How Much Does a Surgical Tech Make an Hour?

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Are you considering a career as a surgical tech? One crucial aspect to consider is the earning potential in this field. Understanding the salary range for surgical technicians can help you make informed decisions about your future. In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence surgical tech salaries and provide you with an insight into how much these professionals make per hour.

What is a Surgical Tech?

Before we dive into the earning potential, let’s briefly understand the role of a surgical technician. Surgical techs, also known as surgical technologists, are vital members of the healthcare team. They work alongside surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals in operating rooms, ensuring that surgical procedures run smoothly.

Surgical techs have a wide range of responsibilities, including preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and assisting during surgeries. Their expertise helps maintain a sterile environment, handle surgical instruments, and provide critical support to the surgical team.

Factors Influencing Surgical Tech Salaries

Various factors come into play when determining the salary of a surgical tech. Let’s explore some of the key elements that can influence their earnings.

Educational Qualifications and Certification

The level of education and certification can impact a surgical tech’s salary. Completing an accredited surgical technology program is typically required to enter this profession. Those with additional certifications or degrees may have a higher earning potential.

Level of Experience

As with many professions, experience plays a significant role in determining salaries. Surgical techs with more years of experience often earn higher wages. As they gain knowledge, skills, and expertise over time, their value to employers increases.

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Geographic Location

The location in which a surgical tech works can significantly impact their earning potential. Cost of living, demand for surgical techs, and local economic factors all contribute to salary variations across different regions. Metropolitan areas and states with higher living costs generally offer higher wages to compensate for the increased expenses.

Work Setting

The work setting also plays a role in determining a surgical tech’s salary. While many surgical techs work in hospitals, others are employed in outpatient centers, physician offices, or ambulatory surgical centers. Each setting may have its own salary structure based on factors such as patient volume, complexity of cases, and funding sources.

Average Hourly Wage for Surgical Techs

Now, let’s dive into the numbers. It’s essential to understand the average hourly wage for surgical techs to get a clearer picture of their earning potential.

According to recent statistics, the national average hourly wage for surgical technicians is approximately $25.00 per hour[^1^]. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary significantly based on the factors discussed earlier.

For example, surgical techs with specialized certifications or advanced degrees may earn higher wages. Those with several years of experience might also command higher salaries, potentially reaching $30.00 or more per hour[^2^].

Geographic location plays a vital role as well. In states with higher living costs, such as California or New York, surgical techs can earn higher hourly wages, sometimes exceeding the national average[^3^]. Conversely, states with lower living costs may offer lower wages, even though the salary may still be competitive within that specific region.

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It’s crucial to research and consider these factors when assessing potential earnings as a surgical tech. Remember, these figures are averages, and individual salaries can vary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Surgical Tech Salaries

What is the starting salary for surgical techs?

The starting salary for surgical techs can vary based on location, experience, and education. On average, entry-level surgical techs can expect to earn around $18.00 to $20.00 per hour. However, with experience and additional qualifications, their earnings can rise significantly.

How does the income of surgical techs vary with experience?

As surgical techs gain experience, their income tends to increase. With each passing year, their skills and expertise grow, making them more valuable to employers. While entry-level surgical techs may start with a lower wage around $18.00 per hour, experienced professionals can earn upwards of $30.00 per hour.

Are there any additional benefits or bonuses for surgical techs?

In addition to their base salaries, surgical techs may receive various benefits and bonuses. These can include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and educational assistance. Some employers may also offer performance-based bonuses as a way to reward excellence and dedication.

Can surgical techs earn extra income through overtime or on-call shifts?

Yes, surgical techs often have opportunities to earn extra income through overtime or on-call shifts. When surgeries run longer than scheduled or when emergencies arise, surgical techs may be called in to provide their expertise. These additional hours typically come with higher pay rates, allowing surgical techs to boost their earnings.

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Do surgical techs earn more in certain states or cities?

Yes, the earning potential for surgical techs can vary significantly depending on the state or city in which they work. Metropolitan areas and states with higher living costs tend to offer higher wages to attract and retain talent. California, New York, and Washington are notable examples of states where surgical techs may earn above-average salaries.


Becoming a surgical tech is a rewarding career choice, both professionally and financially. While the average hourly wage for surgical techs is approximately $25.00 per hour, several factors influence their earning potential. Education, experience, location, and work setting all play a role in determining surgical tech salaries.

Remember, these figures are averages, and individual salaries can vary. By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can gain a better understanding of the earning potential as a surgical tech in your desired location. Pursue your passion for healthcare and embark on a fulfilling career as a surgical tech.

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