How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make? Exploring the Salary Range

Admin 08/08/2023

Have you ever wondered about the salary range of surgical techs? Surgical techs play a crucial role in the medical field, assisting surgeons during operations and ensuring the smooth flow of procedures. If you’re considering a career as a surgical tech or simply curious about their earning potential, it’s important to understand the factors that influence their salaries. In this article, we will delve into the world of surgical tech salaries, shedding light on the average earnings and the various factors that come into play.

What is a Surgical Tech?

Before we dive into the salary aspect, let’s first understand what a surgical tech does. A surgical tech, also known as a surgical technologist, is a skilled healthcare professional who assists surgeons in the operating room. They are responsible for preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring all necessary instruments are ready for use. During surgeries, surgical techs provide support to surgeons by passing instruments, holding retractors, and maintaining a sterile environment. The work of surgical techs is crucial in ensuring the success of surgical procedures.

To become a surgical tech, individuals typically complete an accredited surgical technology program. These programs can range from nine months to two years and provide comprehensive training in surgical techniques, medical terminology, and patient care. After completing their education, surgical techs may choose to pursue certification to enhance their career prospects and earning potential.

Factors that Affect Surgical Tech Salaries

The salary of a surgical tech can vary based on several factors. Let’s explore some of the key elements that influence their earning potential:

1. Experience

As with many professions, experience plays a significant role in determining a surgical tech’s salary. Those with more years of experience in the field are likely to earn higher salaries compared to beginners. Experienced surgical techs have developed a deep understanding of surgical procedures, gained valuable skills, and demonstrated their ability to handle complex cases. This expertise often translates into increased earning potential.

2. Location

Geographical location can have a significant impact on surgical tech salaries. Salaries may vary based on the cost of living in different regions or states. For example, metropolitan areas or regions with a higher demand for surgical techs may offer higher salaries compared to rural areas. It’s important to research the average salaries in your desired location to get a better understanding of the potential earnings.

3. Certifications

While certification is not always mandatory, it can have a positive influence on a surgical tech’s salary. There are several certifications available for surgical techs, such as the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) credential offered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Holding a certification demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and continuous learning, which can be rewarded with higher salaries.

4. Work Setting

The work setting can also impact a surgical tech’s salary. Surgical techs may find employment in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, or specialty clinics. Each work setting may offer different salary structures and benefits. For instance, surgical techs working in high-pressure environments like trauma centers or emergency departments may receive higher compensation due to the demanding nature of their work.

Average Salary of Surgical Techs

Now that we have explored the factors influencing surgical tech salaries, let’s take a look at the average salary range for these professionals. It’s important to note that salaries can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for surgical technologists was $48,300 as of May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,230, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $71,400. It’s worth mentioning that these figures are national averages and may not reflect the specific salaries in every region.

It’s important to keep in mind that salaries can be influenced by factors such as experience, location, certifications, and work setting. Therefore, the actual earnings of a surgical tech can vary from the average figures provided.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Surgical Tech Salaries

To address common queries about surgical tech salaries, let’s explore some frequently asked questions:

1. What is the starting salary for a surgical tech?

The starting salary for a surgical tech can vary depending on factors such as location, education, and previous experience. On average, entry-level surgical techs can expect to earn a salary within the lower range of the national average, starting from around $34,230.

2. Do surgical techs receive benefits?

Yes, surgical techs typically receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and educational reimbursement. The specific benefits may vary depending on the employer and work setting.

3. Can surgical techs earn more with additional certifications?

Yes, obtaining additional certifications, such as the CST credential, can enhance a surgical tech’s earning potential. Certified surgical techs often have an advantage in the job market and may be eligible for higher salaries.


In conclusion, the salary range for surgical techs can vary based on factors such as experience, location, certifications, and work setting. While the national average salary for surgical techs stands at $48,300, it’s important to consider these influencing factors to get a more accurate understanding of potential earnings.

If you’re considering a career as a surgical tech, it’s crucial to research the salaries in your desired location and evaluate the opportunities for professional growth and development. By understanding the factors that affect surgical tech salaries, you can make informed decisions and strive for a rewarding and financially stable career in the field of surgical technology.