Surgical technologists work in the operating room as support personnel for the surgeon. They handle instruments, sutures and supplies, providing what the surgeon needs during operations. Unlicensed health care workers with a postsecondary certificate or an associate degree, surgical techs may also be nationally certified. They earned a mean hourly wage of $21.36 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hourly wages could range from $14.64 in the 10th percentile to $29.47 in the 90th percentile, however.
Wages for surgical techs vary according to work setting. The BLS reports the lowest mean hourly wages for surgical techs were in dentists’ offices, at $20.73. Most surgical techs worked in general medical and surgical hospitals, where the mean hourly wage was $21.02. Physician’s offices paid $21.83 and outpatient care centers paid $22.54. Although few surgical techs worked in employment services, those who did were paid $23.13 an hour. Location also affected wages. Alabama paid the lowest hourly wage in 2013 at $16.34, and California was the top-paying state at $27.78. The job outlook for surgical techs is excellent, with a projected growth rate of 30 percent -- much faster than the 11 percent average for all occupations.
2016 Salary Information for Surgical Technologists
Surgical technologists earned a median annual salary of $45,160 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, surgical technologists earned a 25th percentile salary of $36,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $55,030, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 107,700 people were employed in the U.S. as surgical technologists.