Surgical Technologists Salary

The average salary for a surgical technologist in the U.S. is about $49,710 per year.

$34,120 (low 10%)

$49,710 (median)

$73,110 (top 90%)

Surgical technologists earn an average of $49,710 per year according to the

The range in pay goes from $34,120 to $73,110 per year.

PercentileAnnual Wage

How much does a surgical technologist make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, surgical technologists earned a median salary of $49,710 per year in 2020. The top 10% earned more than $73,110 per year while the bottom 10% earned less than $32,900 per year.

With the average pay hovering around $50,000 per year, surgical techs earn a lot more than the typical job. In addition, becoming a surgical tech usually only takes a few months to 2 years.

Top paying industries for surgical technologists

Like with all careers, there are certain industries that pay higher for qualified surgical technologists. These include colleges, universities, and professional schools. These industries pay around $57,590 per year whereas the typical surgical technician is paid $49,710 per year.

Specialty hospitals also pay a little higher than average. The typical surgical technologist working at a specialty hospital (other than those specializing in psychiatric and substance abuse) earns $54,900 per year.

See the table below for more industries with higher pay for surgical techs.

IndustryAnnual wage
Colleges, universities & professional schools$57,590
Specialty hospitals (except psychiatric & substance abuse)$54,900
Outpatient care centers$53,690
Other ambulatory health care services$52,880
Management of companies$52,440

Top paying cities for surgical technologists

Surgical technologists typically enjoy a fairly high salary of just under $50,000 per year. However, certain locations pay significantly higher. These include the San Francisco, CA region which pays around $79,230, and the San Jose, CA region as well, which pays $74,080 per year.

When taking the average pay into account, these cities in California pay around $25,000 per year more. So it may be worth it to investigate cities with higher pay when deciding where to gain employment as a surgical technologist.

CityAnnual wage
San Francisco region, CA$79,230
San Jose region, CA$74,080
Vallejo/Fairfield, CA$73,460
Santa Rosa, CA$72,170
Sacramento region, CA$70,780

Surgical technologists salaries by state

The top-paying states for surgical technologists are Alaska, Nevada, California, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia. The average pay in Alaska and Nevada is about $67,000 per year while the national average is just under $50,000 per year. So if you are willing to live in either of these top-paying states, you could earn approximately $17,000 per year more.

StateAnnual wage
District of Columbia$61,620

How do surgical technologist salaries compare to related careers?

On average, surgical technologists earn $49,710 per year. It’s interesting, that a related career, which is licensed practical (LPN) and licensed vocational nurses (LVN) is right at the same amount ($48,820 per year). This type of nursing designation typically requires an associate’s degree.

However, registered nurses earn an average of $75,330 per year. A Bachelor’s degree is required in order to become a registered nurse. That extra time in school will result in about $25,000 more a year over surgical technologists or LPNs or LVNs.

Then medical assistants earn much less than surgical technologists or any of the related careers mentioned so far. The average salary for medical assistants is about $35,850 per year which is about $14,000 less each year.

Finally, we did add physicians and surgeons to the list. Both would require a medical degree which is a lot of school, but the pay is over $208,000 per year. This is approximately four times the amount you would earn as a surgical technologist.

CareerAnnual wage
Surgical technologists$49,710
Licensed practical & licensed vocational nurses$48,820
Registered nurses$75,330
Medical assistants$35,850
Physicians & surgeons$208,000+