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Surgical Technologist Salary Factsheet
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Education & Training
Surgical Technologist Job Prospects
With a strong demand and a higher-than-average growth, it’s little wonder that the number of Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs) continue to grow. Find out more about surgical technologist jobs and the requirements that go with becoming a CST. Hospitals around the United States currently have at least one surgical technician in its surgical team. Surgical technologists are responsible for various tasks prior to, during, and after every surgery. But how stable is this job in the allied medical field?
Growing Demand for Certified Surgical Technologists
As with most occupations in the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) prepared an industry profile of Surgical Technology: its present demand and sustainability / projected growth. According to the BLS, employment for surgical technologists will continue to see a higher-than-average growth of 21 to 35 percent until 2012. The BLS believes that the ageing and retirement of the generation of baby boomers will usher in an increase in the number of surgical procedures in hospitals nationwide. Many lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular problems are also on the rise, and surgeries are usually part of the treatment for patients of such diseases. These are seen to increase the demand for surgical technologists to assist in many operations.
Surgical tech jobs demand areas include the following: Hospital setting – hospitals remain to be the top employer of surgical technologists. Surgical teams include surgeons, surgical assistants, surgical technologists, and registered nurses.
Other healthcare teams – the BLS also predicts a growth in demand for surgical technologists in private practices, outpatient care centers, and ambulatory surgical centers.
Related medical tech jobs are on the rise as well, including the following: radiation therapists, medical appliance technicians, nuclear medicine technologists, respiratory therapy technicians, and other health technologists and technicians who provide technical assistance to physicians, pathologists, surgeons, oncologists, etc.
Starting Your Career as a Surgical Technologist
- Here are some tips for students who wish to enter this allied medical health profession.
Surgical Technologists enter the profession through a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree in Surgical Technology.
Make sure that the Surgical Technology you are enrolled in is accredited by any of the following medical and ST education accreditation bodies:
- Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA)
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Educational Schools (ABHES)
Take advantage of the numerous scholarships which the Foundation for Surgical Technology offers to surgical tech students who are enrolled in accredited surgical technology programs.
To greatly improve your chances of employment, aim for a certification from the National Certifying Examination given by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA). Certified Surgical Technologists (CSTs) get better job offers and higher career outlook over those who hold no such credential. Certification is presently voluntary, which means surgical techs with no certification are still eligible for employment. Take note, however, that most employers require certification before they hire.
Hospitals are still the biggest employers of surgical techs so start sending out your résumé to hospitals in your area.
The certification lasts for four years. In order to maintain your professional certification, you should earn continuing education units approved by the NBSTSA. You also have the option to retake the national certifying exam in lieu of the 60-hour CE units.
Surgical tech jobs will continue to grow and strengthen in the coming years. If your interest lies in the medical field, now is the best time to enroll in an accredited surgical technology program.
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