surgeons with necessary devices. After surgery, the technician inventories the equipment and supplies on hand to ensure that everything is accounted for. The technician removes all equipment and supplies used in a prior surgery and makes the room ready for the next procedure.
Surgical technicians can earn a certification, but not all technicians are certified. Technicians that are certified will earn a higher rate of pay. The average salary for a surgical technician across the United States is $44,000 per year. However, pay depends on various factors, including certification, experience, state of employment, and facility employed in. Pay rates for surgical technicians are generally best in doctor’s offices, ambulatory care services, and private health care agencies. Hospitals employ the largest number of surgical technicians, but normally also pay the least. Salaries also vary sharply by location. Hawaii has offered the highest rate for surgical technicians over the last few years, paying an average of almost twenty two dollars per hour. Pay rates in southern states, on the other hand, have been among the lowest.
Surgical technicians undergo specialized education and training offered at community colleges and vocational schools. Training is also offered by some hospitals and in the military. In some cases technicians will complete a two year degree in Applied Science or Surgical Technology. Some technicians will complete a twelve month certificate program. Training is available both in a classroom setting and online. Private surgical technician school commonly costs around $20,000. Community college training will cost less. Federal financial aid is available.
After graduation, technicians may choose to pursue professional certification through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting. This requires graduation from an accredited training program, and completion of a certification examination.