As the number of surgeries increase, job growth for Surgical Technologists (Surgical Technicians) is forecast to grow 25% through 2018. Surgical Technology can be a rewarding occupational choice as well as a great first step into the overall field of health care.
Starting salary range
Starting Surgical Technologist salaries range from $11.76/hour (Georgia) to $15.51/hour (California)*.
A Surgical Technologist's median salary is $39,480 and maximum Surgical Technologist salaries top out at over $48,000**. Larger institutions tend to pay more than smaller practices, according to Payscale's Median Salary by Company Size Charts.
Opportunities for advancement
Surgical Technologists can advance by specializing in a specific area including open-heart surgery and neurosurgery. Surgical Technologists can also increase their salaries by gaining seniority, becoming a circulating Surgical Technologist, by moving to a larger institution, by additional training or promotion to a supervisory role. Surgical Technologists can move on to managing supplies or surgical equipment. Other Surgical Technologists go the corporate route, advancing their careers at insurance companies, equipment suppliers, or surgical supply organizations.
Benefits and perks
Health care, paid time off, pension, education reimbursement, sick days, insurance, bonus, and taxes increase the total compensation package by an average 31.2%**, bringing the median total Surgical Technologist compensation to $57,407.
Salary negotiation tips
Negotiating salary can be tricky. Large institutions (hospitals, government health agencies, or private companies), typically set up a salary range (or salary band), so the organization will have a little room to move on salaries (about 5-10%). Smaller organizations, such as private medical practices are less likely to have as much wiggle room on salary. Either way, don't expect an employer to give you a higher salary just because you ask. Instead, prepare a well documented justification and stay within the organization's salary range for the specific position so you'll have a good chance at getting the salary increase you're targeting.
Your greatest ability to negotiate salary is when you have options. Interview with a number of hospitals, medical practices, federal/state/local government health agencies, universities, Veterans Administration, and private companies. In addition, do your homework – get salary information fonline with AOL Jobs Salary Center or from staffing and recruiting firms in your industry. Sometimes just having research on average salaries for your local market may provide rationale for a higher salary.
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* According to www.payscale.com.
** According to www.salary.com