Surgical Technician

Prep tools and equipment for surgery.
picture of Surgical Technician

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$28,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Surgical Technicians do?

Surgery is a complicated process, requiring the skills of a variety of personnel. In addition to the Surgeon, Nurses, and Orderlies, there’s also the Surgical Technician. The Surgical Technician helps set up the operating room, monitor the patient and equipment during surgery, and assist the Surgeon as necessary. They also have a pivotal role in prepping patients for surgery by cleaning, shaving, and disinfecting the surgery site.

If the simple act of reading that description makes you queasy, then this might not be the job for you. In fact, a sheer fascination with the human anatomy and an interest in the gruesome task of cutting into a body are fantastic qualities for Surgical Technicians. Although you don’t use the scalpel yourself, you’re front and center from the Surgeon’s first cut to their last stitch.

During the procedure, you make sure that all the supplies and tools are within the Surgeon’s reach. That means you know the name of each tool, ensure that it’s sterilized, and check that any other required supplies are close at hand.

In addition to the tools and supplies, you also set up and monitor the equipment before and during the procedure. That might mean rolling it out of the closet, removing dust covers, plugging it in, and making sure it’s working properly. Then you use that equipment to take and record vital sign readings, such as blood pressure, oxygen level, and heart rate.

Should I be a Surgical Technician?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Food Service Technician, Scrub Technician, Surgical Scrub Technician

    How to become a Surgical Technician

    Most Surgical Technicians have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:r9faaf&chl=no+college+%2815%25%29|certificate+%2853%25%29|associate%27s+%2827%25%29|||doctorate+%285%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,15,53
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