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Job Outlook and Careers

Employment of surgical technologists is expected to increase 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 
Advances in medical technology have made surgery safer, and more operations are being done to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. The aging of the large number of baby boomers also is expected to increase the need for surgical technologists because older people usually require more operations, including joint replacements and heart-related procedures. Hospitals will continue to be the primary employer of surgical technologists, reducing costs by employing technologists, instead of higher paid registered nurses, in operating rooms.
 
Job prospects should be best for surgical technologists who have completed an accredited education program and who maintain their professional certification.

Salaries

The median annual wage of surgical technologists was $39,920 in May 2010. The median annual 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 $28,100, and the top 10 percent earned more than $57,330.

Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest number of surgical technologists in May 2010 were:

Outpatient care centers $41,210
Offices of physicians $41,030
General medical and surgical hospitals
(state, local and private)
$39,600
Offices of dentists $36,480

Most surgical technologists work full time. Surgical technologists employed in hospitals may work or be on call during nights, weekends and holidays. They may be required to work shifts lasting longer than 8 hours.
 

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