Careers & Employment Outlook Nature of the Work Surgical Technologists are integral members of a surgical team who work in conjunction with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and registered nurse in order to provide quality patient care before, during, and after surgery. A surgical technologist's role is broad. However, their primary function can be described as a sterile member of the surgical team who passes instruments, sutures, and assists the surgeon in retraction, hemostasis and many other surgical tasks. Surgical technologists have primary responsibility for maintaining the sterile field, being constantly alert to insure that all members of the team adhere to aseptic technique. Surgical Technologists are health care workers who assist with the patient care and related services in the operating room. They perform as a member of the surgical team and prepare supplies and equipment for use in surgery. The Surgical Technologist has a great responsibility for adhering to legal and ethical obligations at all times and to protect the patient as an individual. Employment Surgical technologists held about 91,500 jobs in 2008. About 71 percent of jobs for surgical technologists were in hospitals, mainly in operating and delivery rooms. Other jobs were in offices of physicians or dentists who perform outpatient surgery and in outpatient care centers, including ambulatory surgical centers. A few technologists, known as private scrubs, are employed directly by surgeons who have special surgical teams, such as those for liver transplants. Job Outlook Employment is expected to grow much faster than average. Job opportunities will be best for technologists who are certified and for those who are willing to relocate. Earnings Median annual wages of wage-and-salary surgical technologists were $38,740 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,490 and $46,910. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,510, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,300. For more information visit the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook.