In the fast-paced world of healthcare, surgical technicians play a vital role in ensuring the seamless execution of surgical procedures.

As a crucial member of the operating room team, surgical technicians, commonly referred to as "surgical techs," are responsible for assisting surgeons, sterilizing equipment, and maintaining a sterile environment.

Their precision, attention to detail, and ability to anticipate the needs of the surgical team contribute significantly to the success of operations.

A career as a surgical tech offers not only a chance to contribute to patient care but also the potential for a competitive salary. BLS states that surgical technologists earned up to $38,860 in the bottom 10% and up to $78,560 in the top 90% as per last year’s report.

We will delve into the current details of the average surgical tech salary, exploring the factors that influence earnings, regional variations, and the future outlook of this dynamic profession.

Factors Influencing Surgical Tech Salary

Surgical tech salary is influenced by a multitude of factors, each contributing to the overall compensation package.

Let's examine some of the key determinants that can impact the earnings of surgical technicians.

Education and Training

Education is a foundational aspect that influences salary potential. 48.7% surgical techs typically complete an associate degree in surgical technology. Additionally, 61.8% of surgical techs pursue majors in medical tech.

The level of education and the institution from which it is obtained can influence starting salaries.

Graduates from accredited programs often have a competitive edge in the job market and may command higher starting salaries.

Experience and Expertise

Experience is a significant factor that directly correlates with earning potential. Surgical technologist salary entry-level is typically lower compared to experienced surgical tech salary.

As they gain expertise, develop proficiency in various surgical procedures, and become adept at handling complex cases, their salaries are likely to increase.

Also read: How to tailor your professional experience section in 2023?


Obtaining certification as a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) can impact earning potential.

Indeed states that Basic Life Support (BLS) certification can boost your salary by 22.36% more than the average base salary, which is $110,499 per year.

Healthcare facilities usually prefer or require surgical techs to be certified, as it demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and competence. Certified surgical techs also qualify for higher-paying positions or salary increments.

Also read: Where should you add your certifications in a resume?

Specialty and Surgical Area

The surgical field is diverse, encompassing various specialties such as orthopedic surgery, cardiac surgery, and neurosurgery.

Surgical techs specializing in high-demand or specialized areas may receive additional compensation due to their specialized skill set and the complexity of the procedures they assist in.


Geographical location plays a pivotal role in salary determination. Salaries can vary significantly from one region to another due to differences in the cost of living, demand for surgical techs, and local economic factors.

Metropolitan areas such as New York and Los Angeles with higher healthcare demands often offer more competitive salaries.

Healthcare Setting

Surgical techs can find employment in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and ambulatory surgical centers.

Each setting may offer different salary structures based on patient volume, case complexity, and facility budget. Some of the top-paying industries are Diagnostic Laboratories and Home Health Care Services.


Source: Indeed

Also read: What is the application and hiring process for United Healthcare careers?

Surgical Tech Salary Breakdown

A comprehensive understanding of how surgical tech salaries are structured can provide valuable insights into potential earnings.

Let's break down the components that contribute to a surgical tech's compensation package.

Base Salary

The base salary is the foundational component of a surgical tech's earnings. It reflects the technician's expertise, experience, and education level.

On average, the base salary for a surgical tech in the United States in 2023 ranges from $79,812 to $152,986 per year.

Bonuses and Overtime

Bonuses and overtime pay can significantly enhance a surgical tech's annual income.

Performance-based bonuses, retention bonuses, and overtime compensation for working beyond regular hours or during holidays can contribute to a substantial portion of total earnings.


Healthcare benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, are often included in a surgical tech's compensation package.

Additionally, retirement plans such as 401(k) contributions, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement may further enhance the overall value of the package.

Also read: Why are employee benefits important to consider before applying for a job?

Average Surgical Tech Salary by State

The average surgical tech salary in different states of the US in 2023 are as follows:

State Surgical Tech Salary Per Hour Surgical Tech Annual Salary
Texas $42.52 $99,500
Ohio $50.33 $117,769
New Jersey $44.10 $103,192
Florida $46.72 $109,331
Georgia $43.60 $102,018
Michigan $42.62 $99,722
Massachusetts $41.52 $97,143
North Carolina $42.54 $99,541
Maryland $45.44 $106,320
California $45.49 $106,447
Illinois $47.50 $111,148
New York $51.32 $120,093
Indiana $52.41 $122,644

Also read: Top Surgical Technician Interview Questions with Example Answers

Highest Paying Surgical Tech Specialties

Here are the top 5 surgical technician salaries per year:

Operating Room Technician Salary $117,731
Cardiovascular Surgical Tech Salary $91,520
OR Scrub Tech Salary $83,000
Tissue Recovery Surgical Tech Salary $50,586
Scrub Tech Salary $49,863

Note: These figures are approximate and can alter as per the factors earlier discussed in this guide

Future Outlook on Surgical Tech Salary

The future outlook on surgical tech salary remains promising, with several factors contributing to sustained demand and potential salary growth.

Growing Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry continues to expand, driven by an aging population and advances in medical technology.

As surgical procedures become more sophisticated, the need for skilled surgical techs will generate around 9.6K job openings on average, over the decade, potentially leading to higher salaries to attract and retain top talent.

Technological Advancements

Advancements in surgical techniques and equipment require surgical techs to continuously update their skills.

Those who stay up-to-date with the latest technological trends and innovations may be in a favorable position to negotiate higher salaries.

Also read: How to negotiate salary after you receive a job offer?

FAQs on Surgical Tech Salary

How much does a surgical tech get paid?

The average base surgical tech salary in the United States in 2023 is $110,499 per year.

What is the salary of a travel surgical tech?

The average travel surgical tech salary in 2023 in the United States is $104,011, with the bottom 25% earning around $85,000 and top earners bagging $142,000.

Where do surgical techs get paid the most?

Indianapolis and New York are the two highest paying states in the US for surgical tech salary i.e., $122,644/year and $120,093/year, respectively.

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