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Surgical Technologists

Job Prognosis: Strong & Growing

Surgical technologists are members of operating room teams, which include the surgeon(s), anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. Surgical technologists work under the delegatory authority and supervision of the surgeon unless prohibited by state law or hospital policy.

Surgical technologists primarily fulfill the first scrub role. Before an operation, they help prepare the operating room by setting up sterile surgical instruments, equipment and supplies, such as drapes, gowns, gloves, suction tubing, and receiving solutions and medications from the circulator. Surgical technologists assemble the sterile equipment, check to ensure it is all working properly and make adjustments as necessary.

They assist the surgeon with putting on his/her gown and gloves, as well as assisting the surgeon in placing the sterile drapes on the patient to create the sterile field.

During the surgical procedure, the surgical technologist is responsible for anticipating the needs of the surgeon by passing instruments and providing needed supplies such as sponges, performing counts of the sponge, sharps, and instruments,  providing solutions and medications to the surgeon, receiving tissue specimens to be passed off to the circulator and ensuring there are no breaks in sterile technique in order to prevent the patient from acquiring a surgical site infection.  

The number of Surgical Technologists is expected to increase by 23 percent between 2018 and 2028 with an annual job opening of 338.

23% Growth

Growth 68 Retirements 97 Transfers 173

It is anticipated that 338 new Surgical Technologists will be needed each year in the Gulf Coast, with more than half earning over $50,000 a year!

Entry $39,724 Median $54,037 Experienced $60,368

What are Surgical Technologists' interests?

These skills, interests, and knowledge areas are recommended for a career as a laboratory technologist. The following data describes the relative importance of each knowledge/skill area from the opinion of those in the industry.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

   *Source: Texas Career Check.

How do you become a Surgical Technologist?

Step 1 Earn your high school diploma or GED Before you can consider becoming a surgical tech, you'll want to complete your high school education. All employers will require a minimum of a high school degree, and most will require further education beyond high school.

Step 2 Find the right surgical tech program There are a plethora of surgical technologist programs available, but some will help you find a position faster than others. Surgical techs often earn an associate degree, either through community colleges or vocational schools. It's a good idea to pick a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CCAHEP).

Step 3 Earn certification Not all employers will require certification - however, certification will help separate you from other candidates. There are different certificates you can earn, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recommends two: certification through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting and through the National Center for Competency Testing. It's also a good idea to become CPR certified.

Step 4 Find a surgical technologist position Surgical technologists are required in every state, but some states might have specific requirements. With an accredited degree and certification, most surgical techs should not have a problem being eligible for job positions across the country.  

Helpful Tech to Get Ahead Technology  

Data base user interface and query software: Database software; 
Electronic mail software: Email software; 
Graphics or photo imaging software: Graphics software; 
Internet browser software: Internet browser software; 
Medical software: Electronic medical record EMR software; Nursing documentation software; Patient scheduling software; Patient tracking software; PracticeWorks Systems Kodak WINOMS CS; Supply documentation software; Surgery workflow communication software; 
Office suite software: Microsoft Office software; 
Operating system software: Microsoft Windows; 
Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel; 
Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Word processing software;

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Life Science Programs in the Gulf Coast Region Universities

Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region

   If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact

*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.