Whether you’re a seasoned surgical technologist or exploring your options before going to school, travel surgical tech jobs are something you should understand and consider. These travel healthcare jobs have a lot to offer and can be a great option for many professionals. In this article, we’ll discuss key things to know about why you should consider becoming a traveling surgical tech and how to do it.
What are Travel Surgical Tech Jobs?
If you’ve never heard of travel surgical tech jobs, you might be confused on what they are and how they differ from other types of jobs for surgical technologists. Travel surgical tech jobs are temporary contracts that last usually about 13 weeks, though they can be longer or shorter. Usually these temporary jobs are to help fill in for staffing gaps. For instance, if another surgical tech resigns or takes leave or if there’s a sudden increase in the need for surgeries that the facility doesn’t have enough staffing for.
They’re often called travel surgical tech jobs because usually professionals travel away from home to take these jobs. Of course, that might just mean traveling to a different city in your state or it might mean going across the country, depending on what you want to do.
As a traveling surgical tech, you choose which assignments you take. This means you’re completely in control of where you go, which facilities you work for, and other key details. You generally work with a medical staffing agency to find available surgical tech jobs.
Why Become a Surgical Technologist?
Before you become a traveling surgical tech, you might be considering whether this is the right career for you at all. A surgical tech is an allied health professional that does many important things before, during, and after surgery. They usually work in hospitals, emergency rooms, and outpatient surgical centers.
The average salary for a surgical tech in the U.S. is $48,510 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth for surgical techs is also expected to be 6%, which is about average for other professions.
Surgical tech salaries vary based on many different factors, like your level of education, certifications and specialties you have, as well as where you work. For instance, some of the top paying states for surgical techs include:
- California – $74,050
- Connecticut & D.C. – $61,680
- Alaska – $61,270
- Minnesota & Oregon – $60,780
However, keep in mind that traveling allied health professionals often make much more than the average salary, and usually receive higher pay than staff surgical techs. So, travel surgical tech jobs may be a good option if you’re looking to make more money.
Responsibilities for Surgical Tech Jobs
Surgical technologists play an important role for surgical operations. They are generally responsible for setting up the operating room before a procedure. This may include things like:
- Sterilizing equipment
- Setting up equipment
- Confirming that equipment works properly
- Preparing medicines/solutions needed
- Bringing patients into the OR
During surgery, they also help keep the room sterile and act as an extra set of hands for the surgical team. After surgery, they are also responsible for collecting all the tools used, disposing of single-use supplies, and sterilizing the operating room for the next procedure.
Pros and Cons of Travel Surgical Tech Jobs
Taking allied health travel jobs as a surgical tech has many pros and cons that you should consider. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages can help you determine if this career option is a right fit for you. Here are some of the pros and cons of becoming a traveling surgical technologist:
Pros of Allied Health Travel Jobs
There are many advantages of working travel surgical tech jobs. One is that you can travel all around the country. Traveling surgical techs are often in high demand practically everywhere in the U.S., meaning you can go to many different states and cities as a traveling surgical technologist. Many travelers make a bucket list of destinations they want to visit and take assignments based on that list.
Another great benefit of becoming a traveling surgical tech is the pay. We mentioned this earlier, but traveling surgical techs often make significantly more than staff surgical techs. For instance, the average pay for a traveling surgical tech is $71,411 compared to the overall surgical tech average salary of $48,510. This figure doesn’t include other perks like tax-free stipends for housing and other travel costs. Traveling surgical techs with our medical staffing agency also get other benefits like medical and dental insurance and 401K with matching up to 5%. Our teams also help you find free furnished and private housing during your assignment if you would rather this option instead of a housing stipend.
Many surgical techs also choose the travel life because of all the freedom this career offers. Travelers are in charge of which assignments they take, so you get to choose assignments based on whatever criteria matters to you, whether it’s destination, pay, or something else.
Travel surgical tech jobs also help you get a lot of experience in a short amount of time. Since you work in different locations and facilities and with many different teams, you can learn a lot. This experience looks great on a resume, whether you’re looking for other travel assignments or want to take a permanent position.
Cons of Traveling Surgical Tech Jobs
As with any job, there are some disadvantages of allied health travel jobs as well. You’ll need to weigh these against the benefits based on your specific situation to see if becoming a traveler is the right thing for you.
As a traveler, you’re often away from home for quite a while, which can get lonely. Of course, you can always make new friends or even bring people with you on your travels, but it’s one potential disadvantage that you might feel lonely as a traveler.
Another thing to note is that as a traveler you need to adapt pretty quickly because each assignment is different. This is a pro for some people, but a con for others. Since you’re filling in for staffing gaps, you often need to get acclimated quickly to your assignments.
Additionally, many people find it difficult to keep up on all their credentials. Often, different states have different credentials you need to practice in that area. This means you might need to submit different documents depending on each assignment you take. The good news is that we have a whole team of credentialing specialists to help you with this, but it is something that is a little more complicated than taking a permanent staff position.
Find the Perfect Job with AHS MedStat – Top Medical Staffing Agency
Our team at AHS MedStat is a top medical staffing agency for the allied health industry. We help allied health professionals like surgical technologists, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists find exciting travel jobs that perfectly match their needs. Get started as a traveler today by viewing our job board or talking to a recruiter!