A surgical technician work environment is typically clean, well-lighted and cool. They must stand for long periods and remain alert during operations. At times, they may be exposed to communicable diseases and unpleasant sights, odors, and materials. Most surgical technicians work a regular 40-hour week, although they may be on call or work nights, weekends, and holidays on a rotating basis.
Surgical technicians held about 99,800 jobs in 2014. About 70 percent of jobs for surgical technicians were in hospitals, mainly in operating and delivery rooms. Hospitals will continue to be the primary employer of surgical technologists, as they try to reduce costs by replacing nurses in the operating room. However, because of better paying opportunities, much faster employment growth is expected in offices of physicians and in outpatient care centers, including ambulatory surgical centers.
Surgical technicians also work in:
- Dental and orthodontic offices
- Private surgical facilities
- Classrooms teaching future technologists.
- Organ and Tissue donation organizations
- Veterinary clinics
- Military facilities
- Sales representatives in industry
A few technicians, known as private scrubs, are employed directly by surgeons who have special surgical teams, like those for liver transplants.