Surgical Technician Salary

With the impressive rate of growth of the Certified Surgical Technologist positions, many people have become increasingly interested in pursuing this career. However, as with most healthcare positions, there is some required education involved. Is a Surgical Technician Salary worth the amount of money one must put into becoming certified?

Certified Surgical Technologist Cost vs. Return

The cost to become a Certified Surgical Technologist, including the fee for the national exam, can range anywhere between $2,000 and $20,000. The least expensive option is usually to attend a public college and complete a certificate training program. The highest cost options tend to be at private schools and provide an Associate’s Degree in Surgical Technology. Of course, there are median options, with the average program total around $6,000 to complete.

In comparison, a Surgical Technician Salary ranges the spectrum between $28,000 and $54,000 per year. The median Surgical Technician Salary is $38,000 per year. Generally, the higher the level of training, the better the chances of obtaining a Certified Surgical Technologist job with a higher salary, depending on which opportunities are pursued.

Surgical Technician Salary Details

The exact Surgical Technician Salary one can expect will depend heavily on the setting the Certified Surgical Technologist enters. Since most Certified Surgical Technologist jobs are in hospital settings, most candidates can expect to average approximately $38,000 to $39,000 per year. Of course, some hospital jobs will have a lower Surgical Technician Salary and some will be higher. The remaining options are as follows:

  • Dental Certified Surgical Technologist: $36,000 per year
  • Physician Office Certified Surgical Technologist: $38,500 per year
  • Outpatient Facility Certified Surgical Technologist: $39,600 per year
  • Specialty Office Certified Surgical Technologist: $41,000 per year

Certified Surgical Technologist with specialized training may be able to obtain a higher Surgical Technician Salary, especially in the offices of cosmetic surgeons. There are certainly some lucrative positions available in these offices, and one should remember that not all plastic surgery is elective. In fact, some of the most intricate procedures involve reconstructive surgery after burns, accidents, and mastectomies.

However, competition for these Certified Surgical Technologist positions is fierce and one would do well to exhaust every educational opportunity before attempting to apply for this type of job. It may also be well worth the effort of enrolling in some specialty classes specific to this particular field of surgery to increase the candidate’s qualifications.

Surgical Technician Salary: Is it Worth it?

To answer the original question of whether a Surgical Technician Salary justifies the cost of education, the simple answer is yes. Of course, each person will certainly have their own ideas of what is an acceptable expense and what is not. Even though the cost of higher education is greater than a simple certificate program, the potential Surgical Technician Salary can more than pay for it over just one year of employment.

Even the lower cost options will see a quick return on investment, although admittedly not quite as impressive. Combine this with the fact that Certified Surgical Technologist jobs are steady and growing, and most people would agree that it is an investment well worth making.

Surgical Assistant Salary

A position as a Certified Surgical Assistant can be quite rewarding and lucrative. However, sometimes a technologist may choose to advance their career even further by becoming a Surgical Assistant. This position requires a good bit more training and education than that of a Certified Surgical Technologist, but the rewards can be great. For example, a Surgical Assistant Salary tends to be much higher than a technician salary.

Surgical Assistant Salary: The Numbers

Surgical Assistants may also be called First Assistants. The highest an assistant can go without actually becoming a licensed physician is a physician’s assistant. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the physician’s assistant field will experience a growth more rapid than that of Certified Surgical Technologists at a rate of 39 percent by the year 2018. The median Physician Assistant Salary is $81,000, with some assistants making as much as $110,000 per year.

Comparatively, Certified Surgical Technologists average an income of about $38,000 to $45,000 per year. Since surgical assistants fall in the middle of these two in terms of training and specialty, one could expect to earn a Surgical Assistant Salary of approximately $60,000 to $65,000 per year.

With numbers like that, it is hard to argue that continuing one’s education in pursuit of a Surgical Assistant degree isn’t worth the effort. However, qualifying for the position does require highly specialized training and education. In some cases, a Surgical Assistant may actually perform minor surgeries under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

Becoming a Surgical Assistant

If a person is already a Certified Surgical Technologist, then they are well on the way to becoming a Surgical Assistant. It may be possible to apply course credits toward a Surgical Assistant degree, however, this is entirely at the discretion of the educational facility. As with training to become a Certified Surgical Technologist, it is important that Surgical Assistant students choose colleges or technical schools that have the appropriate accreditations.

Students may take a Surgical Assistant Exam through The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, which is the same organization that administers Certified Surgical Technologist exams. The fee for this exam is $499. There are a few ways to qualify to take the Surgical Assistant exam:

  • Proof of previous or current Certified Surgical First Assistant certification (if renewing)
  • Proof of graduation from an accredited surgical assisting education program
  • Be a current Certified Surgical Technologist with the required level of experience and proof of such

For the current Certified Surgical Technologist, this proof will consist of showing current certification and two Experience Verification Forms, properly notarized. These forms have a very specific format that must be strictly adhered to. Experience must include a full two years of employment as a Certified Surgical Technologist within the last four years and a minimum of 350 cases worked. When these requirements are met, the Certified Surgical Technologist may sit for the Surgical Assisting exam. If they are successful, they will enjoy a Surgical Assistant Salary in the very near future.

Figuring Out The Surgical Technician Pay Scale

There are a lot of things that will determine what your wages and or salaries will be if you decide to go into the field of becoming a surgical technician.

First and foremost you must be sure that this is what you want to do. In order to make money, you are going to have to invest some time and some of your own money.

The first step is to look to what degree you want to receive. You can go through a quick nine month course that can cost you as little as $1000, but are you going to come out qualified? Most employers are looking for someone with at least a two-year degree from an accredited university or tech school. Some universities and degree programs can cost up to $30,000, but there are many options out there. You can look into scholarships or maybe you already have a job that offers tuition reimbursement for advancement. The need for technologists is on the rise, so it’s a wise decision to look into an accredited program where you will leave with a certificate with advanced standing.

Now onto salaries. Surgical technician pay scale can vary greatly. On the average, technicians can make $40,000. Salaries depend on your specialty, location of your job, such as town or state, experience, and your certification status. Surgical technology is a great field to get into now. Employment is growing, and many opportunities are available.

Most jobs will offer a benefits package, which may include some of the following benefits. Most will include paid vacations, sick leave, health, medical and retirement benefits. Some may even provide tuition reimbursement and child care arrangements. The key is to do your homework and find the right job for you.

Pay scale can also depend on what field you specialize in and how far your education and training may take you. Some surgical technicians have been known to make over $100,000 and more! If you specialize in fields such as neurosurgery or open heart surgery you are bound to make more money. With additional training, you can become what’s called a first assistant where you can earn even more money.

Being a surgical technician can be a great job. You can become a well paid surgical professional while doing a job that you love. You will become an important part of a team of medical professionals who provide comfort and care to those in need.

How To Determine A Surgical Tech Salary

Most people need to have an estimation of the final salary before beginning the training for a career. While it is easy to get a range of what a person should expect when they reach the top, it may not be so simple to come up with a more exact number of surgical technicians. Typically, anybody working in the medical field is paid pretty well, depending on their position and the kind of work they do. Those interested in doing surgery or working alongside a surgeon will be pleased to know that the surgical tech salary is often very high, even when an individual is just starting out. There is a wide array of different factors that need to be considered before an individual can come up with accurate salary estimations.

When a person first enters this career, they need to be prepared for taking home a smaller salary. As a newcomer, an individual will need to work their way up and prove that they are worth the higher pay they desire. While the pay is still going to be substantially good just starting out, many people are thrilled to hear that the growth potential a surgical tech could be paid is unlimited.

As an individual rises up in the ranks, they will begin to see their salary increase. While time will definitely increase the pay, a person will need to consider a few other factors. Location can make a huge difference on what the surgical tech salary is. Urban and highly populated areas will often give much higher pay to surgical technicians, while less developed areas pay less.

While Location and time definitely make a huge difference in surgical tech salary, the skill level is the last determining factor. The amount of experience and training a person has can make the largest difference on what a person will be paid as a surgical tech. Attending the right schools, receiving certification, and having previous experience in hospitals will simplify the process of calculating the surgical tech salary.

A person that is interested in beginning training to be a surgical tech can start off knowing that they will be paid well. The more experience and skills they portray at the time of hiring and over time will determine their surgical tech salary. It is helpful to know that choosing a location that is highly populated and in need of surgical techs will give a newcomer a higher salary over people in low populated areas.

Factors That Affect Surgical Tech Salary

There are countless different factors that can affect what the highest potential surgical tech salary can be for an individual. This career is a highly rewarding medical position and is definitely an essential part of any hospital. Surgical technicians help the surgeon in the operating room performing a variety of tasks. Everything from closing incisions to handing the surgeon tools is all an everyday occurrence in this job. With such a high level of responsibility and skill needed, many people are curious as to how much they can earn as a surgical tech. The answer is not a set in stone number, and it can be easily deterred by a wide variety of things. A person could get a good estimation by taking into consideration the factors that greatly determine a surgical tech salary the most.

Many surgical technicians know from experience how big of a difference the location can make on a salary. Urban, densely populated areas are much more likely to give their surgical technicians a high salary, while lower populated towns cannot afford this. The majority of people who are looking to make the most out of this career choice to move to more populated towns in order to get a higher surgical tech salary. This is definitely the best option for an individual who is striving to reach their highest potential.

Along with the location makes a huge difference, many people report that their years of experience make a heavy impact on their salary as well. A newcomer to any position will often be paid lower then somebody who is simply relocating. While this cannot be avoided, there is a way for an individual to start as a surgical tech with a higher pay. Having previous experience working in a hospital is the ideal situation for a tech. Their years of working in a hospital will often increase their surgical tech salary substantially.

With the number of factors that can change a surgical tech salary, it is important that an individual thoroughly considers all the different things. A person who is striving to make the most money in this position should take advantage of the ways that can increase their pay. Living in a highly populated area and working in a hospital before becoming a surgical tech are both excellent ways to get an individual the upper hand over other employees and make them more eligible for a higher surgical tech salary.