Surgical Technologist

What do Surgical Technologists do?

Surgical technologists are members of operating room teams, which include the surgeon(s), anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. They primarily fulfill the first scrub role. Before an operation, they help prepare the operating room by setting up sterile surgical instruments, equipment, and supplies. They also prepare the patients for surgery by washing and disinfecting incision sites. During the surgical procedure, the surgical technologist is responsible for anticipating the needs of the surgeon by passing instruments and needed supplies.

Average Wage


Experienced Wage


As a Surgical Technologist you will:

Check supplies and equipment needed for surgical procedure
Clean and prepare instruments for sterilization
Gown and glove surgeon and assistants
Pass instruments to surgeon during procedure
Set up sterile table with instruments, supplies, and equipment

Training & Educational Opportunities

There are plenty of employment opportunities as a surgical technologist, but first you will need to complete training and earn a certificate or associate degree. You will also be required to obtain state licensure. Some employers may seek candidates who have passed a national certification exam, such as the one administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA).


Training Providers

  • College of DuPage
  • Elgin Community College
  • Midwestern Career College
  • Rasmussen College
  • Waubonsee Community College

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Types of Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient centers

Opportunities for specialization and advancement

  • Obstetrical Surgical Technologist
  • Operating Room Scrub Technician
  • Tissue Recovery Technician