How Much Do Surgical Techs Make: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you considering a career as a surgical tech? One of the most common questions that come to mind is, “How much do surgical techs make?” Understanding the salary prospects of this profession is crucial for making informed career decisions. In this article, we will delve into the world of surgical techs and explore the factors that influence their salaries. So, let’s get started!

Overview of Surgical Techs

Surgical technicians, also known as surgical techs, play a vital role in the operating room. They assist surgeons and nurses by preparing operating rooms, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring a safe environment for surgical procedures. These highly skilled professionals are responsible for organizing surgical instruments, passing them to surgeons during operations, and monitoring patients’ vital signs.

To pursue a career as a surgical tech, individuals must complete an accredited surgical technology program. These programs provide the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to prepare graduates for the demanding nature of the job. The duration of these programs can vary, typically ranging from nine months to two years.

Factors Influencing Surgical Tech Salaries

Various factors come into play when determining the salaries of surgical techs. Let’s explore some of the key factors that influence their earning potential:

1. Geographic Location

The geographical location of employment significantly impacts the salary of surgical techs. Salaries tend to vary based on factors such as cost of living, demand for surgical techs, and healthcare market dynamics. For instance, metropolitan areas or regions with a higher cost of living may offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses.

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2. Experience and Expertise

As with many professions, experience plays a crucial role in determining salary levels for surgical techs. Those with more years of experience and a proven track record of excellence tend to command higher salaries. Additionally, specialized expertise in a particular surgical area or advanced certifications can also lead to increased earning potential.

3. Level of Education and Certifications

The level of education and certifications obtained can significantly impact the salary of surgical techs. While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for entry into the field, pursuing an accredited surgical technology program or obtaining a degree can enhance job prospects and potentially lead to higher salaries. Furthermore, acquiring additional certifications, such as the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential, can demonstrate a higher level of competency and professionalism, thus influencing salary levels.

4. Type of Healthcare Setting

The type of healthcare setting in which surgical techs are employed can affect their salaries. Hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and private clinics may offer different compensation packages based on their respective budgets and policies. It is worth noting that certain specialties or specialized surgical departments within larger healthcare facilities may offer higher salaries due to the specialized nature of the work.

Average Salary Range for Surgical Techs

Now that we have explored the factors influencing surgical tech salaries, let’s delve into the average salary range for these professionals. It’s important to note that these figures can vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for surgical technologists was $49,710 as of May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,790, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $72,720.

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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Surgical Tech Salaries

1. What is the entry-level salary for surgical techs?

The entry-level salary for surgical techs can vary depending on factors such as location, education, and experience. On average, entry-level surgical techs can expect to earn around $36,000 to $40,000 per year. However, with experience and further certifications, the salary can increase significantly.

2. How does the salary of surgical techs compare to other healthcare professions?

When compared to other healthcare professions, such as medical assistants or licensed practical nurses, surgical techs tend to have a higher salary range. However, it’s important to note that salaries can vary depending on the specific role, experience, and geographical location.

3. Can surgical techs earn more through specialization or additional certifications?

Yes, surgical techs who specialize in a particular surgical area or obtain additional certifications can often command higher salaries. These specialized skills and expertise make them valuable assets in the operating room, leading to increased earning potential.

4. Are there any opportunities for career growth and salary increase?

Absolutely! Surgical techs have various opportunities for career growth and salary increase. They can pursue advanced certifications, such as becoming a Certified Surgical First Assistant (CSFA), or transition into roles such as surgical technology educators or supervisors. Additionally, gaining experience in a specialized surgical department or pursuing higher education can open doors to higher-paying positions.


In conclusion, surgical techs play a crucial role in the operating room, ensuring the smooth and safe execution of surgical procedures. While salaries can vary depending on factors such as geographic location, experience, education, and certifications, the average salary range for surgical techs is promising. By gaining experience, specializing in a surgical area, and continuously expanding their knowledge and skills, surgical techs can enhance their earning potential and enjoy a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.

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Remember, if you are considering a career as a surgical tech, understanding the factors that influence their salaries is essential. By staying informed and making strategic career choices, you can embark on a rewarding path as a surgical tech.