The appeal of surgical tech jobs is obvious; an exciting environment that provides numerous opportunities to showcase your talents under pressure, quick decision making capabilities and a promising outlook for job security. Surgical technologists enjoy working in the medical field right alongside top doctors in the best facilities and play a major role in saving and improving lives. The choices that present themselves to people in this career field are vast and interesting, from delivering babies to saving animals to assisting in rhinoplasty. The sky is virtually the limit for surgical technologists.
With the general population growing older and the perpetual advancements in medical technology, surgical technology opportunities face upwards of 25% growth in the near future. As more people live longer, the number of surgical patients generally increases. Procedures that address the needs of an aging population are constantly being performed and improved upon. Thus, the need to fill surgical tech positions steadily increases in a predictable statistical pattern.
The average surgical technologist’s starting salary is fast approaching $30,000, but that truly is just the beginning. Factors that contribute to the growth of earnings include education, accumulative experience, the institution employed at, which shifts worked and of course, the individual’s ability to learn and excel. Surgical tech jobs are not limited to one particular field of medicine or facility, or even major metropolitan areas. Some of the highest paid surgical tech jobs are also found in the most desirable of states to live, such as Hawaii and California.
The top earners in surgical technology usually specialize in cosmetic surgery. This particular field has rapidly grown over the past few years and the demand for cosmetic procedures is expected to keep rising. Since these operations are some of the most expensive and performed by the most exclusive, even famous physicians, the techs in this field garner salaries in excess of $60,000. Alaska, Connecticut and Nevada, along with Hawaii and California offer the best compensation for surgical techs in the country. These states also carry the highest cost of living rates as well, which must be factored into the equation.
Most surgical techs find themselves in hospital operating rooms at one time or another in their careers. There, they prepare the room and the patient for the surgery to be performed, by sterilizing instruments and surfaces and performing any necessary pre-op procedures. During the actual surgery, the tech stands at the ready and supports the surgeon in every conceivable way. The surgical tech is responsible for all post-op clean-up and patient care as well. Operating room surgical techs earn around $37,000 annually.
The role of surgical technologist in the dentist office is also one that is evolving to accommodate an increased demand for cosmetic improvements. Although techs in dentistry also assist the doctor during surgery and take care of the surgical environment and patient both before and after procedures, their role and opportunity for earnings is expanding. As more and more people look to dentists to improve their appearance through surgical enhancements, the technologist’s value increases and now stands at an average of $46,000.
Many surgical techs prefer the calm and often predictable atmosphere of a physician’s office. In this setting, nearly all procedures are scheduled well in advance and preparations can be made with little pressure. As with other specialty practices, the tech assists the doctor in surgical procedures and preps both the room and patient. Once completed, the tech finishes by cleaning out the environment and readying the patient for departure. Physician office surgical techs often earn around $35,000-36,000 a year.
Far removed from the surgical environment of people, veterinary surgical technology specialists also enjoy an abundance of choices and job security. Although the educational course for a vet tech is considerably different, it provides one of the most interesting and fulfilling opportunities in the surgical technologist spectrum. From standard procedures such as teeth cleaning or spaying and neutering, to ground breaking, life-saving operations, veterinary surgery assistants can expect to see and do it all while earning approximately $40,000
Regardless of the area of expertise chosen by a surgical tech, they all must go through a fairly rigorous education process. Although certificates requiring less than a year of study are sometimes acceptable, most professionals prefer a candidate with at least an associate’s degree, for starters. Upon earning the associate’s degree, an applicant becomes eligible to take either the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam or Surgical Assisting and the Tech in Surgery (TS-C) exam. Branching out from basic certification to specialty areas requires other educational enlistment as well as internships and accumulative experience. The highest paying surgical tech jobs, such as those in plastic surgery, maintain higher educational requirements, beginning with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing and extending into residency programs.
One of the most important qualifications of anyone entering the medical field is compassion and the desire to help people. The attitude and personality of a surgical tech is vital to a positive patient disposition; the tech is often the last face seen before surgery begins and the first seen once it is over. They must comfort the patient and alleviate fears, as well as educate them and answer questions. Also important for anyone considering this field to know is that no matter what the specialty or facility selected, standing is a constant part of the job. Sometimes surgical staff are on their feet for hours.
The decision to enter the surgical tech field is indeed a wise one; continued growth and job security offer individuals long-term promise. The opportunity to increase earnings or change up the 9-5 scenery by altering the career course into another area of expertise can be very appealing. Jobs in surgical technology are located in some of the most desirable areas of the country and once established in the field, a person has unlimited choices and complete control over their own destiny. Surgical tech jobs are some of the most stable, exciting and coveted positions in any industry today.