A surgical technician is a trained professional who plays a very vital role to any undergoing surgery. Though there may be slight variation in the role of a technician depending upon the different medical facilities within the United States, but in most of the cases a surgical technician helps the surgeon by passing surgical instruments at the appropriate time, transporting patients to and from the operating room, and preparing patients for the procedure with proper cleansing of the incision site. In addition to this, techs may also assist by helping surgeons put on operating room clothing and caps, so that a surgeon can remain completely sterilized before entering the operating room. It won’t be wrong to say that a surgical technician also known as the technologist is a vital member of any surgical team and whose presence is very important for any surgery.
Over the past few years, with the growth in the population and hospitals in the United States, the demand for surgical technologists has increased drastically. If we look at the scope of this profession, it has grown up and in next few years expected to boom further. In fact, the job growth is projected to be faster than average as compared to all other professions through 2012. As per the recent analysis done by some of the leading heath care industry experts, the employment of surgical technologists is anticipated to grow near around 24 percent, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition to this, in recent years some of the major technological advances, such as fiber optics and laser technology have created a better scope of surgical technicians. Though hospitals have always remained the biggest employer, but with rapid growth in the ratio of doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers, like ambulatory surgical centers are emerging as yet another working options for surgical technologists.
In terms of salary, the amount of salary a surgical technician can earn is quite decent and better than many other professions. In general, the median surgical tech salary is between $30,000 and $45,000 per year. However, it is also important to understand that the earnings for surgical technologists also differ depending on the workplace and the location. If we study the recent observation made by Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor the average annual salary for surgical technologists as of May 2008 was $40,070, with the top 10% or earners making an average of $54,300. Adding to this, the average salaries of surgical technologists by location are:
- Specialty Hospitals (not Psychiatric and Substance Abuse)- $42,420
- Outpatient Care Centers- $40,490
- Offices of Physicians- $40,320
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals- $39,770
Apart from all this, working as a surgical technician has its own rewards. These days many surgical centers provides additional benefits such as paid vacation and sick leave, health, medical, vision, dental insurance and life insurance. Few centers also provide tuition reimbursement and child care benefits. Moreover, the field even provides options to advance career by doing specialization in a particular area of surgery, such as neurosurgery or open heart surgery. With additional training, surgical technologists may even advance to first assistant.
Certainly, working as a surgical technician is an excellent career opportunity if you are looking to move into a different career. The rewards are abundant and in long-term career you may find and enjoy great satisfaction in helping other people who always need your support.