When I was training to become a Surgical Technologist back in the ’70s, one might assume that the technical skill of working in surgery would be a prosperous, exciting way to support your family. I say, yes, it can be, but can you live on a surgical technologist salary?
According to the Bureau of Labor and Static’s website, surgical technologists on the average can make over $20 per hour these days. That is a pretty good wage compared to the $4.50 an hour that I was making doing open heart surgery in the late ’70s. At the time I was living at the YMCA because the wage I was making would not support me. Even with all the call and over time that I was taking it seemed like I could never get ahead.
By the time I received my check, I was so exhausted physically and mentally that all I could do was pay my rent put gas in the car and feed myself. At the time I didn’t care because I felt that I was helping people and that I had purpose in my life. Yes, becoming a surgical technologist gave me great purpose in my life. But could I support my family on a surgical technologists salary?
Being a surgical technologist comes with many challenges and probably the main one is the people that you work with. If you work with people that are reasonable enjoy their jobs and have mad skills you will do fine. On the flip side if you cant get along with the people that you have to work with everyday and you don’t fit in, well then you might have a hard time, making a living at being a tech.
Some would say that the current surgical technologist salary should be more than some of the other hospital techs. I say, yes, that surgical technologists should be the highest paid techs in the hospital,but that is just my opinion.
I say this after being hired to do only General Surgery for a hospital in Seattle Washington, you never know what will be in a days work. One day I showed up for work and it seemed that they were in quite a pickle. The Surgical Technologist that normally worked on the Open Heart Surgery quit without notice. Apparently they hadn’t trained a replacement and no one else wanted to work with the Heart Surgeons. So, they fed the new guy to the wolves. Oops! In other words, I was told that I would be the First Asst. for the heart team until they found a suitable replacement. Oh, and the case starts in 30 minutes. So, Yes, I want a raise! It seems like some days they could never pay you enough for what you go through.
I feel people should get paid what they are worth. A Surgical Technologist that can get along with the staff and is pretty good at most surgeries, is much more valuable than a tech that can only do orthopedics. I believe that today a Surgical Technologists Salary can support a family, if you are frugal and are always looking toward future!