4 reasons you should become a surgical tech
1. Hands-on internships
There’s no filing papers and picking up coffee in these internships! Becoming a surgical tech is exciting because internships tend to be engaging and hands-on. They’re a great place to gain practical experience in a medical setting. Many surgical tech programs include a clinical internship, sometimes referred to as a practicum, in the curriculum. So before you even graduate you could be learning the ropes in the operating room, according to All Allied Health Schools.
Rasmussen College surgical tech graduate Nicole Gumke experienced the rush of clinicals firsthand. While the training and education was rigorous, in the end she felt it was her clinical experience that really prepared her for life as a surgical tech.
“I was prepared in terms of anatomy but I wasn’t really prepared for the things I would experience,” said Gumke. “That’s why you do clinicals. I feel like that’s where I learned the most.”
2. Demand is skyrocketing
There’s no denying the projected demand for surgical techs. Employment in this field is projected to grow by 30 percent throughout the next decade, according to the BLS. This is nearly three times the average growth projections across all occupations, which is 11 percent.
Surgical procedures are being performed more frequently than ever as a result of the advancements in surgical technology. Additionally, the aging baby boomer generation is expected to drive demand in the healthcare industry. As this large portion of the population ages, they will require more attention from healthcare professionals. This will likely result in more surgical procedures as well, according to Health Professions Network.
3. Exciting earning potential
Those studying to become a surgical tech not only look forward to an optimistic job outlook but they also earn more than their counterparts without a degree. It’s all in the numbers: the median income for a young adult with a high school diploma is $22,900, while the median income for one with an associate’s degree is $37,000, according to the Institute of Education Sciences.*
That disparity adds up to a significant amount over a lifetime and is only projected to continue growing. Plus, it’s becoming harder and harder to find success in the workforce with only a high school diploma. This is seen in the increased wages for college graduates and decreased wages for high school graduates, as reported by US News.
Overall, an individual with an associate degree earns an estimated $777 per workweek, according to the BLS. Compare that to a high school graduate’s $651 per workweek.
The hourly wage for surgical techs ranges from $14.64 to $29.47, which adds up to weekly earnings of about $586 to $1,179, according to the BLS. As a general rule of thumb, acquiring more education and experience will help you move towards the top of that range.
4. Everyday is different
If you tend to become bored easily, becoming a surgical tech may be a smart move for you. In this profession you are never tied down to a desk. In fact, most of your day is spent on your feet. You’ll also get to work with and interact with many people on a daily basis.
When assisting with surgical procedures, you’ll work with a variety of surgeons and nurses in a team setting. Additionally, you may get to interact with various patients while preparing them for procedures.
“I’m seeing new things every day, so this isn’t a field where it’s easy to get bored. That’s what I love about it,” Gumko.
Your professional development as a surgical tech won’t end when you graduate. Gumko explains that you’ll continuously learn about new medical tools and techniques in the operating room, which keeps you energized and excited about your career.