CareerGPS

Surgical Technologists
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Surgical Technologists
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
779 878 99 12.77% 20 65 85 $31.14 $64,773 Postsecondary nondegree award
Description: Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Count sponges, needles, and instruments before and after operation.
  • Hand instruments and supplies to surgeons and surgeons' assistants, hold retractors and cut sutures, and perform other tasks as directed by surgeon during operation.
  • Scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing.
  • Provide technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses and anesthesiologists.
  • Wash and sterilize equipment using germicides and sterilizers.
  • Prepare, care for and dispose of tissue specimens taken for laboratory analysis.
  • Prepare dressings or bandages and apply or assist with their application following surgery.
  • Operate, assemble, adjust, or monitor sterilizers, lights, suction machines, and diagnostic equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Monitor and continually assess operating room conditions, including patient and surgical team needs.
  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Prepare patients for surgery, including positioning patients on the operating table and covering them with sterile surgical drapes to prevent exposure.
  • Clean and restock operating room, gathering and placing equipment and supplies and arranging instruments according to instructions, such as a preference card.

Knowledge

75%
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.
62%
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.
60%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
59%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
54%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
54%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
51%
Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills

65%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
62%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
62%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
60%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
56%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
56%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
53%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
53%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
53%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
53%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
53%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
50%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
50%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
50%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities

72%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
65%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
65%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
62%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
62%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
62%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
62%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
62%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
62%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
60%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
60%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
60%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
56%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
56%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
53%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
53%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
53%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
53%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
53%
Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
53%
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
53%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
50%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
50%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
50%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
50%
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
50%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).

Work Activities

89%
Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
88%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
88%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
88%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
85%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
83%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
83%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
78%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
77%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
74%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
74%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
71%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
70%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
67%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
66%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
65%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
63%
Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
62%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
60%
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
60%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
59%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
56%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
56%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
54%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
52%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
52%
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.