Plastic surgeons depend on surgical techs to sterilize equipment and prepare operating rooms for surgical procedures. Surgical techs in plastic surgery also transport patients to and from operating rooms, and pass instruments to nurses and plastic surgeons during operations. The salary of surgical techs in plastic surgery varies depending on the state or district in which they work.
Average Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary for a surgical tech in plastic surgery was $40,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. To qualify for this job, you need at least 12 to 24 months of coursework in surgical technology, which leads to a certificate or associate degree. You must also take and pass a certification examination through either the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the National Center for Competency Testing. Other key qualifications for the job are stamina, dexterity, an attention to detail and stress-management skills.
Regional Salary Variations
In 2013, average salaries for surgical techs in plastic surgery varied most significantly in the southern states. According to Simply Hired, techs earned the lowest salaries of $31,000 in Mississippi and the highest of $62,000 in Washington, D.C. In Maine and Massachusetts, they earned an average of $36,000 and $48,000, respectively -- the lowest and highest salaries in the Northeast. In the West, the lowest salary was in Montana at $32,000, and the highest was in Alaska and California, at $45,000. In the Midwest, these surgical techs earned $31,000 to $42,000, with the lowest salaries in South Dakota and the highest in both Minnesota and Illinois.
Compared to Other Surgical Techs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average annual salaries of $43,480 for all surgical techs as of May 2012. The top 10 percent earned more than $60,240 annually. Surgical techs who worked in physicians' offices earned $45,500 per year, while those at general medical and surgical hospitals made $42,700.
Average Job Growth
The BLS estimates a 19 percent increase in employment for surgical technologists, including those who work in plastic surgery, from 2010 to 2020. Advancements in technology should increase the number of surgical procedures, which may increase jobs for surgical technologists in all industries. Population increases among aging baby boomers should also make positive impacts on surgical techs' jobs, as baby boomers will need more medical procedures, and may also choose to have cosmetic surgeries to maintain their youthful appearances.