How Much Do Surgical Techs Get Paid?

Surgical techs are in demand and the average surgical tech salary is $47,300 per year. But how much do surgical techs get paid per hour?

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Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians or scrub techs, work under the supervision of licensed surgeons, registered nurses and other surgical personnel. They prepare the operating room for surgery and ensure that the sterile field is maintained during surgery. Surgical technologists also pass instruments to the surgeon during surgery and may hold retractors or?other equipment. They also may apply dressings to the surgical incision site and help transfer patients to recovery rooms.

Because they work in operating rooms, surgical technologists must be able to handle stress and maintain their composure in high-pressure situations. They also must be able to work quickly and efficiently while paying attention to detail.

Most surgical technologists have completed a postsecondary education program in surgical technology; however, some have completed on-the-job training programs.

National Averages

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for surgical techs was $48,300 in 2017. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,880, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,940.

Top Paying States

The top five best-paying states for surgical technologists are Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and California, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011. Surgical techs in these states earn annual mean salaries that range from $50,850 to $56,750. Surgical techs in the District of Columbia also report an annual mean salary of $56,750. Altogether, these six states and the District of Columbia offer annual mean salaries that are at least $10,000 more than the national average for this profession.

Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level for surgical techs:
-New York City, NY
-Los Angeles, CA
-Houston, TX
-Chicago, IL
-Dallas, TX

Surgical Tech Salaries by Facility Type

There are many factors influencing how much a surgical tech gets paid. One of the most important is the type of facility where they work. Generally speaking, large hospitals tend to pay more than smaller clinics or private practices. This is because they have a greater need for staff and can therefore afford to offer higher salaries. Here is a breakdown of average surgical tech salaries by facility type:

Large hospital: $67,000 per year
Small hospital: $63,000 per year
Clinic: $59,000 per year
Private practice: $56,000 per year

Surgical Tech Salaries by Experience Level

Surgical tech salaries range from $33,950 to $53,490 annually, with a median salary of $43,040 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Entry-level surgical techs with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an hourly wage of $16.21, or an annual salary of $33,950.

those with 1-4 years of experience earn a median hourly wage of $19.61, or an annual salary of $40,710.

Experienced surgical techs with 5-9 years on the job earn a median hourly wage of $22.38, or an annual salary of $46,580.

The highest paid surgical techs are those with 10-19 years of experience who earn a median hourly wage of $24.81, or an annual salary of $51 610.

Surgical techs with 20 or more years on the job earn a median hourly wage of $$26.52, or an annual salary if $55 190

Surgical Tech Salaries by Certification

The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $47,300 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $66,590.

Most surgical technologists work full time. Because surgeries are performed daily and sometimes more than once per day, surgical technologists may work evenings, weekends, or holidays. They may also work overnight shifts.


In general, surgical techs can expect to earn a median salary of $43,000 per year. However, experienced surgical techs with several years of experience may earn salaries closer to $60,000 per year. Salaries for surgical techs can vary based on a number of factors, including experience, education, and geographic location.

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