Being a Scrub Technician: Salary, Job Description and Outlook
Thinking of becoming a scrub technician (also known as a surgical technologist)? Be informed. In this blog, we’ll talk about what a scrub tech is, what a scrub technician salary looks like, and what it takes to earn that salary.
Scrub Technician Job Description:
Surgical technologists help make sure surgical operations run as smoothly as possible. They go by a variety of names – scrub techs, surgical technologists, operating room technicians – but their jobs are the same. Surgical technologists do the essential operating room preparation before surgeries. They also sterilize equipment and ensure that the proper supplies are available before the surgery. They interact with patients and physicians, helping sterilize patients’ incision sites beforehand and passing equipment to physicians during the surgery.
Scrub technicians have a demanding job, but they also have more upward mobility and higher salaries than many other medical professionals on the same level. Often, people who start out as scrub technicians can move on to become surgical assistants or first assistants, who have a more active role throughout the surgery. The scrub technician salary is higher than that of medical assistants and medical administrative assistants.
Scrub Technician Salary:
The median scrub technician salary is $39,920 per year or $19.19 per hour. That means that 50% of scrub technicians make more than that and 50% make less. The top 10 percent of income earners among scrub technicians earn more than $57,330 per year.
Scrub technicians make roughly $6,000 more per year than the average person, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reports that the average salary across all occupations in the U.S. is $33,840. Scrub technicians and medical billers and coders have the highest median salaries of the 7 career paths that ACHT offers.
Why is the Scrub Technician Salary Higher Than Average?
You might wonder why scrub technicians make so much more than the national average. There are a few explanations for this difference.
First, scrub technicians are educated and licensed. They have satisfactorily completed training programs and subsequently taken Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exams. They’re a trained, responsible group of workers who take their jobs seriously, because people’s lives really are at stake in their field.
Secondly, the scrub technician salary tends to be higher because scrub technicians have more demanding jobs. While medical administrative assistants, for example, should be focused and responsible, they usually work at desks during standard business hours and enjoy on-time lunch breaks. Scrub technicians may be required to work shifts longer than eight hours, and sometimes, they are needed at unpredictable times (weekends, short notice, etc.). They must be alert, available and on their feet throughout a surgical procedure, and that level of focus and preparedness can be difficult to maintain for many hours.
Finally, surgical teams need scrub technicians. In some fields, more efficient employees can make assistants and technicians unnecessary; this is not the case for scrub technicians. The demand for them remains steady no matter what the economic circumstances, because scrub technicians are essential to almost all surgical teams. Attracted to the scrub technician salary and job? Call us for more information about our surgical technology program!