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Can I Be A Surgical Tech?


Surgical technology careers are plentiful in states like California, where CSTs stand to make the highest annual incomes for surgical techs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An allied healthcare career in the OR of any hospital is a coveted role for aspiring medical professionals. If you are thinking of switching careers and joining an operating room team, here are a few fundamental questions to ask yourself first.

What should I look for in a surgical tech program?

Before enrolling in a college or vocational school, pay a visit to the campus and (1) ask an academic advisor what the school’s percentage of job placements is for surgical techs and (2) decide if this figure is commensurate with the cost of the program and the 13 months, on average, it takes to complete. Before you choose a surgical tech program, weigh the pros and cons. For example, it can take six months for a recent graduate with no prior experience as a CST to find a job; however, getting certified following graduation opens more doors and higher pay. Read more about taking the certification exam at

After graduation, how do I find a CST job fast?

Prior to graduation, aspiring CSTs should subscribe to surgical technology magazines and send their resumes to every call for employment in its back pages, especially the ones advertising “New Grads Are Welcome!” (At least one year is needed for jobs at 365 Healthcare Staffing) It’s also imperative that aspiring CSTs make a great impression during their internships, and appeal to their supervisors in these hospitals for employment. During clinicals, be sure to evaluate where you live in terms of its availability of surgical technology jobs. The BLS website is a great place to see which states (and cities) in the U.S. top the list for having the most opportunities.

What do I do about a lack of work experience?

If your externship doesn’t yield a CST job right away, apply and accept another healthcare job, with the goal of being promoted into the position you trained for. Some CSTs begin as orderlies, telling every physician they come in contact with that they are certified surgical technicians and want to scrub in. The effort of doing so might surprise you, as some surgeons will appreciate your initiative, and allow you to observe a surgery or perhaps assist in one.  Look for opportunities to transfer to a sister hospital with “paid work experience” opportunities, such as participating in a surgery as a “second scrub”.  Keep in mind that a per diem job, like an orderly/transporter job in a busy hospital unit, can lead to second shift work in a plastic surgeon’s office, or other clinical environment that needs CSTs.

365 Health Staffing: Helping Surgical Technologists Advance in Their Careers

At the end of the day, aspiring surgical techs who keep up with their education, licensure and advances in their field will profit in the healthcare job market. As long as you are willing to learn, have a positive attitude, and go where the opportunities are, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Call 310-436-3650 or apply online today to work with a top surgical tech staffing firm in California and learn where your potential shines the brightest!