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Surgical Technologists

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Purpose: 87
  • Supported: 59
  • Social: 52
  • Analytical: 37
  • Creative: 26

What Surgical Technologists Do

Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries.

Work Environment

Most surgical technologists work in hospitals. They spend much of their time on their feet.

How to Become a Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists typically need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. Certification can be beneficial in finding a job. A small number of states regulate surgical technologists.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Health practitioner support technologists and technicians

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.

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    Job Trends for Surgical Technologists

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    This occupation supported 98,500 jobs in 2012 and 99,800 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 1.3%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 29.7% in 2022 to 127,800 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 104,300, compared with an observed value of 99,800, 4.3% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 14.9% in 2024 to 114,500 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 133,600 jobs for 2024, 16.7% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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