Skip to main content
Healthcare Surgical Technologist
Salary Range Jobs Available
$39,600 - $75,000 9,400+

What Does a Surgical Technologist Do?

If you want to be part of the action in an operating room and aren't squeamish, consider becoming a surgical technologist. 

Surgical technologists — also called surgical techs, operating room (OR) techs or scrub techs — are critical members of a surgical team. They work with the surgeon, anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. 

Surgical techs prepare the operating room before the surgery takes place. They arrange medical equipment and assist doctors during surgical procedures, and they ensure that the room is organized and sterile after the surgery is done. 

Many surgery techs are generalists who assist with routine operations as well as emergency procedures. Others specialize in surgical areas, such as organ transplants, orthopedics or cardiology.

These medical specialists are often the first to arrive in the OR and the last to leave. Their attention to detail is critical for success.

If this fast-paced career sounds like a good fit for you, keep reading to learn more about what it takes to become a surgical tech.

A surgical technologist works in an operating room with the surgical team
Employment of surgical technologists is expected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031. (Credit: UfaBizPhoto/Shutterstock)


  • Prepare the operating room for surgery
  • Maintain a sterile environment 
  • Pass instruments and other supplies to surgeon during surgery
  • Set up robotic surgical equipment (if applicable)
  • Count and keep track of all surgical instruments during and after surgery
  • Take inventory of supplies
  • Maintain records of procedures

How To Become a Surgical Tech: FAQs

The bottom line:

If you want to be in a fast-paced hospital career, this job will get you there without spending time and money to earn a bachelor’s degree. This often overlooked position is a hidden opportunity for someone with the right skills. If you’re interested in taking the next step, check out the training programs offered by SkillPointe’s partners. 

'My favorite part about my job is knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life,' said surgical technologist Shana Frazee.

Why becoming a surgical tech is worthwhile

To learn about healthcare careers, Shana Frazee took a job in hospital housekeeping so she could see what happened in the different departments. She shadowed a doctor and soon learned about surgical technology.

“I had never heard of one before, but I instantly became interested in the position,” she says.

She trained to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and has been loving this fast-paced role ever since.

Learn more about this satisfying job that keeps the surgery room running smoothly.

Find Surgical Technologist Training In Your Area

Salt Lake City

Surgical Technology Certificate of Completion

Surgical Technologists work as part of a surgical team under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse and are an important part of...

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

The Surgical Technology program is very demanding but with our high quality of training, you will be prepared to enter the work force in the surgery...
Coeur d'Alene

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

The Surgical Technology program prepares students for entry-level employment as surgical technologists in hospitals, surgery centers, and specialty...

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Surgical technologists handle the instruments, supplies and equipment necessary during the surgical procedure. They have an understanding of the...
Daytona Beach

Surgical Technology, (Limited Access Program), A.S.

The program offers the student an opportunity to develop the technical ability, knowledge and skills required for entry-level employment in any...

Surgical Services, A.S.

The Associate in Science (A.S.) in Surgical Services degree program provides students the educational development and hands-on training necessary to...
Fort Pierce

Surgical Technology Career Training

Surgical technologists are allied health professionals, who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing surgical care to...
Lake Worth

Surgical Services Degree

This Associate in Science degree program is designed to prepare the student for employment as a surgical technologist. In a simulated surgical...
Wesley Chapel

Surgical Technology Technical Credit Certificate

Pasco-Hernando State College strives to prepare competent "entry-level surgical technologist in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and...

Central Sterile Processing Technology College Credit Certificate

The Central Sterile Processing Program spans two semesters and prepares students with experience, knowledge and skills necessary to earn a nationally...

Surgical Technology Certificate

The certified surgical technologist (CST) is a key member of the surgical team who anticipates the needs of the surgeon and passes instruments...

Surgical Technology, A.S.

The Surgical Services, A.S. degree teaches the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of a person in the health science occupation and prepares...

Surgical Technology, A.A.S

The Surgical Technology (ST) program provides entry-level skills in surgical technology. As an essential team-member in the operating room of...

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

A surgical technologist is an allied health professional who assists the surgeon and assistants by passing instrumentation and supplies during...

Surgical Technology, A.A.S.

Surgical technologists, who are integral members of the surgical team, work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, registered nurses and other...
Not sure about this job?
Find your match with our career quiz.

Need help reaching your goals?

Explore our Financial Resources page for scholarships, FAQ answers and student support services.

Explore More