What does a Surgical Technician do?

Surgical technicians assist medical staff with patient operations. They prepare the operating rooms and spaces, arrange and track equipment, and help medical staff through the duration of the surgery. Surgical technicians sterilize equipment and ensure a surgery has enough necessary supplies. They are responsible for the preparation of sterile solutions and any medication used in the surgery and ensure all equipment for the surgery is in proper working order.

Surgical technicians bring patients to the operating room and prepare them for surgery by positioning them on an operating table and covering them with sterile drapes. They prep patients for surgery through the washing and disinfecting at sites of an incision. During procedures, they assist surgeons by helping them dress in sterile gowns and passing them instruments and other necessary sterile supplies. Surgical technicians might need a retractor or an internal organ in place during the procedure and sometimes set up robotic surgical equipment or handle specimens taken for laboratory analysis. After a procedure has concluded, they count supplies to ensure that no foreign objects are retained in the patient. Surgical technicians typically need a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate's degree and certification is also beneficial to them in finding work. Depending upon their state they may be required to adhere to regulatory standards additional regulatory standards.

What responsibilities are common for Surgical Technician jobs?
  • Assist the department team before, during, and after procedures.
  • After procedure, clean room and prepare for next procedure.
  • Will also bend to retrieve, lift, and carry supplies and equipment.
  • Set up sterile table with instruments, supplies, and equipment.
  • Clean all equipment and instruments prior to and after use.
  • Perform proper hand scrub according to the Hospitals policy.
  • Document all aspects of care by following the established unit procedure.
  • Utilize appropriate technique to achieve temporary and permanent hemostasis.
  • Review discharge instructions with patient as prepared by provider.
  • Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
  • Ensure room and all surgical items meet sterilization criteria.
  • Monitor solutions used for irrigation to assist in estimating blood loss.
  • Anticipate and respond to Surgeon's needs in a timely manner.
  • Function as a resource to resolve issues related to patient advocacy.
  • Participate in providing quality care by supporting quality improvement initiatives.
  • Demonstrate competency in the care of patients of all age groups.
  • Ensure personal hygiene and comfort care is delivered to the patient.
  • Receive and processes specimens for delivery to the laboratory.
  • Provide post-operative care, including dressing changes and post-operative instructions.
  • Perform blood pressure checks, EKG monitoring, Pulse Oximeter monitoring.
What are the typical qualifications for Surgical Technician jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in applied sciences, business, computer science or business administration, or equivalent experience.
  • Quick learner who pays careful attention to detail.
  • Knowledgeable about sterilization and sanitation procedures.
  • Advanced understanding of HIPAA regulations.
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 year

How much does a Surgical Technician make near United States?

$60,281 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


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Surgical Technician Career Path

Learn how to become a Surgical Technician, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Surgical Technician

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Surgical Technician Insights

Read what Surgical Technician professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Surgical Technologist
Jul 20, 2021

“Nice providers and close to home”

SSM HealthSSM Health
Operating Room Technician
Sep 25, 2022

“The surgeons are friendly and enjoyable to work with.”

Harborview Medical CenterHarborview Medical Center
Surgical Technician First Year
Nov 10, 2021

“Staff is amazing and great to work with.”

Sharon Regional Health SystemSharon Regional Health System
Certified Surgical Technologist
Sep 17, 2021

“Only received one review and a 2% raise in the 8 years I worked there.”

Memorial Hermann Health SystemMemorial Hermann Health System
Certified Surgical Technologist
Aug 25, 2021

“All benefits are good but not the best”

Little SproutsLittle Sprouts
Day Care Group Or Head Teacher
Jun 21, 2022

“pay is not great and can be stressful”

BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet HospitalBluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital
Surgery Technician
Mar 31, 2023

“Poor work and life balance”

Lagos State Government Health Service Commission
Dental Surgery Assistant
Oct 31, 2021

“No career development and frequent work training”

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Surgical Technician Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Surgical Technician

The most similar professions to Surgical Technician are:
  • Physician Assistant
  • CT Technologist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Radiologic Technologist

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