Surgical Tech Salary in the United States| How Much Do a Surgical Technologist in the US Make?

One of the most important healthcare professionals in the world is a surgical tech job. Although a difficult career to pursue, it is a rewarding and lucrative one – but how much do a surgical technologist and travel surgical tech salary make in the United States? Here’s everything you need to know about surgical tech salary in the United States and surgical technologist salary entry-level.

Surgical technologists, also known as operating room technicians, assist surgeons, nurses, and other members of the health care service team during a surgical procedure. The surgical technologist’s role is critical because they keep the operating room sterile and organized.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the surgical tech career.

Who is a surgical technologist?

A surgical tech is a medical professional who helps to prepare an operating room for surgery. They are an important part of the surgical care team, working alongside the surgeon, the surgeon’s assistants, the nurses, and the anesthesia provider. Surgical technologists are also known as surgical assistants, scrub techs, and operating room technicians.

What Are The Duties of surgical tech?

Surgical technologists collaborate with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses in the operating room. They are responsible for preparing operating rooms and patients for surgery, as well as assisting during and after the procedure

The following are a few responsibilities of surgical tech:

  • Set up the operating room
  • Sterilize surgical equipment
  • Prepare the patient
  • Assist during the surgery
  • Clean up and prepare for the next procedure

Set up the operating room

Surgical technicians are in charge of preparing all of the supplies and instruments required for an operation. They must memorize each surgical procedure in order to know what tools are required and in what order the surgeon will require them.

Sterilize surgical equipment

The surgical tech’s primary responsibility is to sterilize all operating room equipment, set up sterile drapes, and ensure that the surgeon and other staff members use proper aseptic techniques. This reduces the risk of infection following a procedure and provides quick recovery for the patient.

Prepare the patient

Some Surgical technologists are known as “circulating technologists,” and it is their responsibility to interview and debrief the patient prior to the procedure. They assist with anaesthesia and open packages for other team members during surgery to maintain a sterile field.

Assist during the surgery

The surgical tech assists the surgeon during the procedure by passing instruments, holding retractors, and cutting sutures. A circulating ST will keep a written record of the surgical procedure and will answer questions about the patient from the surgeon during the procedure.

Clean up and prepare for the next procedure

When the procedure is finished, the ST cleans the room and all of the equipment and starts preparing for the next operation.

Furthermore, the majority of surgical technologists work on operating room teams in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Some STs manage central supply departments in hospitals, while others work for insurance companies, sterile supply services, and operating equipment companies.

How much does surgical tech get paid?

The average annual salary for surgical technologists and a surgical technologist salary entry-level is $51,510 ($24.77 per hour), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the top 10% earning more than $73,100.

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The majority of surgical techs in the US enter the field after earning a one-year certificate or a two-year associate degree. Skilled technicians can advance their careers by furthering their education and becoming surgical assistants, taking an active role in the procedure by suturing and assisting the surgeon in closing patients.

Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 9% increase in employment for surgical technologists between 2020 and 2030, slightly faster than the 8% average for all occupations.

Surgical tech salary by state United States

The table below shows the various surgical tech salary of 20 states in the United States:

StatePer hourPer year
District of Columbia$29.63$61,620
Surgical tech salary

How Much Does A Surgical Technician Earn Hourly?

According to ZipRecruiter, surgical tech hourly wages can range from $56.97 to $14.66, with the majority of Surgical Tech wages currently ranging from $22.36 to $35.10 across the United States.

The average Surgical Tech salary or surgical technologist salary entry-level range varies greatly (by as much as $12.74), implying that there may be numerous opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

Travel surgical tech salary

In the United States, the average travel surgical tech salary is $95,009 per year or $48.72 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $64,844 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to $136,500 per year.

Surgical tech salary vs sonographer

The annual salary for a surgical technician and surgical technologist salary entry-level ranges from $27,353 to $52,943, with an hourly wage ranging from $13.06 to $23.96. This is more than the average ultrasound technician’s salary, which ranges from $34,877 to $77,958 per year and ranges from $17.33 to $36.58 per hour.

When you compare the surgical technician job description to the sonography job description, it is clear that the work will be very different, despite the fact that these two professions are in the same allied health services industries.

Factors that Affect Surgical Tech Salary in the USA

Below are some of the predominant factors that affect the surgical technician Practitioner’s Salary and surgical technologist salary entry-level in the U.S.

  • Hospital Ownership
  • Payer Mix
  • Revenue Sources
  • Employer’s Competency/Success
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Hospital Ownership

Surgical technicians in hospitals make more money than those in private practice. When it comes to negotiating with insurance companies, hospitals have more clout than private practices. They also provide a broader range of services, allowing them to keep care revenue in-house.

Payer Mix

The types of insurance accepted at your clinic, as well as the insurance of patients who are likely to present at your facility, will have an impact on your employer’s bottom line and, as a result, your salary. You will earn less if your clinic sees Medicaid patients. Medicaid is well-known for providing low reimbursement rates. You are more likely to earn more if your clinic is popular with privately insured patients.

Revenue Sources

Working for a facility that only has a limited capacity for surgical services may result in a lower surgical tech salary for a surgical technician working there. Working for a company that provides more benefits can help you earn more money. Clinics that see patients for out-of-pocket procedures such as Botox and other cosmetic procedures make even more money than those that rely on insurer reimbursement.

Employer’s Competency/Success

Some employers suffer from ineffective marketing, a bad reputation, or other factors that contribute to low patient turnover, whereas others are well-known and attract patients. If your clinic or hospital is not busy, you will most likely be paid little or not be paid at all.

How Can I Become a Surgical Tech?

Here are the various steps to becoming a surgical tech in the United States:

  • Earn a High School or GED Diploma
  • Select a Surgical Tech Program
  • Make Sure Your Program Has Proper Accreditation
  • Become Certified
  • Find a Surgical Tech Position
  • Keep Your Certification Up to Date

Earn a High School or GED Diploma

Applicants to most surgical tech programs must have a high school diploma or GED. On average, it takes about three months to prepare for and pass the GED test. The cost varies by state, but it is typically between $20 and $35 for each section, or $80-140 for the entire test.

Select a Surgical Tech Program

Training programs will provide you with the knowledge and experience required to become a surgical tech. When looking for a surgical tech program, you will come across certificate programs, Diploma programs, and associate degrees.

Certificate and diploma programs are typically completed in a year or less. Associate degree programs, on the other hand, can take up to two years to complete because they include additional general education credit hours.

All of these programs cost between $5,000 and $15,000, with certificates, diplomas, and in-state associate degree programs at community colleges at the low end and private associate degree programs at the high end.

Make Sure Your Program Has Proper Accreditation

Not all programs are accredited or have the necessary accreditation to prepare graduates to work as certified surgical technologists. To become certified, you must first complete a training program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Accredited programs can be found on the CAAHEP website and in the ABHES directory.

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Become Certified

Some states require surgical technologists to be certified, but not all. Being certified may also help you in your job search in any state. The certification exam is administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).

The exam costs $190 for members of the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) and $290 for nonmembers.

To take the test, you must first complete an accredited program and then apply to the testing board. The board may take up to six weeks to approve your application and invite you to take the test.

Keep Your Certification Up to Date

For years, you must renew your certification. You can do so by taking the test again or by completing continuing education units from approved programs.

Surgical Tech Qualities and Requirements

To become a good surgical technician, you’ll need to have certain qualities such as: 

  • Capability to work effectively in stressful and emergency situations
  • Capable of acting quickly and precisely
  • Collaborate well with others
  • Demonstrate manual dexterity
  • Physical endurance
  • Excellent communication abilities
  • Empathy

Surgical Tech Work Environment

Surgical technologists work in an environment that is well-lit, clean, and cool. They work in close quarters with other team members. Technologists must be alert and able to stand for extended periods of time.

They could be exposed to communicable diseases, as well as unpleasant sights and smells. Most surgical technologists work full-time (40 hours per week), but some institutions offer part-time opportunities.

Most jobs necessitate 24-hour coverage, which may necessitate scheduling nights, weekends, and holidays.

FAQs about Surgical Tech Salary

What is the salary for surgical technician?

The average annual salary for surgical technologists is $51,510 ($24.77 per hour), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the top 10% earning more than $73,100. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided all salary information.

Where do surgical techs get paid the most?

Surgical tech get paid the most in the following states:
New York

Where do surgical techs work?

Surgical technologists work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctors’ offices. They spend the majority of their working day in the operating room, where they prepare for, assist with, and clean up after surgeries.


Because there are factors that influence salaries, such as surgical tech salary and the salaries of many other medical professionals, it is critical for a professional to review what a city or state has to offer newly hired professionals. This ensures that the professionals can earn the high salaries that they desired prior to pursuing a career in allied health services.

Lastly, ensure you visit the Moden News homepage and also check out our Salary category, for more essential salary information.

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