Surgical Techs play a vital role in the operating room assisting the surgeon and surgical team ensuring that surgeries are conducted smoothly. 

If you want to become a Surgical Tech or have already enrolled in an online program to become one you should know clearly about how much you could make.

Well, the much a surgical tech can make depends on some factors that we will discuss later.

So, if you’re considering a healthcare career and are curious about the earning potential of a Surgical Tech, this article will provide you with all the information about – why you should choose this career, how much you can make yearly and hourly, and how can you increase it over time.

Stay Tuned –

Surgical Tech Salary

Why You Should Choose a Career as a Surgical Tech?

Becoming a Surgical Technologist means joining a surgical team that ensures smooth surgeries and excellent patient care.

It’s a unique career, so your decision should match your interests, adaptability, and long-term goals. Overall, if you’re passionate about healthcare, being a Surgical Tech can be fulfilling and responsible.

You need to choose this career for –

They are in High Demand

We as a country are getting older as our average age nears 40. This means an increased need for medical professionals including surgical techs. Thus, ensuring high demand

Talkin about data –

The BLS has projected the employment growth rate for surgical assistants and technologists to grow by 5% in this decade.

But surprisingly, in 2022 alone, the CSTs held about 109,200 positions with the largest employer being the Hospitals.

This speaks volumes about the demand for these professionals.

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Job Satisfaction and Job Security

Since the population ages and the number of surgeries increases so does the demand for Surgical Techs. This high demand translates to good job prospects and job security in the field.

If you’re someone who finds fulfillment in making a direct impact on patients’ lives, this career can be deeply rewarding. You can play a crucial role in assisting during surgeries, ensuring that procedures go smoothly, and contributing to positive patient outcomes.

Better Pay

With the inflation, the cost of living for average Americans has risen upwards to $3000 a month. But with this career, you can certainly beat that as you receive better pay.

As per BLS salary data 2022, the annual average salary of Surgical Technologists is $55,960, with an hourly rate of around $27.

Moreover, among the Surgical Techs, the highest 10% are earning upwards of $78,560 per year, and higher. The pay hike depends on several factors like experience, expertise, certification, and such.

Also Read:

-> AST Surgical Tech 

-> NCCT Surgical Tech

-> Surgical Tech Study Guide

Quick Entry into the Workforce with NO DEGREE

Unlike many careers you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars and years, to get a degree. You can enter the field of surgical technology relatively quickly, in just 1 to 2 years.

There are programs offering diplomas or certificates which is completed in less than a year, while a typical associate degree program would take about two years.

That’s not it. There is a faster way too.

The online programs take almost 6 to 8 months to complete and are cost-effective as well. That’s why we recommend online programs for you.  


-> Surgical Tech Major

-> Surgical Tech Resume

Variety of Specialties

As a Surgical Tech, you have the advantage of working in a variety of specialties, from orthopedics and cardiovascular surgery to neurosurgery and obstetrics. These varieties allow you to gain experience in different medical procedures depending on your area of interest.

Specializations Full List –

  • General Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Organ transplantation
  • Orthopedic
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Plastic surgery

Team Environment

As a Surgical Tech, you are part of a strong surgical team of dedicated, specialized, and indispensable healthcare professionals.  

Since your duties require you to collaborate closely with surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other support staff, you require strong teamwork and communication skills, to work more efficiently in the Operating Room.

Fulfilling Career

There is a saying that most healthcare professionals resonate with – It is not just a Job but a Calling. This is because, if you are not naturally inclined toward it, you will get frustrated or feel burnt out.

If you are inclined, then you’ll have the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment by knowing that your work directly contributes to improving patients’ lives.

This amazing feel gets them going.   


-> What Does a Surgical Tech Do?

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How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make a Year?

The BLS salary data 2022 states that the annual average salary of Surgical Technologists is $55,960.

Fascinatingly, among them, the highest 10% are earning upwards of $78,560 per year, and higher. This hike in salary could be due to several factors like experience, expertise, education, and such.

Moreover, the lowest 10% of CSTs earn around $38,860 per year. This could again depend on some factors like education, certification, or experience.

So, considering you are just starting your career, you can expect your salary to be ranging between $38,000 to $ $55,960. Again, this could depend on your education, expertise, and negotiation skills.

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How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make an Hour?

A Surgical Tech can typically earn an hourly wage of around $28, with variations based on experience and certifications.

As you gain more experience in the field, your earning potential can increase to an average range of $31 to $38 per hour. 

Top Paying Industries for a Surgical Tech

Surgical Techs generally earn an annual average salary of $55,960, as per the BLS. But some employers pay them more than their average salary.

The pay would depend on various factors like experience, specialty, education, and location, as well. 

Here are the top-paying industries for CSTs (BLS Data) –

  • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories – $71,430
  • Home Health Care Services – $ 67,370
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools – $ 67,180
  • Scientific Research and Development Services – $ 65,720
  • Specialty Hospitals (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) – $ 63,930

Highest Paying Cities for a Surgical Tech

As per BLS salary data 2022, the annual average salary of Surgical Technologists is $55,960 in the US, with an hourly rate of around $28. But, within the country, some states pay the CSTs better.

Top paying states to CSTs –

  • Alaska – $73,960
  • California – $72,860
  • Connecticut – $71,430
  • Nevada – $69,300
  • Washington – $66,590

Top Surgical Tech Certifications

Becoming a CST–certified surgical Tech validates your skill, highlights your expertise, and proves your dedication. Also, this is what employers and patients seek. So, you must consider getting certified.

Moreover, it makes you a competitive candidate in the job market and can open better career opportunities and increase your earning potential as a Surgical Tech.

Here are the major 3 Certifications –

NBSTSA – National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting

NCCT – National Center for Competency Testing 

NCST – Nationally Certified Surgical Technologist – through AAH (American Allied Health)

More On:

-> Surgical Tech Certification

-> How to Become a Certified Surgical Tech?

How To Increase Your Salary as a Surgical Tech?  

Increasing your salary is smart work. It can be achieved through a combination of factors and may take some time. But it is possible.

Here are a few proven strategic steps to potentially command a higher salary as a Surgical Tech –

Gain Experience

One of the most effective ways to increase your salary as a surgical tech is to gain experience in the field. As you accumulate years of practice, you become more valuable to employers, which often leads to higher pay. Seek positions that offer diverse surgical experiences to enhance your skills.


Consider specializing in a particular area of surgery, such as orthopedics, cardiovascular, or neurosurgery. Specialized surgical techs often command higher salaries due to their expertise in specific procedures.

Pursue Certification

This is the most important aspect you need to take care of. Not only employers but the patients too wish certified professionals around them. These certifications demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge in surgical assisting.

Continue Education

To recertify you need to maintain minimum CE Hours. Also, there are some surgical techs who choose to advance their education by pursuing an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in surgical technology or a related field. Higher education can lead to more specialized roles and increased earning potential.


Research areas that pay CSTs well. Then consider relocating to the area with a higher pay for surgical techs. Also, regions with healthcare shortages often offer competitive salaries to attract qualified professionals.

Hone Communication Skills

Effective communication is essential for a Surgical Tech, as you will be interacting with patients, Surgeons, and other medical staff. Focus on developing good communication skills, including manual dexterity, attention to detail, empathy, active listening, and clear articulation.

Join Professional Associations

Becoming a member of professional organizations like the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) can provide access to networking opportunities, job postings, and salary data.

Also Read:

-> Surgical Tech Requirements

-> Is Surgical Tech School Hard?

-> How to Become a Surgical Tech?

In Conclusion,

Surgical Techs earn better to beat inflation and over time with smart work, experience, expertise, education, and certification, they can work on to increase their pay.

As a surgical tech, besides earning potential, job satisfaction, varieties in specialization, working in a team environment, and importantly getting a quick entry without a degree are some most appealing factors to the career.

So, even if you aspire to become one, you need not worry about the pay, since it is better considering many professions. Ultimately, if you possess a genuine passion for a healthcare career, it can be very rewarding. 


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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.