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Organ recovery technicians collect organs and other tissue for storage and transport. These technicians enable transplants and medical studies to take place. Pay for this line of work generally does not exceed $50,000, as of 2011, despite the fact that organ recovery is not a job for the faint-of-heart.
Organ recovery technicians usually are specialized surgical technologists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics asserts that the average yearly compensation for surgical technologists, including those working in organ recovery, is $41,310 per year, as of May 2010. This works out to $19.86 hourly.
According to the BLS, in the lowest 10th percentile, organ recovery technicians and other surgical technologists make $28,100 per year, or $13.51 hourly, as of May 2010. Those in the 25th percentile earn $33,400 per year, which converts to $16.06 per hour. At the median, pay is $39,920 annually, or $19.19 hourly. Organ recovery technicians in the 75th percentile make $47,570 annually, the equivalent of $22.87 per hour, and those in the 90th percentile earn $57,330 per year, or $27.56 hourly.
Pay by Sector
The highest compensation for organ recovery technicians, $55,840 per year, is in the offices of "other" health practitioners as of May 2010, according to the BLS. Organ recovery technicians make $48,460 annually in employment services, while those in colleges, universities and professional schools make around $47,590 per year. Specialty hospitals pay an average of $46,630 annually, while other ambulatory health care services provide $44,030 per year. In physicians' offices, the rate is around $42,690 annually, while compensation in outpatient care centers is $42,480 per year. Those working in general medical and surgical hospitals make $40,780 per year, while the rate in dentists' offices averages $37,470 annually.
Pay by Region
The lowest rate for organ recovery technicians and other surgical technologists as of May 2010, $20,080 per year, is in Puerto Rico, says the BLS. West Virginia and Mississippi have similar compensation of $32,310 and $32,340 per year, respectively. In Alabama, organ recovery technicians make around $33,200 annually, while in North Dakota, they typically earn $34,430 per year. The top rate, $50,690 annually, is in Nevada. Hawaii, Alaska and the District of Columbia pay $49,550, $49,510 and $48,950 per year, respectively. California also is a high-paying region at an average of $48,820 per year.
Even though organ recovery technicians are usually surgical technologists, they also may be specialized emergency medical technicians or medical assistants. Some nurses and nurse practitioners with surgical backgrounds also can perform organ recovery work. The requirements of an employer usually depend on the type of organ recovery to be performed. For example, if a person is recovering organs and other tissue from funeral homes and coroners for medical study purposes, less training is required. If the organs recovered are necessary for immediate transplant, however, then a stronger medical and surgical assisting background is imperative due to the increased risk involved with patients. In general, the higher the medical education of the technician, the higher pay is.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.