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Surgical Technologists

Surgical Technologists
Quick Facts : Surgical Technologists*
2010 Median Pay$39,920
Entry Level EducationPostsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201293,600
Job Outlook19% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change17,700

Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors and nurses during surgeries. Surgical technologists work as members of a healthcare team alongside physicians and surgeons, registered nurses, and other healthcare workers

What Surgical Technologists Do

  • Prepare operating rooms for surgery
  • Sterilize equipment and make sure that there are adequate supplies for surgery
  • Prepare patients for surgery, such as washing and disinfecting incision sites
  • Help surgeons and nurses during surgery by passing them instruments and other sterile supplies

Work Environment

Most surgical technologists work in hospitals. Some work in outpatient surgery centers. They spend much of their time on their feet.
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Job Outlook

Employment of surgical technologists is expected to increase 19 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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In May 2010 the average salary of surgical technologists was $39,920 in May 2010.
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Surgical Technologists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Surgical Technologists


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Surgical Technologists*
Percent Change in Employment

Surgical Technologists


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Surgical Technologists

Surgical technologists typically need some type of postsecondary education. Accredited programs in surgical technology are in many community colleges and vocational schools. Programs range in length from several months to two years, and they grant a certificate or associate's degree. A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission.
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