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Surgical Technologists

Also called: Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), Operating Room Technician (OR Tech), Surgical Technician, Surgical Technologist (Surgical Tech)

Where in the Marine Corps? In the Marine Corps: Operating Room Specialist; Surgical Service Apprentice; Surgical Service Apprentice, Otolaryngology; Surgical Service Craftsman; Surgical Service Craftsman, Otolaryngology; Surgical Service Helper; Surgical Service Helper, Orthopedics; Surgical Service Helper, Urology; Surgical Service Journeyman, Orthopedics; Surgical Service Journeyman, Urology

What they do:
Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.
On the job, you would:
  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Count sponges, needles, and instruments before and after operation.
  • Scrub arms and hands and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and surgical clothing.


  • customer service
  • medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • listen and understand what people say
  • communicate by speaking
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Integrity
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Adaptability/Flexibility


You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Supply documentation software
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Electronic mail software
  • Email software


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
associate's degree or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about surgical technologists.