An education in surgical technology prepares you for a job in a hospital or outpatient clinic. Their general job is to ensure that the operating room has the right equipment and that the equipment is in working order. Also called a
"scrub tech," the surgical technologist is one of the few people in an entry-level position within a hospital setting.
Type of Degree Required
Working in the surgical technology field is one of the few available in the healthcare industry that does not require an advanced degree. In fact, most hospitals will accept minimal experience in a healthcare setting as a requirement for getting a job as a surgical technologist. People who take courses through a certification program have a bigger chance of landing one of these jobs. Online programs will cover the basic information needed to work in the field, such as the types of equipment needed in surgery and the basics of who and what is happening in an exam room.
In general, a program in surgical technology does not require much beyond a high school diploma in terms of the requirements for admission to the program. In fact, like many non-degree certificate programs, someone can begin a career in surgical technology with limited prerequisite information. Few technical certificates require academic knowledge, such as English and math, which is often the case with admission requirements for a surgical technology certificate program.
The most common place for people who work in surgical technology to find a job is to work in a hospital setting. The majority of surgeries take place in hospitals, and so it stands to reason that it is where most people would look for work. Other workplaces exist, however, such as outpatient surgical centers. These centers typically have lower pay because they are less demanding, but they also generally have regular hours that a hospital cannot guarantee.
BLS Salary & Job Data Overview
People in this field should expect to work long hours when needed and may earn more by working overnight and weekend hours. An entry level person working in surgical technology can expect to be assigned the more basic surgeries, such as an appendectomy, but people who improve their skills are able to move into more lucrative areas, such as working in emergency rooms preparing for immediate surgical needs. High-quality surgical technology employees are sought after employees who are able to command high pay and good surgeries.
Someone who works in surgical technology helps to ensure that an operating room is properly stocked, a job that can make a significant difference in the outcome of a patient. The average pay for a surgical technologist is just shy of $40,000, making this field a good choice for a non-degree career.