College Resources

Career Tracks: Surgical Technology

As a member of the surgical team, this specialist assists the surgical staff before, during and after surgery.

Primary responsibility is to prepare and maintain a sterile field during an operation. Surgical technologists ensure the safety and well-being of all patients undergoing surgery and assist with proper handling and care of surgical instruments.


Graduates in this field may be required to:

  • check supplies and equipment

  • set up sterile table with instruments, supplies, equipment and medication

  • gown and glove surgeon and assistants

  • pass instruments during surgery

  • prepare sterile dressings

  • maintain high standard of sterile techniques

  • assist in preparing for next patient

  • assist in cleaning of room

  • process instruments/equipment

Working Conditions

Graduates in this field commonly experience:

  • work in hospitals: operating room/labor and delivery/central sterile processing

  • work in physicians' office, emergency departments, as sales representatives, and as anesthesia technicians

  • work is fast-paced

  • work is stressful/work under time constraints

Physical Demands

  • active (much walking, standing, carrying)

  • light to heavy lifting and pulling

Characteristics & Temperaments

Graduates in this field should have:

  • assertiveness

  • good oral communication skills

  • dedication

  • attention to detail/ability to do precision work

  • discretion

  • flexibility (ability to change tasks as needed)

  • adaptability

  • ability to maintain composure

  • ability to work cooperatively with a variety of people

  • ability to show compassion, caring, sensitivity

  • ability to work with inanimate objects

  • ability to "catch on" quickly

  • ability to understand and follow directions quickly and accurately

  • moderate spatial aptitude 

  • mechanical reasoning: understand mechanical principles and devices; understand how things work and how to fix them

  • good motor coordination (hand/eye coordination, accurate and swift movements, finger/manual dexterity)

  • excellent interpersonal skills

  • excellent organizational skills

  • ability to prioritize well

Employment Outlook

Employment statistics for 2011 - 2013 PTC graduates, who found jobs in this field, are as follows:

  • salary average: $27,676.00 per year

  • salary range: $22,000 - 31,000 per year 

  • 80% placement rate  for the 2011 - 2013 graduates

  • employment in cities and towns of all sizes

  • entry level positions: medical salesperson; organ procurement team member; Autologous Blood Collection System Operator, first assistant


Recent graduates have found work at: